The Manawa Wolves volleyball team competed in the first round of Regional play on Tuesday, Oct. 18. In an upset, the Brillion Lions were able to pull out a victory over the hosting Wolves. Throughout the game the teams were very evenly matched, but the Lions came out on top.
Early in the first set the two teams played back and forth but Manawa was able to put four points in a row on the board when Danielle Ferg stepped up to serve. These points put them ahead 7-4. Aimee Drath served next for the Wolves. She served from points 8 to 13, giving Manawa a seven point lead. Unfortunately the Wolves were unable to keep their lead. With tough defensive play, the Lions were able to crawl back into the game. With the score tied at 22, Brillion earned a side out and scored their 24th point. The Wolves fought to stay in the game and were able to win the rally, making the score 24-23. With one more successful defensive push, Brillion finished the set 25-23.
Set number two started out really well for the Wolves. Megan O’Brien, Manawa second server, scored five points in a row, with two of those points being aces. This put the Wolves up 7-1. Manawa continued to lead until the score was 12-6. On their side out the Lions middle hitter stepped up to score. With three aces, and three other offensive points, she tied the score at 12. The teams continued to fight, tying the score at 15 and 16. With their next two servers, Brillion put together two strong offensive runs, scoring four points at a time and then five points, to finish the set 25-17.
Knowing that their season was over if they did not pull out a win in the third set, Manawa came out ready to play. Krista Braun served first for the Wolves and, with one ace by Braun and steady offensive play from the rest of the Wolves, they put four points on the board before the Lions earned a side out. Brillion fought back and tied the score at 7. After that Brillion went up by two and the Wolves were never able to close that gap. Brillion finished the set, and match, 25-20.
The Wolves’ setter, Braun, had a very good match. She was the teams assist and dig leader and she had the second most points. She had 11 assists for the night, 12 digs and nine points. Senior outside hitter, Drath, also played a good match. She led her team with 10 points, with nine kills and one ace, and was 12-12 from the service line. Both middle hitters, Kali Draeger and Ansley Block had six points while junior outside hitter, O’Brien, had three and Kim Retzke and Olivia Levezow each had one. O’Brien also had eight digs and Drath and libero, Wendy Kons, had seven. Besides Drath, Ferg was 100 percent from the line serving 10 for 10.
Overall the Wolves should be proud of their season. Their final win/loss record was 16-11. They brought home the first place trophy from the Suring Invitational and took second at the other two tournaments (New London Invitational and Marion Invitational) that they participated in.