Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boys Volleyball Serve Up a Rout

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

Prep Boys Volleyball

Madison East 0

Crusaders serve up a rout
Casper goes on 18-point service run
By Tony Mooren Freeman Correspondent

WAUKESHA – The Classic 8 Conference champion and No. 1-ranked Catholic Memorial High School boys volleyball team already has served notice that it’s pretty good. The Crusaders emphatically reinforced that notion Tuesday with a 25-8, 25-3, 25-8 dismantling of Madison East in a WIAA sectional semifinal match that was highlighted by a stunning secondgame 18-point service run by senior libero Dan Casper.

His serving – 29 points on five serves, including the final points in Games 1 and 3 – and the fact that Madison East was able to score a scant two points on 18 serves really zeroed the focus in on serving. “They’re No. 1 for a reason. They’re obviously a little better – a lot better – and serving was a big issue,” East coach Tyler Cleveland said.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Memorial coach Mike Hanneman when apprised of the fact that the Purgolders scored just two points off their serves. “We work on our passing all year and that’s obviously passing, but that doesn’t seem like a lot (of points). Our guys obviously did what they had to do. We tried to serve tough, too, so they couldn’t use their good hitters. We served the ball in gaps that we noticed and that caused some problems for them.” It also caused Casper some phantom pain.

“It’s a little sore,” he said in jest of his right arm after all of his service points. “I haven’t had anything like that in a long time. Everyone has a run like that in grade school, but not here. I’m really surprised because usually I jump serve but I hurt my leg a little and didn’t want to tweak anything.” Uh, perhaps a change to the soft baby jump that he used Tuesday will be in order?
“I might have to talk to the coach about that,” Casper said. Hanneman already was talking about Casper’s serving, noting, “I’ve never seen that before (18 straight points). It was just good serving.” Junior outside hitter Trevor Novotny was impressed as well. “That was pretty good,” he said. “He was placing the ball really well.” Casper had six unreturnable serves in the run.

Leading 4-1 in the first game, Casper showed a glimpse of things to come when he served eight straight points for a 12-1 lead. And with East able to score just one point off its serves in seven tries, Memorial cruised with Novotny scoring seven points and sophomore middle blocker Eric Schmitz scoring five points.

Casper’s huge run in the second game gave the Crusaders, now 35-3 overall, a 19-0 lead with Novotny (six points) and Schmitz (four points) again leading the way. Novotny finished with a team-best 10 kills while Schmitz had six blocks, Casper led in aces (six) and digs (eight) and junior setter Tim Heyrman had 27 assists. “It was all right but I’ve got to limit some of my errors,” said the hard-hitting Novotny. “We didn’t expect anything to be easy, so we just went out there and played.”

But it turned out to be easy against East, which finished 9-13. “We played Madison East earlier in the season and we had fairly similar scores, but they were without two of their top players so I was very surprised,” Hanneman said. “Getting to a sectional final means a lot. I’m looking forward to it.”

Memorial, which won the state title in 2000 and made it to the state championship game in 2007, will try to make its first return to the state tournament since then in the sectional final Thursday at Memorial. Kettle Moraine knocked the Crusaders out of tournament play in each of the last two seasons, and the Lasers will get a chance to do it again Thursday after upsetting Waukesha West 25-23, 26-24, 25-23.

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