A pair of tournaments marked the opening of the season for the Waunakee volleyball team in 2019. On Tuesday, the Warriors were in Watertown for the Early Bird Invite, followed by a Thursday tournament in Wisconsin Dells, where Waunakee took home the championship.
Early Bird Invite
A 2-1 record in pool play qualified the Warriors for the gold bracket in Watertown.
Waunakee earned early victories over Janesville Craig 25-10, 25-17 and Brookfield East 25-21, 25-16. In their final pool play match, the Warriors fell to the ninth-ranked team in Division 1 – Sussex Hamilton – in a closely contested match 25-22, 19-25, 13-15.
Despite the loss, the Warriors did qualify for the gold bracket; their first opponent was Germantown. The Warhawks ultimately got the better of the Warriors, winning in a close three sets 18-25, 25-20, 14-16.
This gave Waunakee a rematch with Sussex Hamilton in the third-place match. This time around, the Warriors won handily, defeating the Chargers 25-17, 25-17.
After a day of rest on Wednesday, the Warriors were back on the court in Wisconsin Dells for the Friendship Tournament.
Waunakee faced little resistance in any of their pool play matches on Thursday. The Warriors beat Clintonville 25-12, 25-9, top-10 ranked Hustisford 25-16, 15-21, Bruce 25-1, 25-10 and Dodgeland 25-12, 25-12.
Their 4-0 record in pool play put Waunakee in the championship bracket, where three wins stood between them and first place.
In their first match, Waunakee faced the third-ranked team in Division 3: La Crosse Aquinas. Though the Blugolds made things interesting in the second set, the Warriors found a way to put the Blugolds away, defeating them in straight sets 25-17, 27-25.
After a quick semifinal match against Green Bay Preble – which the Warriors won 25-20, 25-13 – Waunakee was set to face Lake Mills in the championship match.
The L-Cats – ranked ninth in Division 2 – seemed to be caught off-guard early, as the Warriors controlled the first set 25-12. Lake Mills rebounded by taking a tight second set 26-24 to force a final third set. While the third set remained close, Waunakee ultimately pulled out a 15-12 victory to take home the title of Friendship Tournament Champions.
The 10-2 Warriors will host their first Badger North contest on Thursday, when they welcome Beaver Dam to the WHS Fieldhouse. Start time is scheduled for 7 p.m.