WIAA volleyball: Local volleyball teams open up postseason

WIAA volleyball: Local volleyball teams open up postseason

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WIAA volleyball: Local volleyball teams open up postseason

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Seven of the area’s eight volleyball teams open up postseason play tonight with WIAA regional quarterfinal matches.

For some teams, regionals provide a chance for a fresh start, while other squads hope to ride the momentum from the regular season to a deep run in the tournament series.

In Division 3, No. 5 Manitowoc Lutheran hosts No. 12 Random Lake.

Co-head coach Lacey Behnke feels that the Lancers are prepared for the postseason.

“I’m feeling pretty good about it. We’ve been working really hard at practice,” Behnke said. “Every day we get better. Every day we gain more confidence in ourselves.”

Reedsville is the other local team hosting a match Tuesday night, also in D3. The eighth-seeded Panthers entertain No. 9 Brillion in a rematch of a five-game contest back on Oct. 8.

“We’re fortunate enough to have Shelby (Otto) back from her ACL tear. That’s a big plus,” Panthers head coach Kristine Hanson said. ” The girls are fired up and ready to go.”

Eleventh-seeded Roncalli hits the road to take on No. 6 West De Pere in a D2 quarterfinal. The Phantoms eliminated the Jets in regional play a year ago.

“We are playing the same exact team in the same exact gym. We’re hoping for better results,” Roncalli head coach Steve Grant said. “I think there will be less nerves since we’ve been there, but the tensions will still be high because it’s the playoffs and everyone wants to play well.”

Elsewhere in D2, No. 15 Two Rivers heads to Green Bay to square off with No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 10 Kiel travels to No. 7 Milwaukee Lutheran.

The Raiders managed to pull an upset in a 10/7 matchup last season when they knocked off Southern Door, 25-18, 18-25, 25-12, 25-20 in the opening round.

Rounding out D3 action, No. 14 Mishicot will visit No. 3 New Holstein. The Indians are in search of their first postseason win since 2010.

Mishicot head coach Andrew Heimerman is impressed by the talented Huskies.

New Holstein’s setter, Hailee Olson,… is the best setter we have faced this season. She runs a 5-1 and is very active on the attack in the front row. She is actually (second) on her team in kills per set, so our blockers need to keep an eye on her when she’s in the front row,” Heimerman said in an email. “Their other main weapon is OH Tori Zipperer. She swings hard and has good command of her shots.”

While he knows his squad will be in for a test, Heimerman believes that his players know what they have to do in order to succeed and keep their season alive.

“To be competitive, our hitters need to cut down on their unforced errors. As we’ve said all season, we need to win the serve and serve receive battle, but we have struggled to do that. I thought we made some nice strides with our serving against Wrightstown last Thursday and we are hoping that will continue. ,” Heimerman said. “We are also expecting passionate and inspired play from our seniors. They are aware that their careers end with the next loss we take, so I anticipate that they will give everything they have.”

Valders, a ten seed, travels to No. 7 Gibraltar in a D3 quarterfinal. The Vikings played in D2 last year.

All matches begin at 7 p.m.

Three seed Manitowoc Lincoln opens up Division 1 regional play Thursday when it hosts No. 14 Menasha.

“We’re trying to fine-tune some things we know are issues,” Lincoln head coach Mary Beth Dixon said. “We’re trying to stay healthy, that’s been a big issue for us.”

The Ships hope to make some noise in the playoffs.

“They definitely hope to go deep in the tournament series,” Dixon said. “Though we are happy about winning our division, the girls would have liked to have taken the whole thing. I think that left a bad taste in their mouths. Hopefully they can approach the tournament series with that in mind. There aren’t any more second chances.”

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