By Paul Lecker
For Zaleski Sports
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield volleyball team is peaking at the right time and its stellar play in the second half of the season continued Thursday with a 3-1 win over Wausau West in the regular season and Wisconsin Valley Conference finale for both teams at Marshfield High School.
The Tigers lost the first set 25-17, before sweeping the next three, 25-19, 25-19, 27-25, to win for the sixth time in their last seven WVC matches. After starting the conference season 2-3, Marshfield finishes at 8-4 and in third place in the final standings.
“We’ve worked on that mental toughness in practice. We put them in more situations like what we’re seeing here, with consequences,” Marshfield coach Dawn Sadowska said. “We’ve tried to make them tougher in practice and it’s paid off in games.”
Marshfield led early in the first set, going up 11-7 after an ace from Kaydee Johnson.
West stormed back to win seven of the next nine points, and gained the lead for good at 16-15 on a kill by Robyn Kirsch, who had a team-high 15 kills.
Kills by Grace Michalske and Kiley Deaton, and an ace from Michalske finished off a 25-17 win for the Warriors.
The lead changed hands seven times in the second set before the Tigers were able to pull away.
Marshfield’s offense, which was inconsistent in the opening set, was purring in the second.
Brooklyn Boushack had six kills in the set, including a block kill that gave Marshfield a 21-18 lead. Kati Sadowska finished off the 25-19 win with an ace to even the match.
West led 7-0 in the third set before Marshfield rallied to tie it at 10-10 after back-to-back kills by Boushack.
Three kills by Lindsey Steffen and another ace from Sadowska gave Marshfield a 17-13 lead and the Tigers led the rest of the way.
A kill by Johnson and an ace from Taylor Barwick helped finish off a 25-19 win.
The fourth set was back and forth, with each team putting together early 5-0 runs.
Marshfield pulled ahead 17-13 as Boushack had three kills and Steffen two, before the Warriors made one last push.
Four kills by Kirsch and an ace from Maddie Hauer gave West a 20-17 lead.
West staved off a match point, and then Marshfield, behind another kill from Boushack, held off a set-point.
A Boushack kill and an ace by Barwick finished off the 27-25 win for the Tigers.
“Brooklyn was awesome tonight,” Dawn Sadowska said. “We were feeding her because they couldn’t stop her. Over the weekend it was Lindsey. They (West) were so focused on stopping Lindsey. When Brooklyn can take over like that, it was awesome.”
Boushack finished with 19 kills and Steffen had 13 for the Tigers. Johnson had 26 digs and Sadowska 15, and setters Bailey Matis and Barwick finished with 21 and 18 assists, respectively.
Marshfield will host Wausau East in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal next Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. The two teams split a pair of Wisconsin Valley Conference matches this season.
“They (East) are a scary team. I think they’re just like us,” Dawn Sadowska said. “I think its going to be helpful that we have the home court. They have Taylor Pagel, who is an awesome outside hitter. We have to contain her as much as we can and score a bunch of points when she’s in the back row.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Zaleski Sports.