The Reedsburg prep volleyball team experienced a roller coaster of a day on Sept. 30 when the Beavers played host to seven area teams and battled to a third place finish.

Coming off a frustrating loss to Mount Horeb late last week, Reedsburg played with confidence in its home gym early on. The Beavers began pool play with a 2-1 record, sweeping Adams-Friendship 25-13, 25-17 before taking down Hillsboro 24-26, 25-21, 15-7. Reedsburg ran into Oregon in its third match, battling to three sets once again but ultimately fell 21-25, 25-12, 15-13.

“I feel that we had some good competition on Saturday,” coach Sheila Green said. “We played well at times making some nice connections and then experienced some lapses periodically throughout the day. One of our goals was to make it to the gold bracket and we succeeded in doing that.”

The Beavers were matched up against Fort Atkinson in the gold bracket, and held their own but fell 19-25, 25-19, 15-11. Fort Atkinson went on to defeat Oregon in the championship match. Green mentioned her team can play right alongside just about any team, but has to work on finishing sets.

“In the gold semifinal against Fort Atkinson we won the first set and that was a great way to get started,” Green said. “We fell behind early in the second set by six points and that ended up being the difference at the end of the set. In the third set we were tied at six points with points being exchanged back-and-forth until the end when they finished the last three points in a row. So we have some work to do to finish our last couple of weeks strong before heading in to WIAA competition.”

Brooklyn Schyvinck led the offense with 37 total kills on the day, followed by Mallory Stingley with 20. Ally Gesteland amassed 73 assists, and led in aces with six while Ciara Grundahl had four. Cheyanna Grundahl led the defense with 35 digs, while Ally Gesteland had 23.

Swept by the Vikings

Last Thursday’s home match against Mount Horeb proved anything can happen in the Badger North Conference.

Reedsburg came into the match with energy, as the Beavers had taken down rival Baraboo on Sept. 14, while the T-Birds swept Mount Horeb earlier in the season. After powering past the Vikings 25-13 in the opening set, Reedsburg saw Mount Horeb clean things up and use its height advantage as the Beavers fell 13-25, 25-13, 25-10, 25-19.

“The first set was awesome,” Green said. “We came out strong and kept Mount Horeb out of system so they had difficulty establishing their offense. We kept the pressure on and capitalized on a number opportunities to win the first set. The second and third sets were a different story. We lost our rhythm and allowed Mount Horeb to run their offense consistently and effectively.”

A couple of early blocks, an ace from Ciara Grundahl and a kill from Schyvinck gave Reedsburg a 5-1 lead in the opening set. The Beavers took advantage of a couple of Mount Horeb ball handling errors, one on a serve receive to go up 7-1. The next five of Reedsburg’s seven points came from Schyvinck, including a couple of kills and a quick tip into the middle of the court. Cheyanne Grundahl made a quick read on a hit that sailed out of the back of the court, an error from the Vikings that happened more than once. Alyssa Straka ended the set with an ace to give Reedsburg the 25-13 win.

Mount Horeb turned things around from there, going up 4-0 in the second on a spike down the middle and a few Reedsburg mishits. The Beavers were able to keep the deficit within a few as nice serves from Straka and Kaitlin Zunker forced off-balanced returns to make it 14-10. Mount Horeb started to capitalize on its height advantage however, with six-foot-four sophomore Elise Goetzinger reaching up and pounding kills straight down into Reedsburg’s court which the Beavers struggled to defend. Reedsburg eventually fell 25-13 to even the score.

It was much of the same in the final two sets, with the Beavers trailing 11-3 in the third set as the Vikings started to double team Schyvinck. Mount Horeb soundly won the set 25-10. Reedsburg played well in the fourth set, trailing 17-9 but putting together a run to make it 21-16. Senior Alexis Nelson led the run with solid serves, but a couple of questionable no-lift calls could have closed the deficit even more but instead those points went to Mount Horeb, which capped off the set 25-19.

“I wish we could have sustained a more consistent attack mode,” Green said. “We worked a lot on blocking and hitting into some big blocks this week in preparation for this match. We knew that Mount Horeb would be a strong team and we would have to play consistently at a high level throughout the match. We just weren’t able to sustain the effort and execution we needed.”

Schyvinck led with 23 kills in the loss, while Gesteland led in assists with 29. Cheyanne Grundahl led in digs with 26, followed by Schyvinck and Ciara Grundahl with 19 apiece. Reedsburg (9-6 overall, 3-3 Badger North) hosted Fort Atkinson on Oct. 3 and will travel to Beaver Dam on Oct. 5.

Follow Chris on Twitter @chris_CNsports

Regional Sports Reporter