Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crusader Girls VB mute the Warriors

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial sophomore libero Kathryn Christian
goes down for a dig against Muskego during a Classic 8 
Conference match at Memorial on Tuesday. Pat Neumuth/Freeman Staff 

Crusaders serve up league victory
Serving vital in conference comeback victory

Muskego 1 

By Pat Neumuth, 
Freeman Staff 

WAUKESHA — Hayley Levenhagen distributed the ball well to create the best possible kills for her hitters.

But what really set the tone for the Catholic Memorial High School girls volleyball team’s victory was serving.

Levenhagen, a senior setter, and sophomore Kathryn Christian were sending over hard floaters that Muskego couldn’t handle as CMH won 23-25, 25-13, 25-14, 25-20 in a Classic 8 Conference match Tuesday.

Christian led the Crusaders (26-4, 5-0) with four aces, but you don’t always need an ace to win the point. Levenhagen served up three straight points to increase CMH’s lead to 11-7 lead in the second game. Senior outside hitter Lexie Calloway rattled off four straight points while serving. With the score 16-8, Christian
 served three straight points and CMH was in the middle of a 10-3 run.

“We can be a very good serving team, and I think we served quite well tonight again,” CMH coach Ted Schulte said. “We put a lot of stress on a team with serving, and I think we were pretty well in the zone tonight.”

Christian went off from the service line in the third game as the score went from tied 2-2 to a 12-2 lead when her service ended. Muskego struggled to get up a good pass, and Muskego (19-10, 41) coach Karen Anderson even subbed to provide a boost against Christian’s knuckleball serve with pace.

“Christian’s serves were getting on people,” Schulte said. “It was very disruptive to their offense. She’s got a lot of movement on that ball, and it comes fast. It’s really nice serve.”

Anderson said her team is very streaky with serve receive and Tuesday night the Warriors were on the short end of that streak. Muskego has a three-point scale for serve receive, and it had a 1.88 against CMH. The Warriors want to be at least a 2.0 or above. 

“We didn’t execute the game very well,” Anderson said. “I don’t know (why we weren’t good at serve receive). Game 1, we played well and then we don’t. We are a group of people trying to play together and we need to do a better job of being consistent and improve their mental toughness.”

Levenhagen said serving is very important when sustaining
 a run. “Without a serve, we might get down,” she said. “With a serve, we can get a kill or just pass it and come together and keep getting the next point.”

Muskego seemed primed to send the match into a fifth game. The Warriors led most of the fourth game and led as much as 16-10, but CMH came back.

With junior outside hitter Tori North serving, the Crusaders ended the match on a 9-0 run. However, there were a few key plays unrelated to serving that kept the run alive.

“I liked the broken play where it hit the ceiling, then Lexi Alden rolled it over,” Schulte said. “They overpassed it, and Lexie Calloway had the kill. It’s one of those plays that we don’t deserve it, but since we kept the play alive it gave us a chance to win the rally.”

Sophomore middle blocker Ivey Whalen also did her part at the end with two of her team-high three blocks in the final five points to seal the victory.

“Our offense worked and our defense worked,” Levenhagen said about the final run. “We just came together as a team and rallied back at them.”

Levenhagen had 48 assists, while Calloway had 16 kills and Alden had 13 kills. Christian led the team with 21 digs. Muskego junior middle blocker Sandra Mohr led the team with 10 kills and 2 1/2 blocks.


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