On the strength of 11 service aces, the Viroqua girls volleyball team picked up their first Coulee Conference victory of the season, Thursday, Sept. 14, at Onalaska Luther. The Blackhawks were consistent from beginning to end, sweeping the Luther Knights in three sets 25-21, 28-26 and 25-21.

“We were hungry for our first conference win and on the road, we knew that we would have to play a little better than we had been playing,” coach Katie Schwartz said. “Although it was not our best night in ‘serve-receive’ we managed to hang on and served tough with 11 aces. We are looking forward to finishing out the first half of the season strong.”

The Blackhawks’ balanced attack received contributions from a number of players en route to their first Coulee win in five tries this season. Haley Olson chipped in with 11 service points and 2 aces, Madysen Zitzner came up with 8 digs and 3 kills, Natalie Waldenberger provided 8 kills and 2 aces, Ivy Shonka battled for 22 digs, Claire Anderson dished out 16 assists and 2 aces, while Jenna Harless, Ashlee Gander and Valarie Buroker added 3 kills each.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Arcadia came to town and escaped with a knock-down drag-out four-set win over the Blackhawks.

Zitzner’s 7 kills, an ace and 13 digs, along with Waldenberger’s 9 kills, 2 aces, a team-high 14 service points, and Anderson’s team-high 22 assists, an ace, a kill and 10 digs, led the Blackhawks in the hard-fought battle. Harless added 6 kills and Shonka worked hard for 13 digs.

“This was an exciting match for our girls being our home opener and parent’s night,” Schwartz said. “We had a slow start again dropping the first game and having eight errors, but we came back strong and only had two errors in our second game that we won 25-13. Once both teams settled down I felt like the match could have gone either way. We definitely looked the best we have looked and improved our hitting and passing percentages. We just missed some serves down the stretch at crucial times that may have been the difference in the game.”