Prep Volleyball Review and Preview: Regular season winds down fro Tri-County Area Teams
It's a testament to how tough and competitive the Western Cloiverbelt Conference has been this season that there's not one, not two but three teams sharing the conference title in 2022.
And it also shows how fortunes of teams and programs can change from year-to-year, season-to-season as the top two teams from 2021 are not included in that trio.
Both Fall Creek and Osseo-Fairchild dropped their final two league matches last week. O-F fell at home to Thorp 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 Tuesday, Oct. 4. Tori Marten led the Crickets with 15 kills, 11 digs and three blocks. Teammate Lauren Dallas had 16 assists and 14 digs, Grace Herrem had 31 digs and Jenna Fitch 12 assists. Two days later FC fell to No. 3 ranked and conference co-champ Chippewa Falls McDonell by a 25-21 25-16, 25-11 score.
O-F lost at league co-champ Bloomer 25-9, 25-20, 25-20 on Oct. 4 and then to No. 8 ranked and also co-champ Stanley-Boyd at home on Oct. 6 by scores of 25-23, 25-13 and 25-23 in their Dig Pink, breast cancer awareness match. The Thunder played hard but S-B senior outside hitter and one of the league and one of the region's top players Emily Brenner was a big difference in the match as she tallied 18 kills, seven in the first game alone, to help the Orioles pull out the win in a closely contested Game 1 and then rallied S-B in Game, 3, down 16-8 to the Thunder, with five kills along with teammate, senior middle blocker Teagen Becker for the 25-23 win. O-F's Madisyn Loonstra played one of her best matches of the season on Senior Night as recorded nine kills and four blocks while teammate and fellow senior Rhi Prudlick had five kills and a block and senior Taylor Gunderson had four kills. OFHS's other seniors honored before the match were Josephine Tye, Hailey Mayer, three kills and an ace, Ayva Oliver and Katie Skoug.
It's also a testament to how tough the West Cloverbelt Conference is that in spite of going 0-7 in it, Osseo-Fairchild is still at .500 at 15-15 overall record as they won their own invite meet Saturday, Oct. 8 with a 4-1 mark. The Thunder beat Alma/Pepin 25-21, 25-14; Melrose-Mindoro 25-11, 25-20; Durand/Arkansaw 26-24, 25-11 and Neillsville with their only loss to Whitehall. And despite their 1-6 record in the league FC still has 18 wins on the season. Both teams hope to get additional wins and better regional tournament seeds playing in Cloverbelt Conference crossover matches this week.
Augusta went 1-1 last week in Dairyland Conference play. The 9-11 Beavers won at home in their Dig Pink match Thursday, Oct. 6 22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 over Alma/Pepin but lost to Lincoln on Oct. 4 by scores of 25-20, 25-8, 25-18. The loss to the Hornets hurt for Blair-Taylor took its first DC loss last week Thursday to Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran who the Beavers play this week along with Cochrane-Fountain City. Also in the DC, Eleva-Strum, 8-18 overall split, winning 3-0 at home vs. Independence 25-17, 25-15, 25-18 in their Homecoming match Tuesday, Oct. 4 while losing 25-11, 26-24, 25-22 at Whitehall on Thursday, Oct. 6