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Marawood supremacy

Marawood supremacy Marawood supremacy

Raiders beat Loggers in five-set title

By Casey Krautkramer

Volleyball fans from the other Marawood Conference schools thought they’d be able to go home earlier than expected Marathon on Tuesday night, after the Red Raiders found themselves down 2-0 in the conference firstplace match against the Phillips Loggers.

Spectators from the other schools needed to wait until this match was over to discover which players from their Marawood North and South teams were awarded either first team, second team or honorable mention all-conference.

Marathon’s volleyball players said not so fast. The Red Raiders came all the way back to win the next three sets against the Loggers to capture the Marawood’s overall crown. Marathon had already won its first regularseason conference championship in nearly a decade, or since 2013.

The Red Raiders appeared out of sync in the first two sets against the Loggers, which resulted in identical 25-23 losses. Marathon senior Vanessa Krueger said she and her teammates decided to take the match into their own hands following the pair of set defeats against Phillips.

“We all started stepping up into our roles on the volleyball court and we were really encouraging each other after losing the first two sets,” Vanessa Krueger said. “It’s really amazing to win the Marawood Conference championship this season. This was me and our other seniors’ last chance to do it and it’s a dream come true.”

Marathon co-head coach Nicole Schneider told her players she wanted to see them start “swinging” more for the remainder of the match against Phillips, following the Red Raiders’ pair of set losses to start the firstplace conference match.

“The girls definitely fought back and the biggest thing we kept saying after the first and second games was for them to swing hard, so they finally brought the big dog out and swung at the ball and that was huge for our team,” Schneider said.

Marathon flipped the match script by winning the third set, 25-23, by the same score it lost in the first two sets to Phillips. Senior Allison Wokatsch scored the winning point on a tip kill.

The third-set win got Marathon’s student section even more excited to loudly cheer for its beloved team. Marathon’s student fan section wore black t-shirts that read, “Marathon Volleyball’s 2021 Block Party” on the front of them and they chanted, “Welcome to the Block Party” after Marathon scored a point off a defensive block at the net.

Marathon won the decisive third set, 15-12, on Vanessa Krueger’s kill that was barely inbounds. She even looked up at volleyball official Harry Babcock to make sure he signaled the ball inbounds to give the Red Raiders the point. Red Raiders co-head coach Lynelle Love was proud of how her team kept battling against Phillips during the entire match on Tuesday.

“We’ve been talking about perseverance and we took it to a new degree tonight,” Love said. “They persevered through adversity and they fought back and got it done when they needed to get it done.”

Marathon now has a 24-5 overall match record this season. The Red Raiders should receive a first-round bye in the WIAA Division 3 regional quarterfinals this Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The Red Raiders will begin the playoffs with a home regional semifinal match on Thursday, Oct. 21. The regional championship is on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Raiders dual in the Dells

Marathon finished 3-1 in matches during a tournament on Saturday at JustAGame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells. Marathon beat both Berlin and West Bend West, 2-0, and Poynette, 2-1.

Marathon’s only match loss was to a tough Chippewa Falls squad that has a 34-1 match record this season and is honorable mention in the recent Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association Division 1 rankings.

Vanessa Krueger led Marathon with 10 kills and sophomore Ava Krueger added eight against Berlin.

Allison Wokatsch paced the Red Raiders with two aces and Ashley Phakitthong with 10 digs against Berlin. Vanessa Krueger also led Marathon with 11 kills against West Bend West and Ava Krueger paced the team with three block assists. Vanessa Krueger paced Marathon with 10 kills and nine digs against Poynette, while Ava Krueger led the squad with two aces and three block assists.

PLENTY OF REASON TO CELEBRATE- Marathon senior Allison Wokatsch (8) raises her arms high in the air in celebration of senior Kendra Stoffel’s (pictured to the far left) attack kill during the team’s comeback match win against Phillips on Tuesday night at home in the Marawood Conference crossover first-place match. Senior Vanessa Krueger (1) is shown clapping her hands while Red Raiders co-head coach Lynelle Love gets excited on the team’s bench.STAFF PHOTO/CASEY KRAUTKRAMER