Menomonie’s volleyball game against Eau Claire Memorial may have ended in a loss, but they have shown the strength of their 2018 team. The three sets ended at 24-26, 15-25, and 18-25.

After being down for most of the first set, Menomonie fought back and took the lead at 24-22, but then after a Memorial time out, gave up the next four points to lose the set. A very deflating loss, when they were only one point away from victory.

“For most of the match we were out-of-system, meaning our setters were not setting the ball from the optimal position and having really only one option, which puts a ton of pressure on our hitters. We passed a 1.41, not even close to being effective enough to win. However, we still only lost by two points. If we serve receive anywhere close to 2.0 we win that set easily and the entire momentum of the match. We had six kills and nine errors, led by Kylie Mogen’s four kills. Our serving was one bright point, we had a 100 percent in percentage and had two aces,” Menomonie volleyball coach Corey Davis said.

The second set had a larger point difference than the first set, but Menomonie still played well, getting more kills and making fewer errors. The second set ended 15-25.

“In some ways we played better the second set compared to the first. We had less hitting errors and more kills. Our passing was somewhat better (1.65), still not where it needs to be to be successful. There were only four times during the set when we were able to score points on our serve and the largest run was only two points. On the other hand, Memorial had seven times scoring on their serve and had a six-point run to finish the match. Kylie again led the team with four kills,” Davis said.

Menomonie struggled with their serve receive and using their hitters, but middle blocker Ariana Kistner hit a perfect 100 percent. The third set ended 18-25.

“One huge bright spot in this set was senior middle blocker Ariana Kistner, who came in and hit a perfect 100 percent, with three kills in three swings. Again this match came down to our serve receive which was 1.53 and our hitters struggled to put the ball on the floor. We struggled to use all our hitters and therefore our outside hitters had almost 70 percent of our sets for the set and the match overall,” Davis said.

Kylie Mogen led the team with nine kills in 22 swings hitting .273. Ariana Kistner had three kills. Kylie Mogen had nine digs, Maddie McLeod had six digs and five assists. Sydney Stansbury had six assists and two kills from the setter position. The team collectively serve received. Menomonie had 17 kills, but 16 errors and hit .017.

“In order to be successful, we need to continue to serve consistently and most importantly serve receive better. Our serve receive is the foundation of everything else we are trying to accomplish offensively. Our passers need to collectively do a better job controlling the ball to our setters. In addition, our hitters need to work harder to control the ball and limit errors,” Davis said.

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