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Lady Wolves win New London Invite

The Lady Wolves Varsity Volleyball team had a busy first week of competition with a tournament in New London on Tuesday, Aug. 24, and another on Friday, Aug. 27, in Marion. The Wolves played some incredible volleyball in their first competition, taking first at the New London Invite against four Division 1 and 2 teams.

The Wolves’ opponents at the New London Invite included Green Bay East, Nekoosa, Ashwaubenon, and the hosting team, New London. In the first match, Manawa beat Green Bay East in two sets, 25-20 and 25-14. Only three missed serves, including six aces by Krista Braun, allowed Manawa to play a very strong offensive match. Ali Dean was the kill leader for the match with four.

In the second match of the night, the Wolves faced off against Nekoosa. Manawa easily won the first set, 25-13. In the second set, missed serves and receiving errors by the Wolves allowed Nekoosa to pull out a win, 25-21. In the deciding set, Manawa regrouped. Their serving became consistent again and they did not allow Nekoosa a single ace serve. Manawa won the set, and match, 15-10. Makayla Johnson had a great defensive match, digging the ball up nine times. With 10 kills and 4.5 blocks, MaryKay Heinz was the point leader for the match with 14.5.

Ashwaubenon was their next opponent. Once again, Manawa won the match in two. In the first set, Ashwaubenon missed six serves out of 20, allowing the Lady Wolves an easy 25-19 win. In the second set, Ashwaubenon picked up their game and Manawa started missing their serves, making the set a lot closer. The Wolves were able to pull out a victory with extra points, 26-24. The Wolves middle hitters Heinz and Kali Draeger both played very well in this set. Heinz led the team with eight points, while Draeger had seven.

The Wolves’ final match of the night was against New London. Unfortunately, Manawa had sat a match prior to their game against the Bulldogs and they came out flat-footed. New London easily won the first set 25-11. Manawa fought back in the second set. Four team aces and six kills allowed the Lady Wolves to squeak out a 25-23 win. In the final set, the Wolves and Bulldogs battled for every point. In the end, New London won 16-14, but because they had lost more previous sets than the Wolves, Manawa brought home the first place plaque.

Heinz was the Wolves’ point leader for the tournament. She had 33.5 points, with 11.5 of those points coming from block kills. Other point contributors included: Dean 17, Braun 16, Draeger 13, Megan O’Brien 7.5, Ashley Remington 4, Taylor Remington 3 and Johnson 1. As the team’s main setter, Braun had 36 assists for the night while A. Remington, the team’s libero, led in digs with 24. Dean and Johnson followed her closely with 23 and 21. A. Remington was also 100 percent serving for the night, serving 24-24. Jessica Smiles (2-2) and Alycia Christensen (1-1) were also 100 percent from the service line.

In the second tournament of the week, the Lady Wolves traveled to Marion to play against Tigerton, Wisconsin Valley Lutheran, Menominee Indian and the Marion Mustangs. They finished third for the night with the Menominee Indians taking first and Tigerton finishing in second.

In the first match, Manawa played a tight game against the Tigerton Tigers. In set one, Tigerton won, 25-20. Tigerton had two very powerful hitters and Manawa was unable to shut them down. In the second match, five block kills allowed the Wolves to play a closer game. It was an intense set, finishing in the Tigers favor, 25-23. Dean did a great job digging up some of Tigerton’s powerful hits, racking up 11 digs for the match. O’Brien also helped her team with three aces.

Next up for the Lady Wolves was Wisconsin Valley Lutheran. Feeling down from their loss against Tigerton, Manawa was unable to overcome tough serving from WVL in the first set, losing 25-21. Motivated once again, Manawa repaid the favor to WVL in the second set, earning six aces themselves and winning 25-19. The deciding set of the match proved that both teams were driven to win, going into extra points. The Lady Wolves were finally able to pull out the win after putting 19 points on the board compared to WVL’s 17. Consistent serving from A. Remington, Smiles, T. Remington and Draeger helped the Wolves earn the offensive points they needed.

When Manawa faced off against the Indians of Menominee, they once again went to a deciding third set. In set one, Menominee surprised the Wolves with really great net play, allowing them to win 25-19. Set two was a different story. With Dean scoring points 22, 23, and 24 all on ace serves, the Wolves were able to win easily, 25-17. The final set found the teams battling for every point with a lot of back-and-forth play. Though the Wolves played a good set, the score ended in favor of the Indians, 15-13. A. Remington played a very strong defensive game, digging the ball up against Menominee’s hitters 16 times! With six kills and three aces, Braun was the point leader for the match with nine.

