Friday, October 31, 2014

Girls Volleyball - Crusaders down the Trojans

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial players celebrate a game victory 
during their match against East Troy Thursday evening.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff 

CMH back to sectional final
Crusaders play KML on Saturday

East Troy 1 

By Tom Badger, 
Freeman Correspondent 

WAUKESHA — Two out of three isn’t bad, but three out of four is so much better.

That’s how the Catholic Memorial High School girls volleyball team felt Thursday after knocking off rival East Troy in the WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal at CMH.

By winning three out of four sets, 18-25, 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19, Memorial has won two of its last three matches with East Troy, its peer and rival in the girls volleyball circuit.

More importantly, the Crusaders advanced to the sectional final against Kettle Moraine Lutheran at 7 p.m. Saturday at East Troy.

“East Troy is a disciplined team with an exceptional player, who carries a huge load for them,” Memorial coach Ted Schulte said. “Our team, honestly, is not quite as disciplined, but we have such a brunt of attack.

We score on the right side, we score on the left side and we score in the middle. It was a classic matchup. Tonight, we were the better team — by a narrow margin — but the better team.”

Not in the first set, however, as the Trojans pulled away at the end with a 7-3 run.

Senior Lexie Calloway kept CMH close with five kills before East Troy rallied with power points by juniors M.E. Dodge and Katrina Santos.

Memorial’s top outside hitter, sophomore Alexis Alden, got off to a slow start. As it turned out, she had a pretty good reason.

“I was definitely struggling early because I was too excited and my nerves got the best of me, almost,” Alden said. “I just needed to calm down. Also, my hand is broken and that was a factor. At first, I wasn’t sure how hard to push it.”

After losing the first set, Memorial rallied in the second behind two quick set kills in the middle by sophomore Ivey Whalen. The second one gave CMH a 10-7 lead and a spark.

“When our setters and middles connect, it seems as if the whole team gets fired up,” Whalen said. “Better yet, it earns us important points up front at the net.”

The Crusaders opened up a 17-8 lead with seven straight before East Troy chipped away and eventually cut the lead to 22-20. After a Trojan kill went long, CMH was whistled for a line violation.

Ahead 23-21, Calloway’s tip shot over the blockers found the floor and Whalen’s block on Dodge’s kill try gave the Crusaders the second set, 25-21.

Between sets, Calloway received a loud rendition of “Happy Birthday” from her team student section.

Again in the third set, two quick set kills by Whalen — from sophomore setter
 Maddy Rondeau — helped the Crusaders gain a 14-10 lead.

East Troy chipped away again and even took a 16-15 lead.

With Rondeau serving, Memorial regained the lead 20-16 only to see the Trojans pull to within 22-20. Down the stretch, Calloway scored twice with kills off East Troy defenders to win 25-21.

Alden came on strong with three monster kills in the third that helped CMH to a 13-5 lead, a lead that grew to 18-12 and 20-13 with a key block by CMH junior Alexandra Morrison.

East Troy fought back to cut the led to 22-19.

“I was very pleased with the lead, but then we let them whittle away a little bit,” Schulte said. “We couldn’t for a minute think that the match
 is over. We didn’t want them to figure out a way to win this game. Who knows what would have happened in a fifth game.”

Two serving faults by East Troy got the score to 24-19 and Calloway’s serve on match point was non-returnable.

“(CMH) gave me the best birthday present that they could have possibly given me,” said Calloway, who led her team with 16 kills on her 18th birthday. “I wouldn’t have wanted anything else. I’m overwhelmed right now.”

Dodge led East Troy with 25 kills while Alden finished with 11 kills for Memorial and Whalen had seven. Rondeau led CMH with 20 assists and senior Hayley Levenhagen added 19 assists. Junior Tori North came up with 23 digs for CMH.

 Catholic Memorial sophomore Alexis Alden hits the ball 
past East Troy junior Chloe Jakscht during a game 
Thursday night at Catholic Memorial.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff 

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