After defending their spot atop the Badger North tonight, the Waunakee volleyball team has finally earned some rest.
“It’s been a long stretch of three weeks of a lot of volleyball for us,” said Waunakee’s Head Coach Anne Denkert, noting back-to-back weeks of Thursday-Friday-Saturday games. “We’re looking forward to a weekend finally.”
After beating Baraboo tonight 25-19, 25-10, 25-18, the Warriors take a nine-game win streak into their break.
The back-breaker in favor of the Warriors came in the form of a dominant second set, powered by a pair of big runs. Already up one set to none, Waunakee opened the second with a 6-0 run, boosted by a trio of aces from Sam Miller.
Baraboo stemmed the hemorrhage of points for a couple of minutes, but with the score showing 9-5, the Warriors caught fire. Waunakee ripped off 10 straight points to firmly take control of the set and the match.
Capped by a Jocelyn Meinholz ace, Waunakee claimed the second set and put their sights on earning another conference victory in straight sets.
Another quick start saw the Warriors jump out to a 4-0 lead in the third. Waunakee gradually extended their lead as the set wore on, forcing the Thunderbirds to take another timeout after the Warriors secured a 19-8 lead.
On the other side of the timeout, Waunakee snagged two more points; up 21-8, they appeared poised to bring an early end to the night. It was at that point, however, when Baraboo finally showed some fight.
The Thunderbirds took advantage of a handful of Waunakee mistakes to pull off a 10-2 run, closing to within just five points: 23-18.
“It exemplifies how important it is to earn every single point that’s out in front of you…” Denkert said of Baraboo’s late run. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to perform on those final points.”
The Warriors finally closed out the Thunderbirds, earning the final two points to take all three sets.
Milla Malik led all players in kills on the night with 16, while Miller was tops in aces with six and assists with 17. Kaitlyn Jordan was best on the night in blocks – recording three – and Hayley Krysinski racked up six digs for the Warriors.
Waunakee now has a week to rest before hosting Mount Horeb in next Thursday’s Senior Night; start time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Qe’ve got to come back a little bit more focused this coming week,” added Denkert. “I think we will.”
After Thursday, they’ll travel to Sauk Prairie for the Badger North Conference Tournament on Saturday morning in hopes of claiming a Badger North title.