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Zaleski Sports

AUBURNDALE – Auburndale finished second, and Stratford beat Marshfield Columbus Catholic in the third-place match at the Auburndale Volleyball Invitational on Saturday.

Auburndale went 3-1 in pool play, beating Nekoosa, Stevens Point Pacelli and Prentice, and losing to Mosinee. After the Apaches topped Stratford in the 23-25, 25-16, 15-12, in the semifinals, they lost to Mosinee in the championship match.

Katie Helminiak had 53 kills and 50 digs, Maggie Willfhart had 25 kills and 70 digs, Natalie Aue had 42 kills, and Georgi Schmutzer had 119 assists and 20 kills in the Apaches’ five matches.

Stratford beat Iola-Scandinavia 2-0 (25-14, 25-4), Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 2-0 (25-15, 25-18), Spencer 2-0 (25-9, 25-13), and Columbus Catholic 2-0 (25-20, 25-18) in pool play. After losing to Auburndale in the semifinals, the Tigers regrouped to beat Columbus 2-0 (25-17, 25-21) to claim third place.

Mikayla Guldan led Stratford with 19 kills and 30 digs in four matches for Stratford. The Tigers’ stats from the Iola-Scandinavia match were not reported.

Columbus finished 3-1 in pool play. In addition to the loss to Stratford, the Dons beat Assumption 25-10, 25-14; Spencer 25-15, 25-8; and Iola-Scandinavia 25-8, 25-15. The Dons lost to Mosinee in the semifinals, 25-23, 25-21, and in the third-place match to Stratford.

Dorci Walker had 30 kills, 30 digs and 16 service aces, Jessica Jakopin had 25 kills and 13 blocks, Emmalee Jicinsky had 18 kills and 17 digs before leaving with an injury, Meghan Kibbel had 68 assists, and Sydney Litwaitis had 41 digs for the Dons.

In addition to Jicinsky’s injury, the Dons were short one player for the entire tournament, and two more heading into the semifinals.

“We learned more today than ever on what being a team really means,” Columbus coach Kat Egle said. “It means we are there for each other and we will fight to rise up to the challenge. I am proud of the girls playing positions they don’t normally play and for staying positive playing out of our comfort zone.”

Spencer lost to Stratford 2-0, Columbus 2-0, Nekoosa 2-1 (25-15, 16-25, 15-13), Iola-Scandinavia 2-0 (25-9, 25-22), and Assumption 2-0 (25-19, 25-20) to end the day 0-5.

Heavyn Kind had 13 kills and 15 digs, Elexa Post also had 15 digs, and Zalexis Mannigel had 31 assists and 13 digs for the Rockets.

All four local teams will turn to conference play this week. In the Marawood Conference South Division, Auburndale hosts Marathon and Stratford plays at Wausau Newman Catholic. Marshfield Columbus Catholic plays a Cloverbelt Conference East Division game at home against Owen-Withee on Tuesday, while Spencer will host Stanley-Boyd for a nonconference match Tuesday and plays at Gilman in a Cloverbelt East matchup on Thursday.

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