Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pretty good for "re-building"

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

PREP GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

CMH 3
Arrowhead 0 


Freshman all over the court
Rondeau ‘a free spirit out there’
By James R. Hoffman - Freeman Correspondent 

WAUKESHA – Maddy Rondeau plays in three dimensions. 

The 5-foot-8 Catholic Memorial freshman setter/ outside hitter served, slid, set, jumped, hit and dug all over the court, helping lead her high school girls volleyball team to a 25-8, 2516, 25-19 Classic 8 Conference victory over Arrowhead. 

“(Rondeau) is a phenomenal athlete, and we were asking her to do a ton of different things,” Memorial coach Ted Schulte said. “We’re asking her to hit and set – she hits three rotations, sets three rotations – jump serves, attacks aggressively, she’s got amazing speed. I’m not putting brakes on her, I’m just turning her loose.” 

Rondeau sets comfortably in the middle and flies high on the outside. She can play high up the net, getting to balls early and speeding up play. She also can play low, digging well from the back line. Rondeau also, on several occasions, slid on her knees to set a ball only a few feet off the ground, placing near-perfect sets for her hitters. 

“I like to use my hands (as opposed to passing with her forearms), so it’s necessary (to slide),” Rondeau said. “If I use my hands, I can place the ball better.” 

Rondeau had never set before this year, but she led her team with 16 assists. 

It also helps to have good outside hitters on either side of her. Senior Lauren Alberti led her team with 11 kills, most from the left side, while junior Lexie Calloway and freshman Alexis Alden finished with seven each, mostly from the right and middle. 

“They’re really consistent, and I know if I’m in trouble, I can set it and they can put it away,” Rondeau said. 

“I’m getting used to it. I like it a lot,” Rondeau said of her new position. “You control the game. You know who you’re setting to, and you place the ball to where you think you can get the point.” 

That sort of confidence is good, but it did lead to a few errors, including one where she slid on her knees for a set but went too far under the net. If that’s cause for concern, Schulte isn’t buying it.   “She’s a free spirit out there,” he said. “She gets there, she gets her feet planted and she throws a back set 25 feet, and it’s there. The trick will be getting our hitters to expect that ball because you don’t see a lot of setters who would do that.” 

Arrowhead head coach Sherry Moseler was disappointed in her team’s lack of offense. 

“In Game 3 we started delivering better, and then they weren’t able to set up those attacks,” Moseler said. “That plays a lot into it.” In the third game, 
Arrowhead’s offense was much stronger and forced Memorial into some tough spots. After being blown out in the first two games, Arrowhead was in it until the very end of the third.

But Memorial put the game away, leading 22-19, with two kills by Alberti down the left side. One was particularly nice after Rondeau reached for a tough dig that sailed toward Memorial’s back line. Freshman libero Kathryn Christian found it and floated a pass over Alberti’s back toward the net where Alberti met it at its highest point and slammed the final point down on the left sideline.   Arrowhead has only two seniors, and Moseler is trying out multiple formations to find the best match. “We had girls playing in positions they hadn’t previous to yesterday, so kind of trying to iron it out,” Moseler said. Junior outside hitter Jenna Stefan led Arrowhead with five kills and six digs, and sophomore setter Madison Dettmann led with 10 assists. Alberti led Memorial with 13 digs and Christian finished with 10. Alden had five aces. Memorial improved to 2-0 in the Classic 8, and Arrowhead fell to 1-1.



Photo credits: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman
Top - Catholic Memorial junior Lexie Calloway sends a kill over the net in the first game against Arrowhead on Tuesday.
Bottom - Catholic Memorial freshman Alexis Alden serves the ball to Arrowhead on Tuesday.

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