Volleyball soars through season

Warhawk champs of Elmhurst Triangular


Robbie Elsbury Jr.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawk Volleyball continues its winning streak by fighting to the end of every match.

Ethan Maurice, Sports Editor

A tough week of away matchups came to a climactic close for the Whitewater Volleyball Team after back-to-back wins against Dominican and Elmhurst. The Warhawks had also picked up a sweet five-set win against WIAC rival La Crosse earlier on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Coach Stacy Boudreau was feeling good after her team won a hard fought victory over conference rivals La Crosse.

“I think any time you can go on the road in our conference, and get a win we are very happy with that,” she said. “We’ve kind of been Road Warriors this year, we’ve got a lot of away games, seeing some different teams.”

The Warhawks came out hot and took the first two sets of the match by scores of 25-22 and  25-20 respectively. However, they slowed down after the second set. 

“I’m not completely satisfied with the way that we played. I think that we are still getting better, which we are excited about. I don’t think that we are at our peak, I think that we are still working to get there,” said Boudreau.

The Warhawks dropped the third and fourth sets, forcing a 5th game tiebreaker, which they won 15-11, much to Boudreau’s satisfaction.

“I thought the team fought hard. They really mentally wanted that win. We were able to survive La Crosse’s storm and get the win,” she said. “I think we actually played our best volleyball in the 5th set.”

The trip to Illinois for the Elmhurst Triangular on     Saturday put the ‘Road Warriors’ moniker to the test, but the Warhawks passed with flying colors.

In their first game against Dominican, the Warhawks didn’t drop a set. They won 25-21, 25-20 and  25-19, meaning that the game against Elmhurst would determine the champion.

The Warhawks played a clean game, with only 13 errors leading to points, compared with 20 errors from Dominican. However, Dominican’s outside hitters had a high percentage of kills, at .152. That’s the Warhawks third highest allowed kill percentage per game. meaning that the blockers weren’t doing their job.

The match was won from the serving line. Whitewater had eight aces, compared to only two from Dominican. Sophomore Hailey Mackenthun led the Warhawks, with four aces, and freshman Morgan Jensen had two as well.

“Everyone stepped up into their role, and played their spot to the fullest,” said Mackenthun, a defensive specialist from Webster, Minnesoda. “No one plays like they’re new.”

The week’s final match, against Elmhurst, required poise and composure. After dropping the first set, the Warhawks came back to win, 3-1. The final ended: (20-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-17).

The difference in this match was defense, and Mackenthun was at the center of it again, second on the team with 17 digs. “I think that everyone is stepping up,” she said.

The front line was led by Emma Aske, who had 17 kills, en route to a .209 hitting percentage.

Since hitters like Buescher,Aske and Erin McNeil have such high hitting percentages, it makes life easy for Warhawk setters.

Sophomore setter KellyAnne Sotiros said “Everyone you set, you’re confident they’re gonna have a kill. One person can have an off day, but you know another hitter has a really good day.” The setter, from New Berlin, averages about 4 assists per game, which leads the Warhawks, who use a “setter-by-committee” approach. “Every hitter, I trust to put the ball down,” said Sotiros.

The Warhawks next games are going to be away on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and at home against UW-Stout on Friday, Oct. 4.