The Manawa Wolves volleyball team hosted Iola-Scandinavia, Tuesday, Sept. 17 and defeated the T-Birds.
The Wolves kept Iola from taking them to a fifth set, but the four sets played were extremely close. There was a difference of only seven total points scored between the two teams.
In the first set Lexie Sell started her team off with a five point opening run. Iola fought back to tie the score at seven and the teams battled back and forth, with multiple lead changes. Near the end of the set, the score was tied again at 21, 23 and 24. Earning a side out, the Wolves went ahead 25-24. Sell then served an ace, finishing the game 26-24 in Manawa’s favor.
The second set was dominated by Manawa’s middle hitter, Breana Haines. She had seven kills in that game alone. Iola simply couldn’t keep up with her aggressive play at the net and Manawa won the set 25-20.
Missed serves plagued the Wolves in the third set and Iola took advantage. With the score 11-7 in the Lady Thunderbirds favor, the Lady Wolves were able to put together a five point offensive run, bringing them back into the game. With the teams only scoring one or two points each server, the battle continued until the LadyThunderbirds were finally able to put three points on the board and finish the set, 30-28.
In the final set of the night, impressive pressure serving from junior setter Katie Velie, helped the Wolves overcome a late six point deficit. With the score 18 to 12 in Iola’s favor, Velie stepped up to serve and brought the game within one. After that offensive run, Manawa got their rhythm back and they finished the set with a decisive kill by Aubrie Millard with a score of 25-23.
Haines led her team with an impressive 21 points. Sell also played a well-rounded match. She had 10 points, 11 assists and 10 digs.
Libero, Nicki Cady, lived up to her job as a defensive specialist. She had 22 digs for the night, while Kali Young contributed 17. Besides serving 15-15 for the evening, Velie also led in the assist column with 16, while Millard had 10. Junior hitter, Ashlee Strebe, tied Sell for the second most points with 10, while Young had eight, Autumn Ferg had seven, Velie had two and Millard and Cady each had one. Molly Loughrin helped her team in the victory, serving a perfect 13 for 13.
In their second match of the week, Manawa traveled to Shiocton to compete against the Chiefs, Thursday, Sept. 19. Lack of intensity and momentum, and dominate hitting from their opponents sent the Lady Wolves home with a three set loss. The scores were 16-25, 15-25 and 19-25.
Manawa struggled to set the ball up for effective attacks. With six kills, one solo block and one ace, Haines was the point leader with eight. Kali Young followed her with four, while Sell had two, Millard and Ferg each had 1.5 and Velie and Strebe each had one.
Sell led in the assist and dig columns for the night. She set her team up five times for kills, while contributing 11 digs. For once, serving proved to not be an area of contention for the Wolves. Four team members were 100 percent from the line; Young was 9-9, Velie was 7-7, Strebe was 6-6 and Baylee Gorges was 2-2.
Manawa hosts Weyauwega-Fremont, Tuesday, Oct. 8.
These matches marked the half way point for the Manawa Wolves regular season play. Their current record is 9-8. With another non-conference tournament on Saturday the 21st where they will play 6 matches they are hoping to greatly improve upon their win record.