Thunder dominate Jaguars in volleyball action
By Greg Bates
SEYMOUR – If four matches into the season show an accurate glimpse of what the Seymour Thunder girls’ volleyball team is capable of, area programs better watch out.
The Thunder appears to be the real deal.
Seymour improved to 4-0 on Thursday, Sept. 2, as it pummeled visiting Ashwaubenon in a three-set sweep, 25-14, 25-11, 25-20.
“I thought we played well,” Seymour coach Stacey Jones said. “Ball control is huge, and our passing was phenomenal. We were able to run our offense. We have lots of different weapons this year, so we were able to distribute the ball. Sydney Levanetz and Cami Arno do a fantastic job of getting the ball to all our hitters. We have a balanced attack, which is great because (opposing teams) can’t focus on one player.”
The combination of senior Andrianna Volz and sophomore Hazel Cook was nearly unstoppable.
When the Thunder needed a big hit, those two came through.
“Our passes were great,” Volz said. “Our sets were perfect today. Even during warm-ups, they had it on and kept it going.”
Jones said she knew coming into the season she had a good hitter in Volz, but Cook has been a surprise.
She lives in the district but is home-schooled and started playing with Seymour during tournaments over the summer.
“She fits in,” Jones said. “She provides us with lots of offense and great defense.”
Her teammate Volz agreed.
“She has great energy,” she said. “She brought lots to the team and is a fantastic hitter. She’s a good addition to the team.”
Seymour cruised in this match in large part because it jumped out to leads in all three sets.
Ashwaubenon (0-5) had one lead – 10-9 in the third set – the entire night.
“(We were) trying to get some jitters out,” Ashwaubenon coach Megan Wierschke said. “We have a young team – we only have seven returners and have nine juniors. They are trying to work through some stuff. We’re excited to hit the road for a tournament this weekend to get more experience, and then we’ll be able to hit up conference.”
Volz said the key to her team’s fast starts in each set began in warm-ups.
“We were energetic and already in it,” she said. “We worked well together, and everyone put their all into the game. Once you start, you keep building as a team – it feels nice.”
In the opening set, Seymour led 11-9 before going on an 8-1 spurt to take a comfortable 19-10 advantage.
A block kill by Levanetz and Olivia Swenson put an end to a 25-14 victory.
Again, in Set 2, the Thunder used an early run to pull away.
Cook collected three aces during a 9-0 run to make it 17-3.
Seymour had little problem pulling off a 25-11 win.
Ashwaubenon started to get into its offense in the third set, turning an 8-5 deficit into a 10-9 lead after Sevaeh Schneider logged a kill.
That lead evaporated as Seymour scored nine of the next 10 points to go up 18-11.
The Jaguars made a late push – getting to within 22-19 – before the Thunder closed out the match with a 25-20 victory.
“It’s good practice for our starting group to work on running different plays on offense and getting that confidence and getting those hitters involved,” Jones said. “That repetition and being able to do it in a game and have that success gives the team confidence.”
Despite her team’s youth, Wierschke was also positive about her team.
“Our hitters have those spurts and moments but now to make consistency out of the program,” she said. “We’re trying to find our consistency so the girls can play off each other and trust each other more on the court.”
Ashwaubenon was led by Elka Scherer with nine assists and seven digs.
Ella Klaus picked up nine digs and Schneider had a team-leading five kills.
Stats for Seymour were unavailable following the match.
With a 4-0 record following a dominating performance, the confidence of the Seymour players is high.
“We all thought we were going to do good this year, but we’ve excelled and now to keep it going,” Volz said. “This would be an awesome season to keep adding on the wins, especially for a senior season.”