Area Volleyball Teams Start Season

It’s a new season for reigning M&O Conference champions Niagara, who went 2-2 at the Crivitz Invitational on Tuesday.

The Badgers got wins over Mercer (12-25, 25-20, 15-11) and Marinette (25-16, 16-25, 15-12) and took defeats against Florence (16-25, 25-19, 10-15) and Coleman (15-25, 25-21, 4-15).

The Badgers saw the departure of a couple key players at the end of last season, including M&O Player of the Year Morgan Borchardt. Head coach Carol St. Arnauld also retired after more than three decades of coaching.

“Today was a day of learning how to play as a new team,” new Niagara head coach Maryellen Allred said. “This year we have new girls stepping into setting, libero, and leadership roles, and the inexperience showed at times.”

Elesia Sweig and Raegan Frappier led the way in the assists column with 25 and 24, respectively. Frappier also had a team-high 24 digs and 12 aces.

The competition was strong as well, with Coleman having gone 13-3 in M&O action last year and Florence being the team that eliminated Niagara in last year’s regional.

“There were times where we played as a cohesive unit and times that our weaknesses overcame us,” Allred said. “Our girls need to continue to work on communication and transitioning, but I am impressed with their blocking and their hitting in the front row.”

Mallory Sanicki recorded 22 kills and three blocks and Emma Broullire had 18 kills and four blocks. Frappier added 13 kills.

Serving was an issue for the Badgers. Allred said, “Serving lost us a few games, and the mental toughness at the line is something we’ll be focusing on. We can only move forward from here; there is a lot of potential with this group and I am excited to see how we grow in the next few weeks.”

In Oconto the Blue Devils went 1-3, beating Valders in three sets (25-23, 21-25, 15-8) but falling to Menominee Indian and Bonduel in straight sets and Mishicot in three (17-25, 25-17, 15-10).
Bonduel was rolling on Tuesday, winning all four matches in two sets.


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