Year-in and year-out the Wisconsin Heights games are highlighted on the Waterloo volleyball schedule, but this year’s second meeting had a little bit more on the line.
With 25-11, 25-18, 25-20 win, the Pirates clinched at least a share of their third consecutive Capitol South Conference championship.
“This was a big game to get past, we’ve had it marked on our calendar and preparing for it for a while,” said Pirates head coach Christy Mosher.
Both teams entered play Tuesday ranked in the latest Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association Division 3 poll: the Pirates were No. 2 behind Howards Grove while the Vanguards were among four teams receiving honorable mention.
Waterloo (29-7 overall, 8-0 Cap. South) shot out of the gates like thoroughbreds taking a quick 8-0 lead in the first set, and rolled to a 25-11 victory.
“We get up for this game 100 percent,” said junior outside hitter/setter Brooke Mosher. “We’ve always had a pretty good rivalry with them, so I think that’s what really gets us going.”
“Strangely enough we tend to not play as well at home as we do on the road traditionally, so I was pleased we got out to a good start for a change,” added Christy Mosher.
Mosher led the Pirates with 13 kills, 11 assists and two blocks while adding a pair of service aces.
But Heights (21-10, 6-2) didn’t go away quietly. After falling behind 19-13 in the second set, the Vanguards pulled to within 21-18 before Waterloo recorded the final four points in the 25-18 victory.
The Vanguards led 16-15 in the third set after senior outside hitter Ashlee Adler’s ace, but kills by junior outside hitter/setter Joslyn Wolff and Mosher fueled a 4-0 run. Mosher then finished things off with a solid kill through a double-block attempt.
“That was the first thing we said in the huddle, be ready. They must have just come out flat, and we expected them to come out firing in the second and third games, and they did,” said Christy Mosher.
“We’re really just trying to keep going steady,” Brooke Mosher added.
Wolff had a team-high four aces and 13 digs, while sophomore libero Michaela Riege led the Pirates with 18 digs.
The Pirates can clinch the Capitol South outright next Tuesday when they travel to New Glarus to face the Glarner Knights in a 6:45 p.m. start.