Setting the pace

DeForest’s Chloe Bernards sets a ball during the Sun Prairie Invite.

The DeForest volleyball team got its season underway last Thursday and Friday at the Sun Prairie Invite.

The Norskies finished the two-day event with a 6-4 record and placed fifth.

“This is much better than how we finished last year,” Norski coach Scott Schumann said. “One of our goals is to be better than last year and we are off to a good start.”

The Lady Norskies had a tough start to the invite with three straight losses on Thursday.

In the opener, DeForest fell 25-18, 25-16 to Manitowoc Lutheran. The Norskies were then tripped up by Sun Prairie 25-18, 25-11 before falling 25-12, 19-25, 15-10 to Luxemburg-Casco.

The Lady Norskies started to turn things around in the fourth round on Thursday, as they defeated Waupun 25-16, 25-11.

DeForest closed out the first day of action with a 27-25, 25-8 victory over Marshfield.

The Norskies carried over the momentum from the first day and went 4-1 on Friday.

“We played brilliantly on Friday,” Schumann said. “Our defense was amazing. This was expected to be our strength going into the season. Our back court is very fast and aggressive, and won a number of rallies simply on tenacity. Our blocking became a strong point, especially against Watertown. I thought the girls responded brilliantly to a rough Thursday. If they can continue to play with this tenacity and intelligence, we will be a very tough team to beat and this will be an exciting season.”

DeForest started things off on Friday with two wins over De Pere. The Norskies won the first match 25-16, 25-20 and prevailed 25-18. 25-17 in the second meeting.

The Lady Norskies then got revenge on Luxemburg-Casco with a 25-23, 25-17 victory.

DeForest’s only loss on Friday came to eventual champion Watertown, 25-22, 25-23.

In the final match of the invite, the Norskies took care of Manitowoc Lutheran 25-22, 25-23.

Natalie Compe led the Lady Norskies with 42 kills, while Kaycee Meiners had 38. Meiners led DeForest in aces (15) and blocks (12).

Leah Doucette did a great job of leading the Norskies’ offense with 82, while Emily BonoAnno led the defensive charge with 79 digs.

The Lady Norskies will be back in action on Thursday. They will kick off Badger North Conference play at Baraboo at 7 p.m.

This Saturday, DeForest will take part in the New Berlin West Invite at 8 a.m.

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