Merrill volleyball advances to regional finals
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Thursday night the Merrill volleyball team hosted Northland Pines for the regional finals. The Jays took care of business and topped the Eagles in four sets, on their way to another regional finals appearance.
“Northland Pines came in ready to play,” said Merrill head coach Kris Krug. “They came in from sweeping Antigo on Tuesday and they were up for the challenge. Our whole defense was to shut down Jaqueline Smith who leads the team in serve aces, kills, blocks, and digs.”
Merrill would dominate the first set, beating Northland Pines 25-14. The second set was more competitive, however the Jays still came out on top with a 25-22 win. The Eagles would take the third set from Merrill, topping them 25-19, however the Jays would bounce back and win the fourth set by a score of 25-14.
“Our hitters had a big night.” adds coach Krug. “Kaylee Bowe put up some good numbers with 10 kills and Megan Schroder couldn’t be stopped. It was exactly what we needed from our big hitters. Our blocking needs improvement when we are up against Mosinee on Saturday. I expect the Mosinee match to be an evenly matched competition.”
The Merrill attack was led by Megan Schroder who tallied 18 kills in the game. Elizabeth Iribarren would total 11 kills and Kaylee Bowe had 10.
The Jays served the ball well, with four girls over 90% serving for the game. Ellie Hartson led the team with 100% serving on 12 attempts and two aces. Bowe served 94% in 17 serves and had two aces, Rachel Travis served 93% in 15 tries with one ace and Kelly Page served 91% on 12 serves.
Merrill will host Mosinee on Saturday night for the regional finals, starting at 7 p.m.