The Poynette volleyball team had a season that will not soon be forgotten and it wasn’t just because of all of the changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pumas had one of their most successful campaign in years. They finished 9-7 overall to garner just their second winning record in 10 years.

“The biggest highlight of the season was watching the team grow and learn together,” Puma coach Janeen Hutchinson said. “They learned how important it was to play every point. They started looking for and finding holes in the opponent’s defense. They showed a greater understanding of offensive and defensive strategies. As they gained confidence and success, they became more aggressive and assertive with their play.”

The Lady Pumas went 6-3 in the Capitol Conference to share the title with Columbus.

“The alternate season conference was extremely competitive,” Hutchinson said. “Numerous matches went four or five sets making for some very intense games. This group of girls never counted themselves out of a match. It was thrilling to watch when they gave a little extra to bring home the win. Their enthusiasm and excitement was infectious.”

After garnering the conference crown, Poynette earned its first regional title in at least 20 years.

The Pumas defeated Wisconsin Heights (3-1) and Abundant Life (3-2) to win the regional title.

Poynette’s season came to an end with a 3-0 loss to Laconia in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal.

Rachel Yelk led the Lady Pumas with 145 kills this season, while Leah Hutchinson and Peyton Kingsland added 112 and 77, respectively.

Hutchinson paced Poynette with 28 blocks. Aubry Chalgren and Yelk contributed 19 and 15, respectively.

Jessica Bruchs led the charge on offense with 208 assists, while Emma Romack came away with 151.

Yelk registered a team-high 38 service aces, while Olivia Radewan and Romack added 32 and 23, respectively.

On defense, Radewan led the Lady Pumas with 299 digs. Kingsland finished with 189 digs, while Yelk contributed 159.

The Pumas are saying goodbye to a strong senior group that included Bruchs, Kingsland, Megan Reddeman, Alanna Borgen, Tia Bauernhuber and Kaitlyn Priske.

“Because of COVID, the senior class has lost so many high school memory making opportunities in the last year,” Hutchinson said. “I’m glad they were able to have a volleyball season. One of the biggest highlights of the season was watching and listening to the seniors in our five-set matches. Their drive and determination to win is something I hope we can continue to build on with our program.”

Hutchinson is already looking forward to next season.

“We have a group of hard working girls returning next season,” Hutchinson said. “We will need to continue to build on what we started this year.”

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