Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Girls VB Leads Classic 8

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

PREP GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

CMH 3
Mukwonago 0


Crusaders take control of league race
Alberti makes difference in battle of league unbeatens
By Jeff Hagenau, Freeman Correspondent 








MUKWONAGO – Lauren Alberti was the enforcer.


Alberti, a 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter, had a team-high 11 kills and 23 digs to spark the Catholic Memorial High School girls volleyball team as it swept Mukwonago 25-21, 26-24, 25-17 in a fast-paced Classic 8 Conference dual meet Tuesday.


The Crusaders, who moved into sole possession of first place in the league standings, improved to 6-0 in conference and 19-16 overall. Mukwonago fell to 5-1 in conference.


Trailing 23-20 in the pivotal second game, Memorial responded with a 6-1 run.


Alberti, positioned on the left side of the net, helped fuel the comeback with a fierce cross-court spike toward the right corner to tie the game 23-23.


“This was a very important match so it
 was great to see everyone step up to the challenge,” said Alberti, who shares cocaptain duties with senior middle hitter/ libero Marisa Ulrich. “At the end of the second game, we really tried to stay focused and refused to let the scoreboard faze us in any way. We were able to stay disciplined, play good defense and come away with some huge points to finish on strong note.”

Ulrich played a key role in the team’s success during the second and third games by contributing six digs.


“We’ve had a knack for coming back this season,” Ulrich said. “Having competed in some tough tournaments throughout the year, we’ve really developed a good drive for working through the pressure and coming back. When push comes to shove, everyone has shown the ability to step up, respond to the adversity and overcome the situation.
 


“From start to finish, we were pumped up and ready to get going. It was just exciting to come on the road, play well in front of the large crowd and come away with the victory. ” Senior middle hitter Madeline Davis contributed five kills and five blocks for the Crusaders, who captured the Classic 8 Tournament title last year.

“We played with a lot of energy and managed to match their intensity,” said Davis, one of five seniors on the balanced Memorial roster. “Throughout the evening, we came together as a team and answered every time they would go on a run to build some momentum. With first place on the line, it was exciting to come into their gym and walk away with a big sweep.”


Memorial veteran coach Ted Schulte was encouraged by the way his team responded after falling behind in the second game, crediting a defensive switch as being a catalyst to success.


“My assistant coaches (Lori Gamalski, Katie Fitzgerald and Lisa Gamalski) suggested switching to more of a rotation defense and it paid huge dividends in the second game,” said Schulte, who guided the Crusaders to a WIAA Division 2 state championship in 2011. “That allowed us to
 get our cross-court diggers further from the net and closer to the sideline. In turn, it prevented them from scoring and created some good opportunities for us to score in transition.

“There was some pressure coming in tied for first but the kids just showed a lot of maturity, made progress and took another good step
 forward tonight.”

Junior outside hitter Kelly-Anne Murphy had a team-high 10 kills and 20 digs for Mukwonago, which dropped to 27-5 overall. Junior outside hitter Laney Lovell collected eight kills, senior setter Jordyn Koehn had 16 assists and junior libero Andrea Bauer added 24 digs for the Indians.


“We just lost the momentum at the end of the second game,” Mukwonago veteran coach Mary Pocius said. “Up until that point, we felt we were still in it and did a great job of sustaining a lot of long, exciting points. Unfortunately, we couldn’t block them up front and couldn’t stop their big hitters from taking control.”




Photo credits: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman 

Top - Catholic Memorial players react to scoring the winning point against Mukwonago in the first game of a Classic 8 Conference volleyball match Tuesday. Pictured from left are freshmen Kathryn Christian; junior Hayley Levenhagen and seniors Lauren Alberti and Madeline Davis.

Bottom - Catholic Memorial senior Madeline Davis, No. 5, sends a kill over the net between Mukwonago junior Laney Lovell and senior Ellie Michalski, No. 13, in the first game Tuesday.

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