It wasn’t the ending the DeForest volleyball team had in mind when they hosted Saturday’s Badger North Conference tournament, but coach Sussanah Sasman still found plenty of positives to take from the experience.
The Norskies ripped off three wins for the right to take on Waunakee in the conference tournament finale, but the top-seeded Warriors battled back to take the title after dropping their first match of the day to Reedsburg.
DeForest fell in the championship match after dropping the first game, a 29-27 thriller that went in favor of Waunakee, and the second by a score of 25-17.
Gwen Orr led the Norskies in kills in defeat with six while Jordanna Midthun registered two blocks. Mimi Murphy recorded eight assists and Savannah Sipek had six digs.
“The loss to Waunakee stings but I am confident our team will bounce back and use the loss to motivate us to continue working hard in practice as we prepared for the upcoming Regional tournament,” Sasman said.
DeForest opened the tournament Saturday morning with a dominant win against Sauk Prairie.
The Norskies took command early by scoring the first nine points of the opening game, a run capped off with an ace by Murphy.
Sauk Prairie responded with a run of its own with six of the game’s next seven points to get within 10-6. The two teams then traded points until DeForest, holding on to a 13-8 advantage, allowed just three points the rest of the way for a 25-11 win.
The second game with the Eagles saw the Norskies again get off to a hot start to the tune of an 11-2 lead with Emily Miller registering two kills in the process. DeForest led 24-12 before Sauk Prairie scored three straight, but a kill by Orr ended the match at 25-15.
Miller and Orr each finished with a team-high four kills in the match. Miller also finished with seven blocks, while Murphy led with eight assists and four aces. Lauren Olson was tops in digs with four.
DeForest had little difficulty in its second match of the tournament, a lopsided 25-14, 25-13 victory against Mount Horeb in which Murphy had 11 assists and Orr scored eight kills and six aces.
Miller followed with seven kills, while Olson had three digs and Midthun tallied a pair of blocks.
Against Reedsburg, the Norskies pulled out the first game by a narrow score of 27-25 before taking the second 25-21. Murphy recorded 14 assists and Orr had 11 kills in the win.
Midthun led the way against the Beavers with seven blocks while Olson and Sipek each had four digs.
“I was really proud of their play in the morning versus Sauk, Mt. Horeb, and Reedsburg,” Sasman said. “We played clean, up-tempo, aggressive volleyball.”
DeForest’s first setback came in its fourth match of the day at the hands of Waunakee to setup a rematch with the Warriors in the final. Murphy had 16 assists and Orr put down six kills, but it wasn’t enough as the Norskies fell 25-17 and 28-26.
Miller led in blocks with five. Sipek followed with five digs and Katie Brown had one ace.