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Blue Devils' Errors Key Zephyrs 3-1 Sectional Win

Thursday evening, this area's only remaining volleyball team was in action as the Oconto Blue Devils matched up with the St. Mary's Springs Zephyrs in Crivitz. Oconto got out to big leads in the first two games, but the Zephyrs climbed back into both games and stole a 2-0 lead. The Blue Devils dominated from start to finish in game three, but game four got away and the Zephyrs won three games to one to advance to the sectional final.

Freshman hitter Cora Behnke sparked the Oconto offense with two kills and a 2-1 lead. The Zephyrs went on a 3-0 run and the Blue Devils responded with their own 3-0 run. After a point by St. Mary's, Oconto's Aubree Bucheger registered two kills to go along with two Zephyr hitting errors and a 9-5 Blue Devil lead. St. Mary's tied the game at 9-9 before a 6-0 Oconto run led by two kills each from Behnke and Bucheger along with a kill from Sydney Koch gave Oconto a 15-9 advantage. Unfortunately, the lead didn't last long as St. Mary's answered with their own 6-0 run, knotting the score again at 15-15. St. Mary's used that momentum and took advantage of Oconto errors the rest of the game to win 25-21.

In game two, the teams fought back and forth as they tied at 2-2, 3-3, 5-5, and 6-6, before the Blue Devils went on a 4-0 run. Behnke smashed a kill, two Zephyrs committed errors and Koch tallied a tip kill to go up 10-6. Once again, St. Mary's responded with a 5-0 run, grabbing the 11-10 advantage. The Zephyrs did not register an offensive point for eight of their next nine points, as errors on the Blue Devils proved costly, helping St. Mary's to a 20-17 lead. The Zephyrs went on to win the game by the same score as game one, 25-21.

Game three was a world of difference for Oconto as they were on their mark the entire way. Jenna Hornblad posted two kills, followed by a kill by Behnke, a kill by Sarah Hubacher and an ace by Hubacher, leading to a 5-1 Oconto advantage. The Blue Devils kept the ball rolling with a 6-0 run as Bucheger smashed three kills, Mara Allen tipped a kill and the Zephyrs committed two errors. The teams went point for point before Oconto pulled away for good with a 4-0 run. Hubacher recorded an ace and Behnke crushed two kills for the 20-9 Oconto lead. The Blue Devils took the game 25-14, showing their abilities in game three.

Unfortunately for Oconto, the final game was nearly all the Zephyrs in the beginning, making a comeback very difficult. A 1-1 tie was broke by St. Mary's with a whopping 7-0 Zephyr run. Behnke ended the run with a kill, but the Zephyrs came back with two more points and a 10-2 lead. Down but not out, the Blue Devils scored seven unanswered with kills from Allen and Bucheger, an ace from Behnke and a combo block by Allen and Bucheger. A crushing kill from Behnke brought the lead down to one, 13-12, Zephyrs. St. Mary's answered with another 5-0 run to go ahead 18-12. Oconto scored nine points to St. Mary's four, bringing the lead back down to 22-21, but the Zephyrs score the final three points to win by a similar score of 25-21. St. Mary's took the match three games to one, advancing to the sectional final.


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