Tigers face similar foe in sectional semis

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


TAYLOR BUBOLZ (left) of Howards Grove keeps the ball in play during Saturday’s regional volleyball title match versus Cedar Grove-Belgium. The Tigers’ Emily Bruckschen watches. – Photo by Terry Schaller TAYLOR BUBOLZ (left) of Howards Grove keeps the ball in play during Saturday’s regional volleyball title match versus Cedar Grove-Belgium. The Tigers’ Emily Bruckschen watches. – Photo by Terry Schaller HOWARDS GROVE – The Division 3 girls volleyball sectional semifinal match pitting the Howards Grove Tigers versus the Manitowoc Lutheran Lancers shapes up to be a good battle.

The match will be held Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Reedsville High School. The winner advances to the finals Saturday at Sheboygan South at 7 p.m. against the Lake Country Lutheran (Hartland)-Kenosha Christian Life victor with a state berth on the line.

Big East Conference rivals HG and Manitowoc Lutheran have strong defenses and outside hitters, and pass and set very well.

“We’re very similar. They have a good setter and libero (back-row specialist), and two really good outside hitters [senior Anna Menges and junior Lauren Griepentrog]. Lutheran is good and strong,” said Tiger head coach Brett Damrow.

The Tigers’ attack is led by senior outside hitters Sam Yancy and Olivia Stauss. HG has an excellent setter in senior Taylor Bubolz and a strong senior libero in Brittany Schaller.

The Tigers defeated Lutheran in the BEC Tournament, 25-15, 25-18. HG and Lutheran also met in the sectional semifinals last year with the Tigers winning.

Damrow pointed out the keys to the outcome.

“Whoever serves and passes better will probably win. We just try to keep the pressure on teams with our serving and hitting, and try to stay mentally strong throughout the match,” he said.

“I’m most impressed with Manitowoc Lutheran’s defense. They are very scrappy on defense and have good outside attackers.

“We’re confident. We focus on one point at a time and commit to that. We’ve played well all year and we just need to go out there and play and not think about it.

“Our goal is to improve every night. Our experience will help. We’re senior-driven. This team is loaded with experience and talent,” said Damrow.

The Tigers were D-3 state semifinalists in 2014 and sectional finalists last year. Several members of the team played in the postseason the past two seasons.


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