In the final match of the night, Manawa played the hosting team, the Mustangs of Marion. The Wolves seemed tired in the first set, allowing Marion the win 25-22. In the second set, Manawa showed their true colors, winning 25-11. In the deciding set, the Wolves kept up their momentum and easily finished the match 15-8. Draeger had an awesome match against the Mustangs. She not only served 100 percent, but she led the team with 12 points, including five block kills.

For the tournament, Heinz once again led her team with 41.5 points. Other point contributors included: Draeger (0, Braun 25.5, Dean 21, T. Remington (12), Kayla Johnson 12, O’Brien 5, A. Remington 5, Smiles 3 and Danielle Ferg 2. Braun had 48 assists for the night, while A. Remington contributed 38 digs. Dean had the second most digs with 24. Two team members served 100 percent for the tournament: Draeger was 20-20 and Ferg was 5-5.

Manawa vs. Marion

The Lady Wolves traveled to Marion for the second time in four days to compete against the Mustangs Aug. 31. As in the previous meeting, the Wolves were able to come out on top, winning three sets out of four.

In their second match of the week, poor serving plagued Manawa and allowed the Lions of Brillion to overtake the Wolves in three sets.

The Lady Wolves started out very slow. They were very flat on their feet and only earned five offensive points throughout the entire first set. Marion took advantage of Manawa’s lack of intensity and won the first set 25-11. Between sets, the Wolves regrouped and tried to boost their energy level. Marion still played with the Wolves in the second set, tying the game three times at 4, 7, and 9, before Manawa was able to take full control and win 25-18. The third set of the night offered the Wolves their largest margin of victory. After earning their first side-out, Krista Braun served six in a row, including two aces, which allowed the Wolves to go up 7-0. Later in the set, Jessica Smiles also had a good serving run, putting five points on the board to give Manawa a 24-16 lead. The fourth and final set was the closest of the match. Marion jumped out to an early 8-4 lead and increased their lead by more during the next rotation, going up 13-6. Ali Dean helped to rally her team by serving five points in a row, bringing the Wolves within four. Later in the game, Megan O’Brien helped the Wolves take their first lead of the set, making the score 21-20. On the side-out, Dean stepped up to serve again and, with three aces in a row, finished the set, and match 25-23 in the Wolves’ favor.

Dean had a very good match, serving 100 percent (14-14) and digging the ball up 16 times. She also had eight kills and four aces. Kayla Johnson led her team in points for the match. She had 14 kills on the night. Other teammates that contributed points included: Braun 7, Kali Draeger 6, MaryKay Heinz 6, Taylor Remington 2, Smiles 1, O’Brien 1, and Ashley Remington 1. Smiles was the lead server for the match with a perfect 22-22, along with playing great defense in the back row, digging up 13 balls. A. Remington led her team with 25 digs and was also 100 percent from the service line (14-14). Setter and Braun had 20 assists for the night.

Manawa vs. Brillion

The Lady Wolves played their first home match of the season against the Lions of Brillion Sept. 2. Brillion had a very strong defensive team, digging up or blocking over 60 percent of the Wolves’ kill attempts. Though the Lions were definitely a strong team, the Wolves beat themselves from the service line, serving only 79.7 percent as a team for the night. With missed serves, Manawa gave Brillion 12 free points for the match. Five of those missed serves came in the first set of the match. Even though the Wolves only scored six offensive points for the set, the final score was surprisingly close at 25-17. In this game Manawa never allowed Brillion more than two offensive points at a time. The second set was much the same as the first. Aimee Drath was the only Wolf to score multiple points. She helped her team get within one point by serving six in a row, including three aces, and bringing the score to 19-18. Unfortunately, on their side-out, Brillion rallied off five points in a row themselves, finishing the set 25-18. The third and final set was the closest for the night. Even though the Wolves once again missed five serves, they came close to taking the match into four games. Brillion just barely squeaked out a victory, 25-23.

Drath led her team with nine points, including five aces. Other point contributors included: Braun 5, Draeger 3, Heinz 2, K. Johnson 2, A. Remington 2, Dean 2, and O’Brien 1. The team’s libero A. Remington was the dig leader once again. She had 15 digs for the match, while Dean was close behind with 13.

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