Westby (15-9, 6-4) fell in three straight sets when they hosted West Salem (13-5, 10-0) in its Homecoming match on Oct. 5. West Salem defeated Westby 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 to extend its Coulee Conference lead.
West Salem 3, Westby 0
Head Coach Jenny Luebke said Westby always struggles with focus during Homecoming week and playing a solid team like West Salem they needed to play with focus, fire and passion.
“There are so many activities and things going on that the team gets overwhelmed. This was a tough loss not only in conference standings, but it was Homecoming,” Luebke said.
Conference leader West Salem is a fast well rounded team. The Panthers push the ball from pin to pin across the net and Westby blockers hustled, but missed many blocks, with no block kills in the set. The Norse showed improvement in its overall serving, but fell 25-15.
Westby fired six kills total in this set with senior Michaela Grabowski picking up five. The defense stayed busy with 18 digs, led by Jada Berra with five.
In the second set the Norse only had five kills against the Panthers. Westby was not swinging hard at the ball, but did manage a few tip points over the net. Kenzie Von Ruden and Elsa Luebke led kills with two each. The Norse also missed four serves and had no aces. Kiarra Keenlance had a trio of assists and Berra and Jessi Marshall led with digs. The norse fell 25-15.
Luebke said Westby needs to do a better job of putting points on the board and more players need to be involved in picking up those points.
Westby never picked up the momentum it needed and dropped the third and final set to the Panthers 25-15. Luebke said the team just lacked focus, didn’t communicate on the floor and never pushed themselves hard enough. Marshall had a pair of kills, while Lauren Berg and Keenlance led with assists.
“We struggled in receive and couldn’t get our offense going. It was a rough night, Luebke said.
Westby hosted Black River Falls on Tuesday, Oct. 10 and Arcadia on Thursday, Oct. 12.