Dons play Newman Catholic in sectional semifinal Oct. 26
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic volleyball team is moving on to sectionals for the second-straight year after a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Rib Lake in a WIAA Division 4 regional final Saturday night at Columbus Catholic High School.
The Dons won 25-14, 25-18, 13-25, 25-20 to claim the regional title for the second year in a row.
Columbus moves on to a Division 4 sectional semifinal against four-time defending state champion Wausau Newman Catholic on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Wisconsin Rapids Assumption. Florence and Lena play in the other sectional semifinal with the winners moving on to the sectional final Oct. 28 at Bowler.
“It’s really fun with our five hitters,” Columbus Catholic coach Kat Egle said. “They were all off in Game 3 but really all on in 1, 2, and 4. We don’t have a big thumper, but they all thump it pretty well.”
The first two games were nearly identical as the Dons were able to pull away midway through.
Up 10-9 in the first set, Columbus earned a sideout, and Katie Hall served six points in a row to put the Dons in control at 16-9. Kate Turchi had two aces, and Kenzie Hansen had a kill to help close out the 25-14 win.
Rib Lake led 8-7 in the second set before the Dons pulled ahead for good with a 6-0 run, five on the serve of Hansen.
Three kills from Hall and a pair from Hansen pushed Columbus to the 25-18 win.
Just like that, however, Rib Lake turned the switch and dominated Game 3. The Redmen raced out to an 8-2 lead and never looked back as Katie Cardey had 11 kills in Rib Lake’s 25-13 win.
Columbus got back on track midway through the fourth set. Rib Lake led 13-11 before a kill by Jessica Jakopin earned a sideout. Libero Annie Baierl then served six points in a row, which included four aces, to give the Dons a 18-13 lead.
Rib Lake pulled to within 22-20 late, but the Dons were able to close out the match.
“We were really focused in that fourth game on (Cardey) and trying to get the block up on her,” Egle said. “She was just phenomenal. Our focus was on her, stay positive and not get down, and it was really exciting that fourth game to come back.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)