The McFarland High School volleyball team had a 21-match winning streak heading into its Tuesday, Oct. 15, match against non-conference host Monona Grove. While the Silver Eagles did its best to bring down the Spartans, it didn’t happen.
McFarland’s Avery Pennekamp had 15 kills, Lizzy Fortune had 44 assists and Erin Eggers had 22 digs that led to a 3-0 win over MG.
The win improved the Spartans record to 29-3 overall, and MG fell to 16-17.
“They have been our rivals for the longest time,” said Eggers about the Silver Eagles. “I think our teamwork worked really well, and we had a lot of energy. I think we are going to go pretty far this year, and I think it’s good to go out on this note.”
McFarland was in control in the opening two sets, winning the first 25-19 and then using a five-point run to defeat the Silver Eagles 25-20 in the second set.
The third set was closer and winnable for MG.
The Silver Eagles opened a 5-1 advantage before the Spartans used a four-point run to tie 5-5.
After that, the teams traded the lead with neither side able to jump in front by more than three points. The Silver Eagles led 15-12, but McFarland used a 13-6 to take the set and match 25-21.
MG head coach Melissa Hahn commended to play of Jadee Christiansen, who had seven kills, Mady Davis-Troller with 15 assists and Alyssa Smith with 12 digs and two aces.
She also felt Alyssa Majewski and Jada Braun had strong performances. But matching up against McFarland was very difficult.
“They have hitters that place balls really well and aggressively, and try to get a shot on every ball. You don’t get any easy breaks against McFarland,” Hahn said.
As for the Spartans, senior Lizzy Fortune, who eclipsed the 2,000 career assist mark, said communication has been the key to the team’s success.
“We use hand signals to call different plays,” she said. “We always try to keep a fast tempo that throws the other team off and we can get a kill.”
McFarland head coach Trish Fortune said communication is a vital part of every team practice, and she prepares the Spartans for situations that may come up during matches.
“We work a lot of scenarios against different defenses, and we really work on the back court talking to the front court,” she said. “We want the two gelling together, before the play, during the play and after the play.”