The Manawa junior varsity volleyball team participated in a tournament Saturday, Oct. 9, at the the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus.
There were a total of 11 teams at the tournament. Manawa was placed in the silver bracket with De Pere East, Central Wisconsin Christian, and Marshfield high schools.
Manawa vs. De Pere
The Wolves looked rather sleepy as they stepped onto the court for set one. The girls had a difficult time getting the ball set up and defending their court. De Pere East made a run at the service line and had a lead on the Wolves. Front row attacks from Wendy Kons, Olivia Levezow and Paige Schernecker helped Manawa earn points. Torrie Dean and Kim Retzke tried to rally the girls with great defensive digs. De Pere East built an 11-point lead after one rotation and the Wolves were never able to make a comeback.
Manawa seemed to wake up just a bit as set two started. Aggressive front row defense from Ansley Block prevented De Pere East from scoring easy points. From the setting position, Lexie Sell and Jennifer Spick had good assists to their hitters. While playing in the back row, Nicki Cady hustled after the hits. Once again, De Pere East had gotten a lead and the Wolves were not able to catch them. Manawa started out the tournament with a loss, losing 12-25 and 16-25.
Manawa vs. Marshfield
In match two, the Wolves faced off against Marshfield. The girls still appeared to be rather lethargic at the start of set one. However, as the set progressed, the Wolves became very much alive. Kons and Levezow had kills, which helped Manawa acquire points. Marshfield had to try to sneak the ball past Manawa’s great back row defenders, Cady and Dean, and was often not successful. With game point on the line, Manawa seemed to run out of gas and Marshfield was able to push on for the 25-27 win.
The girls looked like a completely different team during set two. Block and Schernecker were beasts at the net defensively; challenging the hitters from Marshfield and blocking the ball right back at them. Assists from Sell and Spick were hit hard by the Manawa hitters and were not easily defended by Marshfield. The Wolves pounced on Marshfield and never let them get back into set two. Exceptional serving from Retzke in both sets gave Manawa the drive they needed to stay in the match and win 25-13.
Manawa vs. CW Christian
Manawa’s tough serving in their final bracket match was the key to their success. Kons, Schernecker, Sell and Spick each had three aces for the Wolves in their match against Central Wisconsin Christian. In set one, Dean continued her solid play in the back court, defending the Wolves’ territory. Central Wisconsin Christian could not handle the forceful hits from Manawa’s left side hitter Levezow. The Wolves came away with the win in set one.
During set two, Cady did her job in the back row and defended the court for Manawa. Destructive front row playing by Block and Retzke kept the Wolves on top and helped give Manawa the win.
The Wolves took second place in their bracket with a bracket record of 3-3.
Manawa vs. FVL
Moving on to the next round, Manawa faced Fox Valley Lutheran (FVL) in their first match. Set one proved to be a defensive game for the Wolves as the girls had to defend their court from the hitters of FVL. Dean led Manawa in digs in the first set as she hustled after each attack. The two teams stayed close throughout the entire set. Slams from Levezow and Schernecker scored points for the Wolves. Blocks by Block drove the ball back into FVL territory and stopped them from getting the lead. Spick did a great job of getting to the second hit in order to set up her teammates in the front row. Manawa only had to score one more point to win the set, but a missed serve gave the ball back to FVL and they rallied from there. The Wolves tried to stay ahead, but FVL was able to take the lead and the 28-30 win.
Manawa’s confidence seemed to grow after their loss and they went out strong in set two. Retzke worked hard both offensively and defensively for the Wolves. Sell’s intelligent defensive playing kept FVL on their toes and kept them from scoring. After one complete rotation, the score was tied at 12. Kons was able to find some open floor with her hits and Cady was able to cover the open floor for the Wolves. Fox Valley Lutheran was able to get the lead after the second complete rotation and pushed on to win the set 22-25.
Manawa vs. Oshkosh
The girls looked tired and worn-out as set one began. Manawa had a difficult time breaking the serve from Oshkosh West as numerous balls were shanked off their arms. However, hustling from Kons and Cady helped bring the ball back into play on several occasions. Front row hitting from Retzke gave the Wolves points on the scoreboard. Spick worked her sets into great assists for the Wolves’ front row. Manawa’s energy seemed to fizzle out as Oshkosh West took the lead and then the 15-25 win.
In set two, Oshkosh ferociously attacked the ball, but defensive plays from Levezow in the back row kept them from scoring. Sell saw some front row playing time in set two and smashed a ball past the Oshkosh West defenders. Libero, Dean, shielded the Wolves’ court from Oshkosh West’s hits. Manawa just ran out of steam and could not keep up with Oshkosh West in the end, losin 21-25. Block and Schernecker were strong competition for Oshkosh West’s front row as these middles were very aggressive at the net in both sets.
The JV volleyball team traveled to Weyauwega-Fremont to face the Indians Tuesday, Oct. 5. In set one, the Wolves could not get their offense running and had a difficult time earning points. Wega-Fremont was able to obtain a 19-point lead after only three servers and Manawa was forced to defend their court from the oncoming slaughter. Hard hits from W-F were dug up by Kons and Spick. A block from Schernecker gave Manawa the rally point and the ball back. However, the Wolves could not overcome the large deficit and lost the first set 8-25.
The Wolves amped up their adrenaline for set two. Manawa’s front line of Block and Retzke bombarded the Indians with hits, finding open floor and scoring for the Wolves. Defensively, Dean covered the back court well. Weyauwega-Fremont had a two-point lead after one complete rotation and Manawa fought to get ahead. The Indians made a run and never looked back, winning the set 14-25 and match.
The JV squad still had to play one more set. With nothing to lose, the girls headed into set three with high hopes. Manawa was able to get a lead early in the set as Wega-Fremont struggled to get their offense off and running. Cady led the defensive battle for the Wolves as she hustled after the ball and prevented it from hitting the ground. Levezow and Sell smashed the ball into their opponent’s territory, which helped keep Manawa on top. The Lady Wolves held onto the lead for the set three win, 25-12.
Manawa traveled to Iola to face the T-Birds Tuesday, Oct. 12, in their final match of the 2010 season. In set one, the Lady Wolves had several attacks in the front row, but the Iola-Scandinavia defense was able to dig up the ball. Manawa’s defense was led by Dean, who interrupted the I-S offense with great digs of her own. Schernecker caused some damage while in the front row as she led her team with kills in the first set. The Wolves just could not seem to get a run going in their favor as the Thunderbirds held for the 20-25 win.
In set two, Kons was the first to serve and built a seven-point lead. The Wolves continued to pull away as hits from Block and Levezow found open spots. The T-Birds struggled from the service line, helping Manawa maintain the lead. An ace serve from Block gave Manawa the 25-18 win in set two and tied the match with one win apiece.
Each team stepped onto the court for the third set with high hopes of coming away as the victors. Manawa was on top by only three points after one complete service rotation. The Wolves’ front line was able to smash the ball into their opponent’s court as they used well-placed sets from Spick. After two complete rotations, I-S was ahead by one point. The Wolves rallied around a huge attack from Retzke and great defensive plays by Lexie Sell. Sell turned up her defense and went hard after the hits from the T-Birds, getting to the ball before the ball got to the floor. It was a see-saw battle as each team took turns leading on the scoreboard. However, in the end, it was Manawa that came away as the victors, 27-25.
The junior varsity team finished their season with an over-all record of 13-11 and a conference record of 4-6. The girls took first place at the Marion tournament and third place at the Bowler tournament.