The JV netters went for the gold but fell short at the Bowler tournament Saturday, Sept. 25.
The Wolves faced the Tigerton Tigers in the first match. Tigerton got the lead in the first set and Manawa had to battle back. Wendy Kons helped bring the Wolves back into the game from the service line. Great defense and hustle by Nicki Cady and Torrie Dean stopped the Tigers from scoring. Offensive attacks from Olivia Levezow gave Manawa the lead and the win. In set two, it was the Wolves who got ahead on the scoreboard. Manawa had good serves from Kim Retzke and Jennifer Spick to keep them on top. Tigerton made a run on the Wolves, but middle hitters Ansley Block and Paige Schernecker played smart offensively from the front line, smashing the ball to the floor. Manawa came away as the set and match winner, 25-21, 25-20.
Manawa faced the Bonduel Bears next. Kons had several aces from the service line to give Manawa the lead in set one. The Bears made a run, but aggressive front row playing from Block and Retzke stopped the Bonduel hitters from scoring. Manawa’s libero, Dean, dug up the ball on several Bears’ attacks and ensured a Manawa victory in set one. The Wolves started out slow in set two, but were soon sparked by a back row attack from Cady. Manawa took the lead when Levezow was at the service line. She served five aces to give her team the lead. Hits from Schernecker and tips from Spick found open floor and the Wolves had another tally mark in their win column, 25-12, 25-18.
Manawa’s final opponent in pool play was Menominee B. The Eagles had a difficult time returning serves from Levezow, Retzke and Spick in set one. The three servers collaborated for 10 of the Wolves’ 25 points. Manawa’s defensive specialist, Dean, covered the court well. Manawa handed Menominee B a loss for the first set. With Block at the service line in set two, Manawa acquired the lead. While at the net, Schernecker used great sets from Kons to push Manawa ahead even farther. The Eagles tried to score, but Cady hustled and prevented their attacks from hitting the floor. Manawa defeated Menominee B in set two for the match win, 25-5, 25-15.
With a 3-0 record in their pool, the JV squad started bracket play against the second place team in the other pool, Menominee A. The Wolves played the Eagles in one set to 25, so they had to go out strong right away. Menominee A had the lead after one complete rotation, but serves from Spick and excellent defense by Dean brought the two teams even. Huge hits from Schernecker and serving by Kons gave the Wolves the lead for the first time. It was then a see-saw battle as each team tried to finish the game. Manawa struggled getting their serves over the net in the end and eventually lost 27-29 to the Eagles.
Manawa then played the Tigerton Tigers in one set to 25, with the winner bringing home the third place plaque. Once again, the Wolves knew they had to start out strong. Block and Retzke came out swinging hard at the ball and Tigerton had a difficult time defending the hits. Attacks from the Tigers’ were dug up by Cady to give the Wolves the lead. Two ace serves from Levezow awarded Manawa the 25-18 win and the plaque.
The JV team played their last home volleyball match when they hosted the Wittenberg-Birnamwood Chargers Tuesday, Sept. 28. It was homecoming week in Manawa and the Lady Wolves had to put all of their homecoming festivities on the back burner in order to prepare for their match.
In set one, the two teams kept the game close. Defensive digs by Lexie Sell and Jennifer Spick prevented the Chargers from getting the lead. Olivia Levezow dominated the net for the Wolves as she smashed the ball into Charger territory. Manawa eventually took the lead, but could not hold onto it. Missed serves plagued the Wolves and helped give Wittenberg-Birnamwood the 25-27 win.
Manawa went out strong at the start of set two. Again, poor serving from the Wolves helped keep the Chargers in the game. Front row kills from Ansley Block and Kim Retzke pulled Manawa ahead, but Wittenberg-Birnamwood charged back. Torrie Dean led the defensive battle for the Wolves as she covered the court well. Manawa came out on top 25-23.
Set three would determine the winner of the match and Manawa knew it was going to be another tough set. While receiving serves, Nicki Cady had good passes to the Wolves’ setter. Aggressive front row playing by Paige Schernecker kept the Wolves in the game. Wendy Kons played well from both the front and back rows, hustling after the ball. After one complete rotation, the Chargers seemed to pick up their momentum, while the Wolves appeared to be drained. Wittenberg-Birnamwood defeated Manawa 19-25 in set three for the match win.