FALL RIVER – Members of the second-seeded Fall River prep girls volleyball team knew they couldn’t take 13th-seeded Madison Country Day for granted in Tuesday’s WIAA Division 4 regional quarterfinal match.
The Pirates came out with a lot of energy and focus, which helped them sweep the Challengers; 25-2, 25-7, 25-11.
“I think it sets a statement that you know we’re ready and we’re here,” Fall River senior Sam Leisemann said. “We’ve got this and we can do it.”
The Pirates got on a roll early in the first set as they went on a 15-0 run. The Challangers wouldn’t score their next point until it was 21-2.
“Lexi (Rozinski) started serving and everything just kept going,” Fall River coach Laura Trautmann said. “Everything that came over was a pass, set and we were aggressive (hitting). It felt like we played clean, especially that first set and a little bit in the second set.”
Leisemann — who finished with a team-high 10 kills and two blocks — said throughout the game the Pirates tried different sets on offense.
“We played clean — it was pass, set, hit,” Trautmann said. “I know we were going to try some different sets and some different hits, and it was working. Maybe they weren’t ready for the different sets that we had.”
But the Pirates hurt themselves by giving up five points off of serving errors.
“We weren’t as clean,” said Maddie Gregorio, who finished with nine kills and a team-high five aces. “We weren’t as focused as we should’ve been.”
Losing focus trickled into the third set where the Pirates gave up 11 points to the Challengers.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Leisemann said. “We weren’t really focused and things weren’t really going our way.”
Trautmann said scoring 11 points in the third set was a credit to the Challengers, who are a young program with five seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and a freshman.
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“They keep working hard. It will be a different story for them,” Trautmann said.
The Challengers didn’t have any blocks on the Pirates, although Sophia Miller led them with 12 digs and Amy Riha had two kills.
Fall River senior Taryn Schwartz directed the offense with 22 assists and had three aces. Senior Lexi Rozinski finished with a team-high 12 digs and four aces.
Up next for Fall River will be seventh-seeded Pecatonica in a regional semifinal on Thursday. Pecatonica edged out 10th-seeded Cambria-Friesland in five sets Tuesday night.
Trautmann said the Pirates will be ready and waiting.
“I told them the next game will be tougher,” Trautmann said. The next game will be tougher and they have to know that. We have to know that the next level (the ball) will be coming back a little bit more and we have to be ready for it.”
FALL RIVER 3, MADISON COUNTRY DAY 0
Madison Country Day 2 7 11
Fall River 25 25 25
Madison Country Day: Kills – Amy Riha 2. Assists – Peyton Hein 2. Aces – Ella Lauten 1. Blocks – none. Digs – Sonia Miller 18.
Fall River: Kills – Sam Leisemann 10, Maddie Gregorio 9. Assists – Taryn Schwartz 22. Aces – Maddie Gregorio 5, Lexi Rozinski 4, Taryn Schwartz 3. Blocks – Sam Leisemann 2. Digs – Lexi Rozinski 12.