The Marshfield volleyball team has gone 15-1 since mid-September
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield volleyball coach Dawn Sadowska can pinpoint the Tigers’ recent success back to the middle of September.
After a 3-1 loss at D.C. Everest on Sept. 10, the Tigers dropped to 0-2 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, and their season seemed like it could go either way.
The next week setter Anna Ripp and front row player Ema Fehrenbach returned to the lineup after recovering from injuries, and the Tigers’ season took off.
Heading into Thursday’s match against Wausau East, Marshfield has gone 15-1 overall and a perfect 9-0 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference since Ripp and Fehrenbach came back. The team’s only loss was to Oshkosh Lourdes at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational on Sept. 26.
Following a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Everest on Tuesday night, the Tigers feel like they are unbeatable.
“We haven’t had to have different people in the back row, so these kids are really used to playing next to each other,” Sadowska said. “Having Anna as that one setter, that is so awesome for our hitters because they have that same person getting them the ball.”
The 6-foot Ripp lends her hands to blocking on the front row as well as emerging as the Tigers’ lone setter as she stays on the floor throughout the match.
“Every match I see her doing things that she wasn’t doing before,” Sadowska said of Ripp, a junior. “Her blocking is huge for us with her height, and being able to draw the block where she jump sets, that’s huge for us as well.”
With Alexa Aumann, Stephanie Rhodes, and Hannah Meverden helping Fehrenbach on the front row and Jenny Scheppler and returning all-conference standout Sara Dasler providing solid play in the back, the Tigers are rolling full steam ahead into the postseason.
Sadowska said she thinks the win over Everest on Tuesday pushes the Tigers into the No. 1 seed in their sectional. Pairings will be announced this weekend by the WIAA, and Division 1 regionals will kick off semifinals on Thursday, Oct. 22. A No. 1 seed would give Marshfield a bye and a home match in the regional final on Saturday, Oct. 24.
“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.
“(Everest coach) Rita Jasurda and I both feel like we should be the No. 1 and 2, and we could see each other in the sectional final.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)