The Tomah High School volleyball team wasn’t in a good mood after leaving Sparta with a loss Sept. 3.

The Timberwolves felt much better after Tuesday’s rematch.

Tomah made the big plays down the stretch of the first and second sets and dominated the third set to hand Sparta a 25-21, 25-21, 25-12 defeat in a Mississippi Valley Conference contest at Tomah High School.

“It’s a good restart to the second half of the conference,” said Tomah coach Sarah Walters, whose team evened its MVC record at 4-4. “It was a good win.”

The Timberwolves played their best volleyball down the stretch. They closed out the first set on a 7-1 run with Sparta’s only point coming on a Tomah service fault.

In the second set, Tomah busted open a close match after an Alyssa Whaley kill and Ella Plueger service ace gave the Timberwolves a 24-18 lead. Sparta stayed alive with three straight kills from Callahan Ziebell, but the Timberwolves ended the set when Whaley sized up a floating free ball and tapped a kill shot.

Sparta took a 4-1 lead in the third set, but Tomah zoomed out to a 17-8 lead before Sparta used its second timeout. Tomah got match point when Abby Nick pounded a spike off a Sparta block attempt.

Walters said the blocking, led by Whaley and Nick, was an effective weapon against the Spartans.

“They know our defense relies on them,” Walters said. “We have put a lot of effort into our blocking ... and you’re starting to see the benefits of that.”

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The blocking kept several rallies alive and often left the Spartans out of position.

“We knew we had to make Sparta move, and making them move took them out of system,” Walters said.

Savannah Murphy led the Timberwolves’ net attack with 14 kills.

Whaley had six kills and delivered three aces.

Plueger led the setters with 14 assists, and Courtney Leis added eight assists.

Lily Redcloud, Tomah’s libero, had 14 digs and three aces.

Sparta, which dropped to 1-8 in the MVC, was led by Laney Schell, who had a strong all-around match. She had eight kills, 12 assists, 11 digs and three aces. Ziebell finished with seven kills and three blocks.

Tomah will host a varsity reserve and junior varsity quadrangular Saturday against Mauston, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau and Altoona starting at 9 a.m. Matches will be played at both the high school and middle school.

Tomah’s final regular-season home match is Tuesday, Oct. 8 against Onalaska. The varsity reserve and junior varsity matches start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.

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Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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