DeForest’s Natalie Compe spikes a ball against Waunakee.

The DeForest prep volleyball team put together its best showing of the season at last Thursday’s WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal against Waunakee in Verona.

But, it would not be enough for the Norskies. They fell 3-1 to the Warriors.

“It was the best I have seen them play all year,” DeForest coach Scott Schumann said. “They played with emotion, hustle, relentless pursuit of the ball, and aggressiveness. We made plenty of mistakes, but by playing that way we also created many opportunities that they were able to take advantage of. Our goal was to leave everything on the floor and play as aggressive as we could. As a result, we missed 16 serves but aced them 16 times and kept them out of rotation the majority of the match. So, I’ll easily accept the missed serves.”

The Norskies finished the season 31-15 overall.

“I’m very proud of our team,” Schumann said. “We went 31-15 on the season versus a very difficult strength of schedule. In fact, only 15 teams, out of 470, in the state had a tougher strength of schedule. We also finished ranked 24 out of 108 Division 1 teams. All without a single hitter in the top 100 in the state. This was the very definition of a team effort this season and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Waunakee lost 3-2 to Sun Prairie in the sectional final on Saturday.

The Lady Norskies had a great start to the night. They grabbed momentum with a 25-17 victory in the opening game.

“We had Waunakee scouted for every rotation and where their hitters would go and we were in the right spots most of the time,” Schumann said. “It showed in our blocking and digging stats. We simply made more errors than they did, and that is sports.”

The Warriors tied up the match with a 25-20 win in Game 2.

It took extra points, but Waunakee captured a 27-25 victory in the third game.

Game 4 was also a battle to the end. The Warriors had a late surge to win 25-21 and end DeForest’s season.

“Many people came up to me afterwards saying roughly the same thing, ‘It is a shame somebody had to lose that game,” Schumann said. “Because both teams played so strong.”

Natalie Compe led DeForest with eight kills, while Kaycee Meiners and Sydney Hoffman both had seven. Isabel Burke chipped in six kills, to go along with a team-high four blocks.

Hoffman served up a team-best five aces, while Meiners had three.

Leah Doucette paced the Norskies with 15 assists, while Chloe Bernards added six.

Defensively, Emily BonoAnno led the Lady Norskies with 24 digs, while Compe chipped in 22.

Milla Malik led Waunakee with 20 kills, while Sam Miller and Caitlyn Lynch combined for 31 assists.

The loss marked the end for DeForest’s senior class of Meiners, Burke, BonoAnno, Hoffman, Doucette, Megan Mickelson, Bernards and Kayla Baumann.

“We lose eight seniors and we will miss them dearly,” Schumann said. “It will now be the responsibility of our juniors to provide this type of leadership for next year.”

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