Westosha Central then finishes 3-1 in Muskego

By Jason Arndt

In a reversal of fortunes, the Westosha Central High School girls volleyball team entered Thursday’s Southern Lakes Conference opener with Lake Geneva Badger boasting a 4-2 record, courtesy of finishing seventh at the 24-team Joust Tournament the weekend before.

Last year, however, the Falcons entered their conference opener at 2-4.

Riding momentum from their Joust appearance, the Falcons swept the visiting Badgers in three sets, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19.

The Falcons, who cruised to a first set victory, trailed only once in the second set, but kept the Badgers within two points, until they took control on a senior Sierra Lee kill to give them a 6-5 edge.

From there, Westosha Central held on to capture the second set, and despite seven deadlocks in the third set, the Falcons finally pulled away at 13-12 after Lake Geneva committed a serving error.

From there, the Falcons rattled off a 12-7 run to seal the sweep.

Falcons coach Megan Awe attributes the victory to a faster tempo along the front row, guided by senior setter Kennedy Muff, who contributed 27 assists, four kills, and three aces.

“I thought we were doing a good job playing a faster tempo in our front row,” Awe said.

According to Lake Geneva coach Jenn Chironis, her team faced a challenge in Muff, who made multiple no-look kills on the front row.

“We weren’t tracking her, whether she was in the front court, whether she was in the back court, she is too good of a player to not know where she is at all times,” Chironis said.

On the front row, senior outside hitter Laura Shoopman accounted for 12 kills, two aces and seven digs.

For Lee, the other outside hitter, she contributed nine kills, five digs and an ace.

Junior McKenna Hall, transitioning to the front row, added another five kills and reinforced the Falcons defense with six digs.

Hall, who primarily played in the back row as a sophomore, has started to recognize her strengths.

“She has done a great job swinging outside for us, she is getting up and elevating and she is really learning to find her strength,” said Awe.

Senior middle hitter Ella Kaebisch, who had three kills, added two service aces. In 12 attempts, she did not commit an error.

Junior Lexi Rothwell-Krebs, meanwhile, contributed five total blocks.

Twila Dovas, a senior libero, led the Falcons with nine digs.

Unlike last year, when the Badgers snagged a set from Westosha Central, Chironis said inexperience led to the team’s downfall on Thursday.

“Last year, we took a set from them, I think we could have taken one night, but we played really inconstant,” she said. “We have a lot of inexperience, we lost seven seniors from last year.”

The Falcons, who improved to 5-2 following the SLC opener, looked to carry the rhythm into this weekend’s Warrior Invite at Muskego High School.

Falcons take three of four
At the Muskego Warrior Invite Saturday, the Falcons opened with back-to-back victories, defeating Kenosha Indian Trail (25-12, 27-25) and Greendale (25-13, 25-21) to move to the gold bracket.

In the gold bracket, the Falcons took a two-set loss to Hartland Arrowhead (25-17, 25-20), but rebounded with a decisive victory against host Muskego (25-13, 25-11) to finish third.

After the Falcons appearance, they jumped to 8-3, better than last season when Westosha Central opened 5-6.

Muff, who set the tone with 69 assists through four matches, added six aces, 15 kills, four blocks and 16 digs.

On the front row, Shoopman led the Falcons with 35 kills, five blocks and five aces.

Lee contributed 22 kills, 23 digs and five assists.

Other contributors were Hall (seven aces, four assists, 11 digs), Dovas (20 digs), Kaebisch (five aces, nine kills and five blocks) and Rothwell-Krebs (three blocks).

“We served well, did a great job finding our strengths on offense, and as the day went on we worked out kinks with ball control,” Awe said after the tournament. “The girls are doing a great job playing with enthusiasm. Now to reflect and keep growing.”


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