Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Young Girls VB Team Comes on Strong

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Muskego 0

Crusaders picking up momentum
Team seeks to get into state’s top tier
By Mark Hutchinson, Freeman Staff 

MUSKEGO — There was a collision of co-leaders.

And the Catholic Memorial High School girls volleyball team emerged unscathed.

The Crusaders, who started two freshmen and got substantial contributions from another, swept defending Classic 8 Conference champion Muskego 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 Tuesday in a battle between 4-0 Classic 8 Conference rivals.

The victory represented a breakthrough for the young Crusaders.

“I thought our team was better than what we’ve been playing all year long,” CMH coach Ted Schulte said. “It was just a question of if and when. We just hoped our talent level would start seeping to the top. We’d been kind of stuck in this good-butnot- great level.

“The girls came in with a great deal of focus and executed really well and were creative. They played really well.”

CMH seniors Maddy Davis and Lauren Alberti were members of the team that lost to Muskego last season in the teams’ first meeting as conference rivals, but the Crusaders didn’t dwell on that match in preparation for the rematch.

“We didn’t worry about last year,”
 said Davis, who led CMH with three blocks and had several powerful kills. “We just prepared. We based things on our blocking. We’ve moved on from that and worked really hard in practice.” 

Alberti, who transferred from Muskego to CMH for her sophomore year, agreed.

“We mainly focused on how to prepare ourselves technically,” said Alberti, who had team highs of 10 kills and four aces. “We wanted to take care of business.”

Muskego, which started five players ranging from 5 foot-10 to 6-3, utilized its height advantage to built a 9-8 lead in the first game, but CMH rallied behind an ace from junior Hayley Levenhagen and two by freshman Lexi Alden and went ahead 17-12 during a threepoint service run by Alden.

The Crusaders, who got another ace from Levenhagen, never trailed again in Game 1.

“Muskego has a phenomenal setter in (junior) Morgan Kath,” Schulte said. “The first thing we talked about in our game plan was we had to serve particularly tough to try to negate the quality of their setter. We did that.

“We did not let them get into a rhythm because we served very tough all night long. They weren’t able to generate an in-system offense and get the big swing on a regular basis.”

The Crusaders led throughout the second game, riding some powerful hits from Alberti, Davis and Alden.

“We totally came together as a team right off the start,” Alberti said. “It was
 important for our younger players to have success early. Once we did that, we just had to keep on going.”

CMH took command of Game 3 from the start and got five-point service runs from senior Marisa Ulrich and Alberti to close out the Warriors.

“This win was huge,” Davis said. “We’re trying to be conference champions. This was a big match to win for us.”

Alberti realized the significance of the victory.

“Muskego has such great height and they’re really good all-around,” Alberti said. “This win was huge. We’ve been working very, very hard for this.”

Freshman libero Kat Christian led the Crusaders with 14 digs. Levenhagen added a team-best 13 assists.

Schulte hopes the victory serves as a springboard for his team.

“We’ve kind of been stuck in that second tier of teams in Wisconsin,” Schulte said. “Muskego had established itself as one of the top teams, making the finals of a couple tournaments, and has finished well ahead of us in common tournaments.

“So this is a quality win. I’ve believed all along that we belong in that top tier, so hopefully the girls have a greater sense of confidence now. They should.”

Muskego got six kills and two blocks from senior Jordan Wachowiak, 16 digs from Fugarino, 20 assists from Kath and two kills from freshman Brooke Gostomski.

But Warriors’ coach Karen Anderson was visibly disappointed with her team’s performance afterward.

“All I’m going to say is Catholic Memorial played very well,” Anderson said.


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