All season long, the St. Mary’s Springs volleyball team has had troubles in the first set.
It seemed as if the trend would continue Thursday night after the Ledgers saw themselves down 24-18 to Winnebago Lutheran Academy. After coming out with no energy, the Ledgers fought back and made a few big plays to tie the game, and eventually won 30-28.
After that, it was all Springs (12-9, 3-0 Flyway) as it swept the Vikings 3-0 in a conference matchup played at WLA.
“We really have been struggling in our first set the whole year so it was good to fight back and take that one in the beginning,” Springs head coach Mark Harasha said. “Then the girls did what they had to do in the next two games.”
They did just that, taking the next two 25-17 and 25-18.
Before Springs’ comeback in the first set, senior Eleanore Mueller and junior Kelli Schrauth didn’t have much of an impact. Then, when the score was 28-28, Mueller finished it off with two consecutive kills to give the Ledgers all the momentum heading into the next set.
“In our first few points our energy was down,” said Mueller, who finished with a game-high 16 kills. “We then got a few kills, a few good sets and some aces and then we all got fired back up. We took the momentum from the first set and carried it over and hit the gas pedal hard.”
WLA (2-1 Flyway) went back-and-forth with Springs in both the second and third sets as both teams were even midway into each one. Then Mueller and Schrauth took over.
“Both of the middles, Kelli and Eleanore played big in the middle,” Harasha said. “They had lots of good kills and lots of good blocks.”
“It’s a big part of our offense,” Mueller said of herself and Schrauth. “We both block, hit and we give the team the best opportunity to win.”
Without Julia Moul, Mueller and Schrauth wouldn’t have had the success they did. Moul led the way with 16 assists. Molly Krueger added six digs while Ali Ottery had six aces.
For WLA, Alysha Kahlow led the way with seven kills and nine assists while Erin Butzke had three blocks and Sarah Kell added six digs.
After struggling with the first half of the season against nonconference opponents, the Ledgers are happy to start the Flyway season 3-0.
“Flyway competition I think we are doing great. We are right where we want to be, but we’re struggling in some of our nonconference games,” Harasha said.
Springs will participate in the Roncalli invitational this weekend, while WLA travels to Appleton to partake in the Fox Valley Lutheran Invite.
Springs def. WLA 30-28, 25-17, 25-18
Stat leaders — WLA: Alysha Kahlow 7 kills, 9 assists; Erin Butzke 3 blocks; Sarah Kell 6 digs; Holly Pamperin 3 aces. SPRINGS: Eleanore Mueller 16 kills; Julia Moul 16 assits; Molly Krueger 6 digs; Ali Ottery 6 aces.