Bluejay spikers close out runner-up finish in Valley

The Bluejay girls gave themselves a shot of at least a share of the Valley title by closing out Wausau West in five games last Tuesday, but Wausau East held them off with its own 5-set win over West on Thursday, after a tight 3-0 victory over Marshfield on Tuesday.

“How do we feel about getting second?” MHS coach Steph Nelson asked. “Not too bad; we were slated to get 4th in pre-season polls, so I know the girls are happy to have shown everyone who doubted us that they are capable of more.

“East is good, our two showings against them weren’t even close to our best games, so I think it’s a little disappointing knowing that if we could have played our game against them then we maybe could have bare minimum shared the title with them. They showed up to play on those days, we didn’t, so they deserve to get the title.”

The Jays survived a 28-26, 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-5 see-saw with the Warriors on Tuesday.

“We had our ups and downs this match, but in the end they found the drive and desire to put the match away,” Nelson said. “Our passing has been great lately, so our offense has had great opportunities to put the ball away. Our serving was a little troublesome, but somehow the girls stayed positive and made up for it with great hustle and good decision-making.”

Pacing the Bluejays were: Jess Sabey (25 k, 8 d); Lindsay Krueger (7 k, 21 as, 15 d); Brittany Grosskurth (24 as, 7 d); Kaylin Byer (31 as); Renee Sladek (10 k, 5 d, 3 bl); Sam Hojan (9 k, 4 bl); Brianna Piepenbrok (4 k, 4 as, 5 d); Andi English (3 k, 3 as, 3 d, 2 bl); Jenna Zamzow (6 d).

T-Bird experimentation

Merrill pulled a sweep at Lakeland on Thursday behind 25-12, 25-17 and 25-19 sets.

“We played okay; tonight was a night that we wanted to work on running different offenses, try different rotations, and work on perfecting our serves,” Nelson said. “The girls worked on what they needed to and came out with a win, so I’m happy with that.”

Propelling MHS to victory were: Sabey (9 k, 4 ac, 4 d); English (7 k, 5 as, 4 d); Krueger (11 as, 7 d); Grosskurth (13 as, 3 d); Byer (12 d); Sladek (7 k); Piepenbrok (3 k, 4 d); Aubrey Wardall (6 k); Rachel Mueller (3 k, 3 d); Reegan Byer (5 as); Zamzow (3 d).

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