After opening up the Eastern Valley Conference season with losses to Berlin at Winneconne, the Waupaca volleyball team got into the win column by sweeping Clintonville.
The Comets took all three games from the Truckers Sept. 13, but were swept by Berlin Sept. 11 and Winneconne Aug. 30.
Waupaca 3, Clintonville 0
CLINTONVILLE – Waupaca defeated the Truckers 25-22, 25-23 and 25-14.
“We finally played an entire game with intensity and focus,” coach Bret Rodenz said. “The energy on the court and the team chemistry was awesome to watch.”
Mikaila Johnson finished with 10 kills and three blocks, while Mandy Tomlinson and Sydney Brooks added eight kills each; Nicole Donaldson and Alyssa Nicewander chipped in with 13 and 11 assists, respectively; and Natasha Smith had a team-high 14 digs.
“People are always looking for statistics of a game and they are important,” Rodenz said. “However, there are positions on the court that are crucial to the team that go unrecognized. Emily Spindt, Mandy Tomlinson and Tasha Smith did a great job of stepping up and getting the ball to the setter to run our offense. We have struggled all year in getting the setter the ball and we passed a milestone tonight with our passing. The girls deserved this win and it’s great to get the monkey off your back with the first conference win.”
Berlin 3, Waupaca 0
WAUPACA – Berlin defeated the Comets 25-13, 25-7, 25-12.
“We struggled with the passing game and had one of those nights that things just didn’t come together,” Rodenz said. “We had a lot of frustration set in and I think the girls let it get into their heads. Like most sports, volleyball relies heavily on mental toughness. I think we showed up prepared, but let a few little things get into our head and we lost our focus. Everything in volleyball starts with the pass and goes from there. Our team knows what it has to do to win. It is applying it to the game to execute it.”
Team leaders included McKenna Plunkett (four kills), Donaldson (seven assists) and Smith (12 digs).
Winneconne 3, Waupaca 0
WINNECONNE – The Comets opened the EVC season by falling to the Wolves 25-18, 26-24, 25-16.
Donaldson had six kills and nine assists; Brooks added four kills and five blocks; and Smith had a team-high 14 digs.
The Comets played at Weyauwega-Fremont Sept. 17 and will return to EVC play today (Thursday, Sept. 20) by hosting Little Chute. Freshman and junior varsity matches will begin at 5:15 p.m., with the varsity match set for 7 p.m.
“We are still trying to find ourselves as a team,” Rodenz said. “I have tested different girls at different positions trying to find the right chemistry and at times, the frustration shows on the court. We are still trying to find a way to play an entire match. We have streaks of greatness and then lapses in consistent play. The girls are coming around as a team and I am looking forward to a solid season.”