Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Girls VB stay atop the 8

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Wauk. West 0

Crusaders savor title
CMH finishes unbeaten in Classic 8
By Tony Mooren, Freeman Correspondent 

WAUKESHA – The Classic 8 Conference girls volleyball championship is Catholic Memorial’s once again.

After finishing second behind Muskego last season, the Crusaders finished an unbeaten conference season with a tough 25-18, 26-24, 27-25 victory over Waukesha West High School on Tuesday.

“This is everything,” Memorial senior Lauren Alberti said. “It’s my senior year and you want to be conference champion.”

Alberti certainly did her part, leading the Crusaders in kills (12), but she had plenty of help. Junior Lexie Calloway added 10 kills and a team-high 14 digs, while junior Hayley Levenhagen and freshman Maddy Rondeau had 17 and 13 assists, respectively.

“Winning the league championship is not something we thought we could do at the beginning of the year, but this symbolizes our growth throughout the year,”

Memorial coach Ted Schulte said. “Championships are not easy to come by.”

Just beating West wasn’t exactly an easy thing either, as the teams were deadlocked at 24-24 and 25-25 in the final two games. An Alberti kill and West error gave Memorial the decisive points in both games.

“We made some errors at critical moments – times when we were dominating and had momentum,” West coach Nicole Land said. “I was pretty happy the way we played games two and three. We saw things being executed that we wanted to have executed. We’re very young and have struggled on the court believing in each other and in the team. But I saw believe at the end of game two, which is why the third game went the way it did.”

Memorial didn’t trail in the first game and fell behind only three times in the second game – by a single point on all three occasions: 2-1, 10-9 and 12-11 – but West grabbed the lead six times in the final game with the final time at 22-21.

That’s when another of Memorial’s five seniors who started on Senior Night, Danella Uzelac, had two straight kills to help propel Memorial to a 24-22 lead. Errors and a kill by West senior Erin Syversen got the game to 25-25 before Memorial finally prevailed.

Syversen finished with 10 kills, 17 digs, four blocks and four aces, while sophomore Taylor Kelenic led the team with 16 assists.

“We can walk away with a lot to be proud about,” Land said.

Alberti admitted that she was concerned when the games got close, but said, “You just can’t let it show. West came out and played really good defense and we just had to keep our composure and do what we had to do, mainly stay mentally strong.”

Calloway agreed that Memorial had some “rough spots” but said, “Compared to the beginning of the season, we’re playing a lot more as a team, which helps us stay strong mentally and support each other.”

Schulte said his team played “really tight,” but added, “Our outside hitters (Alberti and Calloway) played very well and we played well enough to hang in there. Then we made just enough plays to win those last two games.”

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