Tigers cruise to sweep in sectional semis

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


OLIVIA STAUSS (left) and Katy Berg of Howards Grove try to block a spike by Manitowoc Lutheran’s Emma Dewane in Thursday night’s sectional volleyball semifinal match. – Photo by Terry Schaller OLIVIA STAUSS (left) and Katy Berg of Howards Grove try to block a spike by Manitowoc Lutheran’s Emma Dewane in Thursday night’s sectional volleyball semifinal match. – Photo by Terry Schaller REEDSVILLE – The Howards Grove Tigers shook off a slow start and then dominated the rest of the way as they swept Manitowoc Lu- theran, 25-19, 25-12, 25-10 in the Division 3 girls volleyball sectional semifinals here Thursday night.

HGHS was clicking on all cylinders – dominating at the net with strong blocking and spiking, digging incredibly, executing near flawless serving and serve reception, and showing excellent setting.

“I was very impressed. It clicked tonight. It was just boom, boom, boom and that was the key. Our girls played really, really well,” said Tiger head coach Brett Damrow whose team improved to 35-6-1.

“We did really good. We executed all of our points,” said Tiger junior outside hitter Olivia Stauss.

“We focused on our serves. We just knew we had to get them [balls] to the right spots. We worked together real well. We just hit shots and were smart about it.”

“I’m very [with the team],” said Tiger junior setter Taylor Bubolz. “We pushed points, focused on controlling our errors and we focused on one point at a time.”

The Tigers’ attack was sparked by junior middle blocker Sam Yancy who delivered 19 kills, many of them on powerful spikes. Stauss contributed five kills.

HGHS’s offense ran smoothly mostly of the night and it was due to accurate passing and setting. Bubolz had a team-high 29 assists. Stauss and junior defensive specialist Brittany Schaller led the Tigers in serve reception with 7-for- 7 and 21-for-22, respectively.

Schaller paced the Tigers in digs with 17, followed by Stauss with 13. Bubolz and Yancy led the team in solo blocks with two each against a tall, very athletic Lancer team. Schaller led in ace serves with two.

“Our block was really good,” said Damrow.

Going into the match, Damrow thought two keys for his team would be serving and serve reception. The Tigers excelled in both areas, going 72-for-74 in serving and 33-for-35 in serve reception.

“Our passing was phenomenal. We never quit on the ball. Taylor set a very nice game [match],” said Damrow. “She did a very nice job of running the offense.

“Sam, Brittany and Olivia make things go.”

The Tigers trailed 4-1 in game one but rallied for five straight points to go up 6-4. HGHS grabbed a 13-8 lead but the Lancers (22-15) answered with five points in a row to tie the game, 13-13, keyed by two block kills and two spike kills.

Leading 17-16, the Tigers outscored Lutheran 8-3 the rest of the way. Yancy and Addi Gerber scored the final two points, respectively, for HGHS with spike kills.

In game two, the Tigers jumped out to a 9-3 lead and were in control the rest of the way. Yancy spearheaded the HGHS attack with five spike kills in the game. The Tigers finished the set with seven unanswered points.

The Tigers dominated the third game from the start – bolting to a 15-2 lead, keyed by Yancy’s eight kills, including six on spikes. HGHS closed out the set with a 10-2 run, led by Stauss who had two kills.


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