Tigers win ninth straight in WVC, take over second place
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — With the match and a possible No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs on the line, the Marshfield volleyball team flipped a switch and played perhaps its best volleyball of the season.
Marshfield rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two games and post a 3-2 victory over D.C. Everest to keep its hopes alive for a Wisconsin Valley Conference championship.
The Tigers won their ninth-straight WVC match to improve to 9-2 and take sole possession of second place in the conference. Everest is now 8-3.
Marshfield is one win behind Merrill with one match left in the season. The Tigers play at Stevens Point, and Merrill hosts Wisconsin Rapids in the final matches of the WVC season on Thursday.
Trailing 2-1 in games and 17-13 in Game 4, Marshfield ripped off six-straight points to regain its composure and eventually pulled out the game 25-22.
In the fifth and decisive game, the Tigers dominated, jumping out to a six-point lead and winning 15-10.
Overall, Marshfield won the match 25-16, 19-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-10.
“Those middle games, we were struggling with our serve receive again,” said Dawn Sadowska, who was honored by Marshfield High School on Tuesday night for her 25 years as the volleyball team’s head coach. “The first set we were passing fine, but in the second and third one it just went away. It got into our heads. They came out and won that fourth game and took over that fifth set.”
Marshfield pulled out to a 13-7 lead in the first game, and after Everest pulled to within two at 17-15, the Tigers scored six points in a row, two on aces by Stephanie Rhodes and two on kills by Ema Fehrenbach.
The Tigers eventually finished the game off at 25-16.
Everest closed out Game 2 by scoring nine of the final 11 points and overcame a six-point deficit in the third game to sneak out a 26-24 win and take control of the match.
The Evergreens used that momentum to jump out to a 14-9 lead in the fourth game after two kills by Regan Stefan and an ace from Caroline Hehir.
The Tigers stabilized the game on a pair of kills from Alexa Aumann and after gaining a sideout on a block by Hannah Meverden, Marshfield ripped off five more points in a row to take the lead.
Everest tied the game twice before Marshfield scored three of the final four points to win the game and even up the match.
In Game 5 Meverden and Aumann each had two kills to push the Tigers out to a 10-4 lead, and Marshfield controlled the game throughout to finish off the victory.
Rhodes had 17 kills, Meverden added 11 kills and six blocks, Sara Dasler had 25 digs and four service aces, and Anna Ripp had 42 assists for the Tigers.
“When we are passing that ball, we have to get that ball down. We cannot give them (Everest) the opportunity to run their offense,” Sadowska said. “Especially in that fifth game, we were doing that a lot better.”
Sadowska said she thinks the victory will give the Tigers a leg up on a No. 1 seed in the WIAA playoffs, which begin with regionals next week.
“Hopefully this is going to push us to a No. 1 seed, but you never know how they are going to vote on the other half of the sectional,” Sadowska said. “Eau Claire Memorial is undefeated in their conference, so we’ll have to see how that goes.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)