Volleyball teams excel in weekend tourneys

By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

The Cedar Grove-Belgium High School volleyball team is becoming a weekend warrior.

The Rockets last Saturday bounced back from a rough conference loss days before to win the round-robin Lomira tournament.

It came two days after the team hit in the negative — more errors than kills — in being swept at Oostburg, 25-20, 25-14, 25-11.

“That’s the neat thing about this team. We’ve had some hard lessons in conference play, but they bounce back,” coach Sharon Stellwagen said.

“Other teams go, ‘Woe is me.’ They look at what happened and learn from it.”

The Rockets beat Horicon, 25-21, 25-23; Random Lake, 25-18, 25-18; and Hustisford, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13.

After losing the first set to Hustisford, Stellwagen reminded her players they only played five total games.

“I said, ‘We can do this,’” she said. “They really pulled it together.”

After lunch, they knocked off Lomira, 25-9, 25-17.

“They were just so excited. I never heard of them in the past winning a tournament. This is a big step forward,” Stellwagen said.

Although stats for all matches weren’t available, senior Alexis Bahr and junior Tara Schmitz were among the team’s leaders in kills. Payton Dodson had at least 46 assists. Olivia Bahr had at least 20 digs, and Dodson had at least 19.

“They gelled together, and it was neat to see,” Stellwagen said.

The Rockets, 0-2 in the Big East Conference, hosted Sheboygan Lutheran on Tuesday, Sept. 20, play at Random Lake on Thursday, Sept. 22 and host three-time defending state champion Howards Grove on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Grafton takes second in home tourney

Grafton advanced to the final of its invite on Saturday by sweeping its first three opponents.

The Hawks beat St. Francis, 25-11, 25-12; Two Rivers, 25-15, 25-23; and Sheboygan Falls, 25-16, 25-14.

In the final, they lost to New Berlin Eisenhower, 15-25, 25-19, 15-5.

“The girls played some really good volleyball. We played a really good match against New Berlin Eisenhower and came up a little short,” coach Chad Tuszkiewicz said.

In the final, junior Ella Johnston-Fodor had nine kills, and senior Leah Maciejewski had six. Anna Holzer had four.

Grace Viesselmann had 17 digs and Maciejewski had 10.

Sophomore Kaitlin Muecke had 20 assists.

Tuszkiewicz said tournaments give his team a chance to grow.

“They’re getting to see a different variety of how teams play,” Tuskiewicz said.

“These girls are young, and they need to experience it more. I can see every day at practice that they’re picking up the game a little more,” he said.

“The girls are starting to learn not just the game but how to play with each other. They haven’t had much time on the court with each other.”

Tuszkiewicz said moving Viesselmann to libero has given the team a boost.

“Grace has been absolutely controlling our back for us. She’s passing well, she’s putting us into positions to keep our team going. She’s playing defense and does really well serving,” he said.

Johnston-Fodor has “been developing different shots in her game rather than just being a power outside hitter,” he said.

Maciejewski continues to be the team’s “huge vocal leader on the court in every aspect,” he said.

He also praised the play of middle hitter Kaitlin Mangan, who “has really learned how to block and how to block effectively. With her being a senior and being able to lead by example in that aspect, it’s good for us.”

The second-place finish came after being swept at Whitefish Bay, 25-22, 25-23, 25-16, on Sept. 13.

Johnston-Fodor had 10 kills, Maciejewski had five and Avery Smith had four. Viesselmann and Maciejewski each had 11 digs, and Allison Viesselmann had seven. Muecke had 19 assists.

The Hawks, 0-4 in the North Shore Conference, played West Bend East on Tuesday, Sept. 20, play at Nicolet on Thursday, Sept. 22, and at a tournament at Badger on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Port takes second at invite

Shorthanded Port Washington lost to St. Thomas More in the Wauwatosa West Invite final last Saturday.

To get there, Port beat Cudahy, 25-11, 25-6; Brookfield Academy, 27-25, 25-17; and Wauwatosa West, 26-28, 26-24, 15-10.

In the final, Port lost, 25-20, 25-18.

The Pirates lost senior setter Sydney Hoeft due to injury early on, and lost senior outside hitter Jennacy Wille to a thumb injury later in the day.

For the day, Wille had 18 kills, Elyse Karrels 16, Carolyn Lippe  15 and Rebecca Sepanic 12.5.

Moran had 73 assists, and Lippe had 54 digs.

Port was missing Hoeft at Nicolet on Sept. 13 and lost, 16-25, 13-25, 25-20, 25-18, 15-11.

Lippe had 13 kills, Karrels had 10 and Wille had eight. Wille had 11 digs, and Lippe and Ari Canseco each had 10. Moran had 40 assists.

Coach Paul Jungbauer said freshman setter Sydney Moran “filled in admirably” in her first career start and running a 5-1 offense for the first time.

Port, 2-1 in the NSC, hosted Slinger on Sept. 20, plays at Homestead on Thursday, Sept. 22, and hosts a tournament on Saturday.

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