Volleyball: Witt-Birn knocks off Bonduel after fast start

Chargers improve to 2-0 in CWC-East
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

WITTENBERG — The Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School volleyball team put on a show for its fans in the team’s first home match of the season, coming away with a Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division win over Bonduel on Thursday.

Behind a supportive crowd, Witt-Birn dominated the opening set to seize control. Bonduel found its footing halfway through the second set and gave the hosts all they could handle in the remaining sets, but the Chargers came out victorious in the end, winning by scores of 25-10, 25-21, 24-26, 25-19.

“I had so much fun just because with it being my senior year, seeing the crowd just made me keep wanting to push even though I was so tired,” said Witt-Birn’s Kaitlyn Clark. “I just wanted to finish off the win and I’m so glad that I have the team that I do to support me and the crowd that we had just means a lot.

Several Chargers had big performances in the win, led by the trio of Clark, senior Marissa Groshek and junior Abi Fraaza, who combined for 46 total kills.

Fraaza had 12 attack kills and eight block kills, while Clark had 13 attack kills, helping the Chargers take control early on. Groshek finished with eight attack kills and five block kills.

“Marissa, our outside (hitter), had a lot of good cross-court hits, especially in the first few sets. Then they (Bonduel) kind of collapsed on her, but then we had somebody else step up,” said Witt-Birn coach Becky Rew. “We had Abi, playing middle, step up. Kaitlyn started really strong. So it just was a huge team effort and it’s nice to have so many different options instead of one person dominating.”

Junior McKenna Metropulos set up Witt-Birn’s attackers all night, posting 40 assists. Senior libero Elizabeth Muscha contributed 16 digs in the win.

The Chargers opened the contest on a 4-0 run, with Clark and junior Emma Herb scoring early on. The hosts increased the lead to 7-1 to force Bonduel’s first timeout and then to 18-3 to force the Bears’ final timeout in the set.

The timeouts didn’t stop Witt-Birn’s strong start, as the hosts continued to be aggressive at the net to ease to the set one win.

“We were definitely ready to win,” said Fraaza of the team’s fast start. “Against Shiocton (on Tuesday), we went to four sets, which we were all not happy about. So tonight we came out and we wanted to beat them right away and come out with a strong start.”

Witt-Birn’s strong start carried into the second set, with the hosts jumping out to to another 7-1 lead to force a Bonduel timeout. This time, the Bears were able to turn things around, winning six of the next eight points to force a Witt-Birn timeout.

The teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the set, with Bonduel going ahead 16-15 after back-to-back kills by freshman Josie Hoffman.

Deadlocked at 19, Witt-Birn scored four straight points, with two coming on kills from Fraaza. Bonduel closed to within three points on a kill from sophomore Brenna Hertzfeldt, but a serving error allowed Witt-Birn to take the set.

The third set was a continuation of the second, with the teams trading momentum and the lead often.

Tied at 22, Witt-Birn got back-to-back kills from Herb, but Bonduel scored the next four points to take the set. Sophomore Kylie Hoffman registered the set-winning kill.

“We’ve had some injuries in the last couple days here and we didn’t really have a chance to practice with some new rotations, so I think that kind of threw them off a little bit. We had some girls playing that hadn’t played with the varsity at all yet,” said Bonduel coach Abby Reinke on the team’s slow start.

Witt-Birn jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set, but Bonduel went on a run to tighten things back up.

After the Bears tied it at 14, Witt-Birn won the next point on a Bonduel error and took over after that, going on a 11-5 run to end the contest.

The win moved Witt-Birn to 2-0 in conference play, while Bonduel dropped to 1-1.

Josie Hoffman posted 11 total kills and five digs in the match. Sophomore Allaina Robaidek had six total kills and seven assists.

“We had confidence in ourselves and believed we could do it,” said Robaidek on how the team was able to get things going after the slow start. “We knew that they were good but we played good and wanted it more.”

Kylie Hoffman tallied 12 digs and seven total kills, Hertzfeldt had four attack kills and five digs and junior Halea Sporisky tallied six assists and three attack kills.