MAUSTON — At the halfway point of conference play, the Golden Eagles are exactly where they want to be.
The Golden Eagles (20-4 overall, 5-0 South Central) trailed for a total of two points the entire match on their way to a 25-14, 25-15, 25-12 straight-set victory over Wisconsin Dells (7-12, 3-2) Tuesday, September 24 in Mauston. Not only is Mauston sitting at 5-0 in South Central Conference play, the Golden Eagles haven’t dropped a single set so far against conference competition.
That reign of dominance continued Tuesday evening.
Mauston handily won the first set, but got off to a bit of a slow start in the second. Several Mauston service errors helped the Chiefs take leads of 4-3 and 5-4 early on in the set, but the Golden Eagles regrouped to close the set on a 20-11 run.
The third was never really in doubt, with Mauston leading by as much as 22-6 before eventually winning the set 25-12 to close out the match.
“We just stuck with our normal game plan. We have a rotation of 10 girls and we just did what we needed to do,” said Mauston head coach Tara Hansen. “Not to get out of control with ourselves and think we have to push any harder than we normally do. I like that the girls played up to their ability and didn’t slow the pace down.”
Emma Incaprero, Maddy Scully, Anna Kudick and Sam Kobylski all had five aces each for the Golden Eagles. Incaprero also had 17 assists, Kobylski added 14 assists, Scully finished with two blocks, Sam Thrasher posted 12 digs and Mia Quist recorded 19 kills and nine digs.
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The Chiefs had their flashes of solid play throughout the match, but were unable to keep it going for long enough stretches to seriously put a scare into Mauston. Meanwhile, the more experienced Golden Eagles exhibited much more consistent play that helped them win handily.
It’s been a season of ups and downs so far for Wisconsin Dells, but head coach Tami Janke is very pleased with what she’s seen from her young team so far this year.
“We came in a little inexperienced and we’ve been growing up really fast and making steady improvement and adjustments every match,” Janke said. “I’m pleased. I’ve got girls that work hard every day and they are on the court and do as much as they can do or as much as I ask them to do. I’m very proud of my team.”
Meanwhile, Mauston is firmly in the driver’s seat as it pursues a conference title, though Hansen warned her team not to rest on their laurels or the hot start could go for naught.
At the same time, she also wants her team to strive for not just taking care of business and capturing an SCC title, but something more as well.
“Conference was our goal, but now conference is not our only goal,” Hansen said. “And that’s never really happened before. These girls are realizing — they’re working together, they’re very unselfish. They’re not worried about their stats per se, they’re worried about our team.”
These two teams will meet again in a rematch next week Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. in Wisconsin Dells.