The Lakeland volleyball team had another busy weekend of volleyball, participating in the conference tournament in Antigo on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds played three games. They lost to Mosinee 3-1 (13-25, 26-24, 15-25, 11-25), beat Rhinelander 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 25-19, 26-28, 15-13) and lost to Northland Pines 3-0 (12-25, 15-25, 12-25).
“The scores from today do not show or reflect how good of a team we are,” coach Carley Punzel said. “We had a lot of rallies between all our matches and the point just did not fall on our side.”
Abby Parris led the team with 10 digs and four aces. Camille Quade had five kills.
Coming back from a 13-25 loss and responding with a 26-24 win was the highlight of the Mosinee match.
“The game against Mosinee was an intense and competitive one. We came out a little slower than I would have wanted but the girls turned around and took the second set 26-24,” Punzel said. “Mosinee is smart offensively in the matter that they were moving our defense all around the court to pick up a ball.”
It was back-and-forth against the Hodags with two competitive games at the end. The Hodags won game four 26-28, forcing a game five. The Thunderbirds won the last game 15-13.
Ashley Marquardt led the team with 15 setting assists and three aces. Callie Ullius followed that up with nine setting assists.
“When we got into the Rhinelander game, the setters did a great job setting those that were on. They kept feeding the beast and when one was off they found the next one,” Punzel said. “Rhinelander fought really hard in all the sets against us but I am proud of my girls for coming out with a win.”
Megan Haggart had seven kills, followed by Sarah Thompson with six kills. As for digs, Parris led the team with 18, followed by Quade with 11 and Brooke Pagels with eight.
“Brooke Pagels today showed that hard work pays off and being a team player is key,” Punzel said. “She did a fantastic job coming off the bench cold and putting in such hustle to help her team play by play.”
Quade had six digs and Thompson had one solo block and four assisted blocks.
“Sarah Thompson shined in this game due to pure hustle,” Punzel said. “She completed a solo block and four assisted blocks for the team and ran down off passes to keep us in play.”
Northland Pines showed their strength as a team and beat the Thunderbirds 3-0 exactly one week after losing to them.
“With our last game against Pines I am proud of how the girls got them out of system,” Punzel said. “Pines is one of the teams that fights and hustles for the ball until the whistle blows and that showed in their win over us today.”
The big picture
It was a very competitive and long day of volleyball. These Thunderbirds will learn from this tournament, as well as move on to the next game.
“We took a win, handled our out of system plays nicely, second string players stepped up when we needed them, we had more touches on the block, and completed more blocks than ever before,” Punzel said. “The amount of potential this team has is incredible despite the score. We plan to return to the gym next week and continue to fine tune our skills.”
And sometimes, just having fun can be one of the keys to success.
“We need to focus on being more consistent during play, eliminate errors that we can control, have fun, and believe that we can be a winning team,” Punzel said.
Up next, the Thunderbirds travel to Antigo for another conference match tonight starting at 7 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]