“Jaguar volleyball opens season up in Little Chute”
By Murray Gleffe, Sports Correspondent
The Jaguars opened their 2017 season up with 4 matches down at the Mustang (Little Chute) Invite. The Jaguars lost to Oconto Falls (25-19, 25,22), and Little Chute (25-15, 25-19) before defeating New Holstein (19-25, 25-22, 15-13) in Pool Play A. The Jaguars then got defeated by the Foxes of FVL (21-25, 25-20, 15-8) in the 5th place match to end the evening. For the tournament, Maddie Koch hit 37 kills, 35 digs, and 4 aces. Maddie Crowley contributed 28 digs, 18 kills, and 7 aces. Maria Scherer had 46 assists, and Katie Benson chipped in 14.
In the opening match vs the Panthers, the Jaguars took an early 3-2 lead after Maddie Koch hit a left side kill. The score went back and forth until the Jaguars took a slim 9-8 lead after a Panthers player made illegal contact with the ball. The Jaguars then took a 15-13 lead midway through Game #1 after Koch sent a rocket into the back-center part of the court. The Panthers, however, responded by winning the next eight points to take a 21-15 lead. During that run, the Panthers capitalized on many early season miscues the Jaguars made. The Jaguars could cut the margin to no fewer than five points the rest of the way, and the Panthers won the opening game by a score of 25-19.
In Game #2, Jaguars (MB) Megan Servais blocked two consecutive shots and the Jaguars took an early 7-4 lead. However, the Panthers again made a mid-game charge and captured eight of the next ten points to move in front 12-9. The Jaguars weren’t about to go away, though. Jaguars (OH) Maddie Crowley hit a kill shot from the middle of the court to cut the lead to 14-13. After another mini run put the Panthers up 21-15, the Jaguars battled back with Alyssa Bath digging two important balls, and Maria Scherer assisting on three points the Jaguars won. Suddenly, the lead for the Panthers had been chipped to two at 23-21, and Oconto Falls called time out. It proved to be the right move, as the Panthers closed out the game 25-22 and the match on two kill shots close to the net
After a straight sets loss to the host school, the Jaguars took on the Huskies of New Holstein. In the matchup, the Jaguars fell behind early and ultimately lost Game#1 25-19. The Jaguars stayed focused and came out on fire in Game #2. Jaguars (S, DS) Katie Benson came up with multiple digs, and assisted on kills to Koch and Crowley to build the lead to 13-7 midway through the pivotal middle game. Towards the end of Game #2, (Ds, L) Shaun Berry made key plays to set up the Jaguars to capture Game #2 25-22. Game #3 turned out to be a tense affair with no team running away from the other. Game #3 had six lead changes, and five ties. Maddie Koch and Maddie Crowley led their team to victory by garnering the last two points in one fashion or another. Both were set up by non-other than Crowley digging, and then Koch making the kill shot. It provided the final two-point margin the Jaguars needed to capture their 1st victory of the season!
The Jaguars crossed over with Fox Valley Lutheran for the 5th place trophy. Both teams had finished 3rd in their respective pool play action. The Foxes came out on top in a hard fought three game contest. The Jaguars will be back in action on August 29th when they travel to Waunakee.