Bluejay spikers rock Mosinee Quad
Just because the 2019 Bluejay varsity volleyball squad is sporting some new faces this season, certainly doesn’t mean they are short on talent. If there were any doubts of that fact, the ladies certainly sent a crystal clear message to clear the air following last week’s Mosinee Quadrangular meet.
The Jays not only swept all three of their opponents last Tuesday, but did so in decisive fashion; emerging from the Mosinee High School Fieldhouse with a near flawless 6-1 record on the day.
The ladies came out firing on all cylinders in their first go-round of the day, facing Altoona.
Despite facing a scrappy Mountain Lion squad, Merrill would pull-off the first set 25-16. Following a second-set shootout, the Jays slipped away with the 25-23 win to secure the set.
The ladies’ only picked up steam from there, throttling Markesan in their first set (35-9) and following up with a knockout 25-13 blow in the second set.
The last bout of the day not only pitted Merrill (4-0) versus host Mosinee (4-0), but showcased a rematch from the 2018 WIAA Regional Finals. During that contest last October, the Indians and Bluejays were locked at 2-2 heading into a fifth-set tie breaker. Mosinee would go on to claim the 15-9 win and seal Merill’s post-season fate, on their home court at the MHS Field House.
Ten months later, it was the Bluejays to draw first blood Tuesday evening, outscoring the the Indians 25-16 in the first set . Mosinee answered with a 25-16 set of their own to tie the game up, but it would be Merrill to ultimately close out the bout, and exact a bit of retribution in the process, with a decisive 15-9 win.
“Tonight was an example of volleyball at its finest,” comments sixth-year head coach Kris Krug.
“In our last game of the night with Mosinee we came out and won by 9 in the first set and they beat us by 9 in the second. But that last set…we dominated. We beat them handily, but most of all, I’m proud of how the girls played. We had girls in and out of the game all day, but they still played with consistency. There’s always room for improvement, but overall I’m very happy with our performance tonight!”
The supercharged Bluejay offense was fueled by senior middle hitter Reese Mrachek (team high 13 kills); senior Setter Ellie Hartson (12 kills); senior Outside Hitter Eve Akey (11 kills) and junior Setter Kelly Page (10 kills).
Defensively, junior Libero Rachel Travis enjoyed a stellar performance on the day, turning out 23 digs. Hartson proved a formidable force at the next with a team high 5 blocks (2 solo and 3 assists).