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Royals rebound after Redmen take first game in crossover




After a rough Saturday at the Edgar Invitational, the Rib Lake volleyball team looked to rebound Tuesday in its last regular-season test, the fifth-place match in the Marawood Conference Crossover challenge at Marathon.

The Redmen did accomplish some things in the match, though they came up short in a 3-1 loss to Wisconsin Rapids Assumption.

It was the team’s second loss of the season to the Royals, who beat them 2-0 in another Marawood Conference Crossover meet the previous Saturday.

“We played better against Assumption winning the first 25-21 and then we lost the next three with scores of 25-27, 21-25 and 16-25,” head coach Barb Anderson said of Tuesday’s match. “We implemented a new defense and went in with a plan of getting better at playing this defense. We believe we accomplished this and are excited to play against Wild Rose next week.”

While the defensive improvements were notable, Anderson said the Redmen made strides offensively in Tuesday’s match.

“We hit the ball better (Tuesday) night and had more kills than we normally have,” she said. “This is because our passing improved and our setters were putting up good balls. Also our hitters were making better choices with their swings.”

Stratford beat Abbotsford 3-2 in a thrilling first-place crossover match Tuesday at Marathon. Prentice also won a five-game thriller, beating Marathon 3-2 in the second-place match.

With the regular season now finished, the Lady Redmen are looking forward to at least one more chance to add to their win total. That starts with a first-round WIAA Division 4 match Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Wild Rose.

Rib Lake drew the ninth seed in the Suring sectional, while the Wildcats are the eighth seed. The winner is likely to face top-seeded Columbus Catholic, the Eastern Cloverbelt Conference champions, Thursday, Oct. 24 in Marshfield in a regional semifinal.

Wild Rose went 4-2 in the Central Wisconsin South Conference this season and tied seventh-seeded Pittsville for second place behind 6-0 Stevens Point Pacelli.

Newman Catholic is the bracket’s second seed, Marawoood North runner-up Prentice is the third seed and another Marawood North team, Athens, drew the fourth seed.

“We’re not looking forward to the long drive, but we’re hoping to take a win,” Anderson said of Tuesday’s match.