Tigers win third straight regional championship

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


THE HOWARDS GROVE Tigers celebrate winning a regional volleyball title over Cedar Grove-Belgium Saturday night at HG. – Photo by Terry Schaller THE HOWARDS GROVE Tigers celebrate winning a regional volleyball title over Cedar Grove-Belgium Saturday night at HG. – Photo by Terry Schaller HOWARDS GROVE – A strong team effort propelled the Howards Grove Tigers to a 25- 17, 25-21, 25-17 win over Cedar Grove-Belgium in the Division 3 girls volleyball regional title match here Saturday night.

The No. 1-seeded Tigers, who have won three straight regional championships, raised their dual record to 37-4. The Rockets were seeded No. 2.

HG, ranked No. 2 in the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association D-3 poll, advance to the sectional semifinals Thursday versus Big East Conference rival Manitowoc Lutheran at Reedsville at 7 p.m.

“We really worked hard for it [regional championship]. We really worked together, played one point at a time and never gave up,” said Tiger senior outside hitter Olivia Stauss.

“We communicate real well. It was a big effort by our team. Our younger players are stepping up and making a difference.”

Stauss thought her team’s passing, setting and hitting were also keys to winning the match.

Sam Yancy led HG in kills with 14 and Stauss had nine. Stauss, Paige Splittgerber and Taylor Bubolz had a team-high three ace serves each.

Yancy paced the Tigers in blocks with 1.5. Brittany Schaller led in digs with 19 and Emily Schmid had seven. Bubolz had a team-high 30 assists.

“It feels good [to be regional champions]. I’m proud of the girls,” said Tiger head coach Brett Damrow.

“Tonight it was a dogfight. Cedar Grove is a really talented team with tall girls. They pass extremely well.

“The biggest difference was that we spread our offense around. They couldn’t key on one girl, and they tried. We kept trying to increase our tempo,” said Damrow.

“We were relentless with our serving. We really try to be aggressive with our serving.

“Emily Bruckschen [freshman outside hitter] did a great job on the right side and Taylor Bubolz [setter] did a great job trusting Emily.

“Emma Schmid had some nice plays in the back [on defense]. Paige Splittgerber did a good job of putting pressure on with her serving,” Damrow noted.

REEDSVILLE MATCH

The host Tigers swept No. 4-seeded Reedsville in semifinal play Thursday night, 25-14, 25- 9, 25-9.

Yancy sparked the HG attack with 18 kills. Schaller and Yancy had a team-best four ace serves. Yancy and Bubolz led in blocks with 1.5 apiece.

Bubolz led in assists with 32. Schaller and Stauss led in digs with 17 and 11, respectively.


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