Hatchet spikers take 13-match shut-out streak to state
The Hatchet volleyball team is absolutely rolling.
Tomahawk rocked both sectional opponents by 3-0 scores, only allowing one game by Altoona in the WIAA Durand Sectional semi-final to reach 20 points.
The girls handled Osceola 25-18, 25-19, 25-15 to set up a berth in the WIAA state meet this Friday, as one of just four D2 teams to play at the top level.
The 7th-ranked Hatchets (43-5 overall) will meet #2 Madison Edgewood (31-2) in Friday’s 4 p.m. semis, while #1 Catholic Memorial (44-4) and #9 Waupun (36-15) play at the same time. The winners will play for the title at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The THS kids clocked Altoona 25-16, 25-20, 25-13 at Medford on Thursday to reach the sectional final, after winning last week’s regional matches in straight sets.
Tomahawk hasn’t lost a game over the past 13 matches going back to 3-1 triumph over Wausau West back on Oct. 5. They are also on a 16-match winning streak going back to a 2-1 loss to Oconto Falls back on Sept. 25.
Edgewood also hasn’t lost a game in 13 matches and has won 18 consecutive matches.
“The girls should really be so proud of their effort this weekend,” THS coach Jen Pfannerstill said. “This team is definitely a team. There are so many different personalities, and so many great traits that all of the girls bring to the team. They have worked so hard to reach their goal and we are so proud of their accomplishment.”
Despite the scores, it wasn’t all wine and roses for the Hatchets.
“When we stayed aggressive we were fine, when we stopped to think about the reality of winning this match and going to State again, we got distracted and didn’t play our best,” Pfannerstill said. “That is a high pressure situation for anyone, and I’m just glad that the girls were able to pull it out in three and keep their momentum going.”
“They made it through a tough Osceola team playing some of their best volleyball, and had to play through an Osceola team who came to play without playing some of their best volleyball. To their credit, they found a way to get the kills when we needed to and stop Osceola’s momentum. We gave up some pretty big point runs basically because we weren’t passing very well, but there was just that sense of determination again and no one was willing to give up. We were down by quite a few in the second game, and after the time out the girls really responded and took control of the net again, and were aggressive.”
Keying the win were: Anna Sudbury (4 k, 10 as, 3 ac, 5 d, 3 bl); Kaylin Olson (7 k, 12 as, 7 d); Sydney Lakatos (6 k, 16 d, 2 bl); Kaitlin Doughty (9 k, 3 ac, 4 d); Jenna Otterholt (10 d); Kellan Flynn (3 d, 4 bl); Kayli Ogstad (3 k, 3 bl).
Tomahawk put it all together versus the Railroaders.
“I thought this was an excellent team effort and it was neat to watch the leadership develop on the floor and see the girls handle themselves in a loud gym, with a lot of pressure, with poise,” Pfannerstill said. “Altoona was a solid team, who made some runs, we were just able to make more runs when it counted and put a few more points together each time.
“The fan base was impressive and we are very appreciative of everyone’s support.”
Tomahawk quickly took control of Thursday’s sectional semi-final.
“The girls were very determined from the start and were able to get a quick start leading 8-1 in game 1,” Pfannerstill said. “Altoona battled back, though, and forced us to pick up our game and move our feet to the ball. After that one long run they had, we were able to limit them to only one point at a time, which was huge.
“Once we improved our serve receive, we were able to make Altoona’s blockers work all along the net and that was a big difference. Our serving also was aggressive and they were running their offense from behind the 10′ line which didn’t give them many attacking options. Our setters did an excellent job of getting the ball to the pins and our outsides really hit shots when they needed to.”
Powering the win were: Doughty (18 k, 9 d); Lakatos (10 k, 4 ac, 11 d); Sudbury (5 k, 14 as, 8 d, 6 bl); Olson (4 k, 23 as, 6 d); Oterholt (16 d); Kellan Flynn (3 k, 2 bl); Ogsdtad (5 bl).