By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

During the first day of last weekend’s prestigious West Bend Sprawl, the Westosha Central girls volleyball team was nearly flawless.

The Falcons posted three straight impressive wins to enter the second day in position for a top finish in the overall standings.

Unfortunately for Central, some of the inconsistent play that has plagued it so far returned – and kept the Falcons from a better result.

Central lost three straight matches Saturday before it rebounded to win the 11th-place match over Kaukauna and complete a 4-3 overall record for the two-day event.

“On any given day, this team can beat anybody,” Central coach Charlie Berg said. “But we had some inconsistencies at ends of sets. Those are things that we have to clean up a little bit.

“We need to have some more confidence at the ends of matches and that foot-to-the-pedal mentality of finishing games.”

The Falcons dropped matches Saturday to Waukesha Catholic Memorial, 25-16, 25-19; Menomonee Falls, 25-21, 25-19; and Fond du Lac, 25-23, 25-22. Central defeated Kaukauna 25-23, 25-22 to close out the tournament.

Leading the Falcons were Jenna Jehlicka with 15 kills and 14 digs, followed by Danielle Rampart with 11 kills, 10 aces and 49 digs; Laura Hickson with 10 kills and 26 assists; Linda Flahive with 10 kills and three blocks; and Lexi Hermes with 33 digs.

The tournament definitely started on a high note the previous day.

Central defeated Nicolet, a team it lost to the previous week, 25-21, 25-17 to open play. The Falcons then swept Hartland Arrowhead 25-21, 26-24, followed by a 25-11, 25-17 win over Middleton.

Statistical leaders included Jenna Jehlicka with 15 kills and nine digs; Ashley Jehlicka with 10 kills and seven digs; Megan Jehlicka with seven kills and four blocks; Hickson with 32 assists; Jackie McDonough with 30 assists; and Rampart with 32 digs and 16 aces.

Central returned to action Tuesday night at Elkhorn. The Falcons then will be idle until Tuesday, Oct. 4, when they travel to state-ranked Burlington for a 6:30 p.m. SLC matchup.

Berg is well aware of the challenge that awaits his team when it faces the talented Demons.

But he also has seen how tough his own team can be when it plays up to its ability.

“They’ve had our number the last couple years,” Berg said. “They’re good, they’re big, they’re very consistent. There’s no weaknesses on that team.

“It will be a major challenge for us to have an opportunity to be close at the end of the game and do some things. If we execute as well as we can, we’ll have a chance to make it a great game.”

Central opened the week with a 25-7, 25-16, 25-22 SLC win Sept. 20 over visiting Waterford.

Berg said that Waterford opened the match without talented sophomore Bekah Raebel, but once she returned to the lineup, things got much more competitive.

“I think we rolled to an 11-1 lead before she even got into the (first) game,” he said. “When that happens, it’s hard to come back. She’s a pretty dominating player, a big kid who hits and blocks well.”

Central fell behind 10-4 in the third game before it rallied to tie it at 22-22. The Falcons eventually closed the match out with an ace on the 25th point.

“We weren’t playing poorly,” Berg said. “They were digging balls and playing well. We weren’t shaken. We were composed and under control.”

Maria Rasch had 15 kills and five blocks, followed by Rampart with seven kills and nine digs; Hickson with six kills, 13 assists and three aces; Jenna Jehlicka with six kills and four digs; and Flahive with six kills.


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