The Tomah High School volleyball team entered the last week of the regular season hoping to make up for lost time, and its mission got off to a good start Tuesday.
The Timberwolves rocketed to a strong start that carried them to a 25-7, 21-25, 25-17, 25-19 victory over La Crosse Central in front of a Parents Night and Seniors Night audience in the Tomah High School gymnasium.
The outcome reversed a Sept. 11 loss at Central that Tomah coach Sarah Walters described as a low point of the season.
“The last time we played Central, we did not play very well at all,” Walters said. “We had so much higher expectations the last time we played them, so it was important for us to come out and play well against them this time.”
Tomah wasted no time against the Red Raiders. An 8-0 run gave Tomah a 15-3 lead, and the Timberwolves never let up until a kill from Madison Lindauer delivered the 25th point.
Central’s best stretch of the match came in the second game, when it erased a 20-17 deficit to close out the match on an 8-1 run.
Fortunately for the Timberwolves, there wasn’t a carryover into the third game. Tomah scored the first three points and stretched its advantage to 9-3 on back-to-back Alyssa Whaley kills.
Another Whaley kill boosted the lead to 19-11 before the Red Raiders reeled off five straight points. A Central service fault halted the rally, and back-to-back kills from Abby Wagenson and Savannah Murphy pushed the margin to 22-16, which triggered a Central timeout.
Tomah then ended the match on a 3-1 run with the final point coming on a double block from Lindauer and Ella Plueger.
The Timberwolves rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the fourth game. They scored five straight points for an 8-5 lead and kept their advantage the rest of the match. Lily Redcould uncorked a service ace for a 22-15 Tomah lead before Central rallied to within 23-19. Tomah then closed out the contest on a Whaley kill and Central hitting error.
Walters said the Timberwolves were sharp in their execution.
“We controlled the ball, controlled the momentum of the game, and we did that by talking and moving our feet,” she said. “We did a really good job in our transitions and controlling what was coming over the net.”
Walters said the hitting was more accurate.
“We paid a lot of attention the past week to getting our setters’ feet squared and getting our sets out to where they need to be and getting our hitters out to where they could take a full approach,” she said.
Redcloud produced big numbers for the Timberwolves on both the front and back rows. She had 11 kills, 16 assists, nine digs and two aces.
Whaley finished with 13 kills, Murphy had 12 kills, Wagenson had 12 kills and three aces, Plueger had 17 assists and Madisyn Brey had nine digs.
Cleo Tillman led Central with 12 digs, and Jennessa Van Maanen had 12 assists.
Tomah improved to 3-8 in the MVC, while Central ended its MVC season at 3-9.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at email@example.com.
Results of Oct. 9
Tomah def. Central 25-7, 21-25, 25-17, 25-19
Holmen def. Sparta 25-16, 22-25, 25-12, 21-25, 15-9
Aquinas def. Logan 25-20, 25-17, 25-18