By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

The last thing the Westosha Central girls volleyball team wanted to have last week was a letdown.

And while it wasn’t exactly smooth, that’s just what the Falcons did in their Southern Lakes Conference matchup at rival Wilmot.

Central did enough to avoid an upset, as it handed the young Panthers a hard-fought 25-12, 25-14, 25-16 setback.

The Falcons, ranked sixth in the latest Division 1 poll, returned to action Tuesday night at Elkhorn. Results were unavailable by press time.

Central coach Charlie Berg said he used the Wilmot match as a chance to play with his lineup a bit to see what combination worked best.

“I thought we played well,” he said. “I thought Wilmot really competed. It was probably their best match of the year, according to their coach.

“We mixed it up a lot that night. I got a lot of kids in. I think the middle of the first game, we started substituting. You lose a little bit of continuity when you do that.”

Even though Wilmot battled throughout, the Falcons finally just had too much firepower to avoid the upset.

“I said to the kids, ‘We did what we needed to do,’” Berg said. “I didn’t think our service reception was that great. But we hit well.

“Again, the Wilmot team covered tips, they dug up a lot of balls, they blocked some balls, served tough and their service-reception was good. They forced us to play a complete game.”

Berg said he wasn’t completely surprised that his team had some struggles after a grueling schedule the past month.

“We’ve been playing for five weeks in a row,” he said. “It’s bound to take a toll on you physically and mentally. It’s hard to stay up and play at a high level, but I thought we sustained a lot and did a lot of good things that night.’

Statistical leaders included Maria Rash with 12 kills, Danielle Rampart with nine kills and 11 digs, Ashley Felicia and Danielle Stature with 33 assists combined and Hazily Hart with 11 digs.

The match featured a “Dig Pink” event, as both teams combined to raise money for breast cancer research.

“That was just a good all-around evening for both teams,” Berg said.

 

Hosting invite Saturday

Next up for the Falcons is this weekend’s Central Smash Tournament, set for Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Joining the Falcons at their own invitational will be Burlington, Kenosha Tremper, Big Foot, Burlington Catholic Central, Catholic Memorial, Cedarburg, Divine Savior Holy Angels and the Illinois Crusaders.

Entering play this week, Burlington, the two-time defending Division 1 state champions, is ranked seventh, while DSHA is ranked fourth.

In Division 2, Big Foot is ranked sixth and Catholic Memorial eighth, while in Division 4, Catholic Central is ranked second.

Simply put, there will be plenty of competition in the Central gym Saturday morning, Berg said.

“It’s a nice tournament to get ready for the conference tournament,” he said. “We’re looking forward to possibly playing Burlington again. Divine Savior is a team we’ve lost to twice, so it’s a team that’s given us some trouble, and we’re hoping to play them and Burlington again.”

 
 

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