At attention

The Viroqua High School volleyball team stands at attention for the national anthem at the start of the match against Westby, Tuesday, Sept. 5. It was “Pink Night,” and both teams wore pink to bring awareness to breast cancer and the need for further research to find a cure. “Pink Night” is held rotating years at Westby and Viroqua; it was held in Westby this year.

The Viroqua High School volleyball team wrapped up a very busy week of action last week, winning three of five matches played at the Lancaster Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 9. Earlier in the week the Blackhawks lost a pair of Coulee Conference matches, both on the road, at Westby and Black River Falls.

Lancaster Invite

The Blackhawks lost the first and last matches of the day, sandwiched around three straight wins. Viroqua lost to Blackhawk High School, in a tightly contested opening round match 24-26, 25-18, 14-16.

The Blackhawks defeated host school Lancaster in round two by identical scores of 25-21, 25-21, before picking up a 25-19, 25-14 win over the Lancaster varsity reserves, and wrapped up the trio of wins battling back for a 16-25, 25-14, 15-11 victory over Kickapoo in round four. Potosi dropped the Blackhawks 18-25, 21-25 in the final round of the day.

“This is not how we wanted the tournament to go,” coach Katie Schwartz said, “however, it was a great day of competing by all our girls. After the tough first game loss and losing a player to injury after already being down two women for the day, the other girls stepped up.”

Westby vs Viroqua

The Norse Ladies proved to be rude hosts to the Blackhawks on Tuesday night, Sept. 5, winning the Coulee match in three sets by scores of 12-25, 20-25, 22-25.

“Slow starts seem to be the theme of the season right now and we are trying to change that,” Schwartz said after the loss. “We are slow out of the gates and by the time we pick up steam and are playing the level of volleyball that I know our girls are capable of we run out of time.”

Individual statistical leaders were, kills: Madysen Zitzner 5, Jenna Harless and Valerie Buroker 4 each; assists, Claire Anderson 14; Taylor Cowden two aces; and Ivy Shonka 20 digs.

BRF vs Viroqua

Two nights later the Hawks traveled north and pushed the match to four sets, before losing to the BRF Tigers 15-25, 25-21, 23-25, 11-25.

Following the match, the third straight conference defeat for VHS, Schwartz shared these thoughts, “We are still working through how to play more even keel. The girls understand we need to minimize errors and find a way to not play so ‘Jekyl and Hyde.’ We made some changes in the lineup this game that I feel was a step in the right direction. We started out with three of the tougher conference reams and I am confident we will be able to overcome this slow start to conference.”

Individual stat leaders include, kills, Natalie Waldenberger 10 and Buroker 4; and Anderson 17 assists, 3 aces and 19 digs. Shonka chipped in a team high 20 digs.

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Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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