After Tuesday’s disastrous home opener against Holmen, the Tomah High School volleyball team had exactly one practice to rebuild before a difficult trip to Onalaska.
The Timberwolves put the limited time to good use.
Coach Sarah Walters shifted her lineup to cover the loss of middle hitter Brooke Brown, and her team responded with a stunning 20-25, 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 15-12 Mississippi Valley Conference victory Thursday at Onalaska High School.
“We talked about building our intensity and making things happen,” Walters said. “When we play with intensity the entire game, good things happen.”
Walters moved junior Madison Lindauer into Brown’s middle-blocking position and inserted freshman Ella Plueger at right hitter. The move solidified a defense which sprung big leaks in the loss to Holmen.
“Madison Lindauer did an awesome job of filling in for Brooke,” Walters said.
Lindauer led a defense that limited Onalaska’s Emma Gamoke, a returning all-MVC first-team selection, to just 12 kills. Meanwhile, Tomah’s Reis Derousseau unloaded for 28 kills after getting just nine against Holmen.
Tomah setter Abbey Larsen lofted 26 assists.
Walters was proud that her team bounced back in such a short time frame. Brown suffered a potentially serious knee injury against Holmen, and outside hitter Abby Wagenson also left the Holmen match with an injury. Walters acknowledged the injuries played a role in Tuesday’s blowout loss.
“They’re a pretty close team,” Walters said. “Whenever you see a friend who looks like she’s hurt really bad, your mindset is a lot different.”
The Timberwolves travel to La Crosse Aquinas Tuesday, Sept. 12 for an MVC match. They return home Thursday, Sept. 14 to host MVC rival La Crosse Central. The varsity reserve and junior varsity matches start at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.
Results of Sept. 7
Aquinas def. Holmen 20-25, 25-20, 27-25, 25-22
Central def. Sparta 25-18, 25-18, 17-25, 25-15
Tomah def. Onalaska 20-25, 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 15-12