The Wisconsin high school volleyball season rolls on as local teams including Prescott, Spring Valley and River Falls have all been in action as the season approaches the last couple of weeks before …
The Wisconsin high school volleyball season rolls on as local teams including Prescott, Spring Valley and River Falls have all been in action as the season approaches the last couple of weeks before the playoffs begin.
The River Falls High School volleyball team is 20-1 this season with less than three weeks remaining until the playoffs are expected to begin. On Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Wildcats traveled to Woodbury High School for a competitive match against a quality team from the suburbs. In the match, River Falls and Woodbury battled. All four of the sets were decided by four points or less.
The first set was a 25-21 victory for the Wildcats and the energy from the first set translated to the second set. The match went into extra points, as River Falls defeated Woodbury 28-26 to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The third set was when Woodbury responded. They began the third set on a scoring run that propelled them throughout the remainder of the set, which culminated in a 25-22 victory to keep the series alive.
The fourth set was another close contest. RFHS and Woodbury went back and forth on small scoring runs. As the set progressed, the Wildcats began to slowly pull away from Woodbury. RFHS won the fourth set 2522 and defeated Woodbury 3-1 in four sets.
“Tuesday, we had a battle at Woodbury winning in four sets,” RFHS head coach Sara Kealy said. “It was a good nonconference test for us.”
River Falls then hosted Hudson High School on Thursday, Sept. 16. River Falls made quick work of the visiting team, as head coach Sara Kealy’s team won all three of the first sets to sweep Hudson and remain undefeated for the season.
“Thursday, we played Hudson at home which is always a fun match due to the crosstown rivalry,” Kealy said. “They have a lot of young talented players, but we were able to control the match with aggressive serving and a high-powered offense.”
On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Wildcats traveled to Milwaukee to participate in the Adidas Charger Challenge. Some of the best teams in the state were at the challenge, including Oconomowoc, with who River Falls matched up. Going into the match, Oconomowoc was 14-3, with wins coming against some of the biggest high schools in Wisconsin. Head coach Kealy explained the significance of the tournament.
“The Charger Challenge in Milwaukee is hands down the best tournament in the state,” Kealy said. “Last week, we were ranked number five in the coaches’ poll, and on Saturday, we beat number two Brookfield Central and number four Germantown before losing to Oconomowoc. It was such great competition.”
Coach Kealy has never been shy about playing better teams in non-conference situations to make her RFHS team better. The Charger Challenge is a perfect example of that. Kealy recapped some of the action against Oconomowoc.
“Oconomowoc played outstanding that day as they went on to win the whole thing,” Kealy said. “They beat number one Appleton North right after our match and took down Howards Grove which was ranked number one in a lower division. My girls played tough.”
Despite losing the first game of the season at the best tournament of the season, Kealy stated she is proud of how her team played in a crunch-time situation.
“I was extremely pleased with their grit,” Kealy said. “We gave up a few point runs which was the difference in the match, but our teams looked very evenly matched. Looking forward to another opportunity to play kind of walk down the road.”
The next game on the schedule for the RFHS Wildcats is on Thursday, Sept. 23, on the road against Rice Lake in a Big Rivers Conference matchup. That match is set to begin at 7 p.m.
The Prescott Cardinals have continued their season with games against Saint Croix Central, Cambridge-Isanti, Colfax, Ellsworth and Somerset. On Thursday, Sept. 16, the Cardinals traveled to Saint Croix Central for a matchup with the Panthers.
The first set was lopsided, as the Cardinals got out to a slow start and struggled to climb back into the set. The Panthers continued their scoring run and eventually pulled away, winning the first set 25-10 over the Cardinals.
The second set was a huge turnaround for head coach Geoffrey Snyder’s Cardinals team. They competed in the second set and managed to put a scoring run together that gave them a small lead. Both teams battled, but Prescott came out on top with a tight 25-23 victory to even the series 1-1.
Prescott lost a tough third set 27-25 in extra points and then was faced with a 2-1 series deficit. The fourth set resembled the first set – a blowout in favor of Saint Croix Central. The Panthers won the fourth set 25-13 to win the series 3-1.
Prescott also lost an exhibition match against Cambridge- Isanti which was played at Hudson High School. In the best of three, Prescott dropped both sets 25-18 and 25-20 respectively.
On Saturday, Sept. 18, Prescott put some good volleyball together and won back-to-back matches against Colfax and Ellsworth, also at a neutral site at the Hudson High School. The Colfax match began with a first set loss for Prescott 25-13. However, that’s when things changed for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals rolled off four straight set victories, two against Colfax, 25-18 and 15-7, and then two against Ellsworth, 25-9 and 25-22. The four straight sets capped off two consecutive series victories against Colfax and Ellsworth. The final match of the Hudson meet was against Somerset, a series that the Cardinals lost 20 with scores of 25-19 and 25-21 respectively.
Spring Valley falls to Somerset in three sets
The Cardinals, under the direction of head coach Kelli Schlegel, hosted the Somerset Spartans for a Tuesday afternoon match. Throughout the short three-set series, Schlegel’s roster struggled to produce on offense.
The first set didn’t go as planned for the Cardinals. The Spartans got out to a quick lead that continued to grow as the set went on. The Spartans took the first set 25-12. The second set was more of the same for the Cardinals, as they fell 25-15.
In the final set, the Spartans continued a dominant middle border offense that was just too much for Spring Valley to overcome. The final set was the closest of the series but was still a 2516 defeat for Spring Valley.
The next team on the schedule for Spring Valley is at home against Glenwood City on Tuesday, Sept. 28. That match is slated to get underway at 7 p.m.