Big Foot volleyball tops Brodhead to open conference season
BRODHEAD--Jen Koplitz wasn't exactly sure what to expect out of her Big Foot volleyball team this season.
The Chiefs lost four seniors from a team that advanced to the WIAA Division 2 sectionals last year.
One tournament and one Rock Valley Conference match in, Big Foot's coach is happy with what she's seen. The Chiefs opened league play with a road sweep of Brodhead on Tuesday night, winning 25-15, 25-14, 25-17.
“It's a good start,” Koplitz said. “We lost senior leadership and lost our quarterback, our setter. So we were unsure of positioning coming into the season.”
It certainly didn't appear that way at the Cougar-Viking Classic in Janesville during Labor Day weekend. The Chiefs advanced all the way to the finals before falling to Janesville Craig.
“I wanted to finish .500, though I didn't tell the girls that,” Koplitz said. “It's just a really great start to our season. Now we have to push, because we need to improve.”
Against Brodhead, Big Foot went back and forth the first 25 points of the first game. The Chiefs led 13-12 when senior Mackenzie Long—who will play at St. Louis University next year—used a clutch dig that led to a kill by senior Amy Schryver.
Long then served for four straight points as the Chiefs pulled away.
They trailed just twice early in the second game and never trailed in the third.
Schryver led all players with 15 kills, while junior Ali Mazur had 27 assists and freshman outside hitter Kennedy Hehr pitched in 14 digs.
“Ali is a junior and had never ran the offense on varsity, and she's done a nice job these first 12 matches,” Koplitz said. “Amy is offensively strong and with Long and Schryver in the back row, we don't get beat much.
“Hehr is going to be a nice addition.”
Senior Carly Mohns, who missed most of last season with an injury, led the Cardinals with 11 kills and four blocks.
Rachel Heller had 11 kills, 16 digs and a pair of aces. Amber Pickel finished with 20 digs.
“I thought our team was really gearing up for this, but Big Foot had a pretty fast offense and we couldn't keep up,” Brodhead coach Erin Kammerer said. “We played defense most of the night.
“I'm hoping we can be on offense more than on defense and serve a little tougher. I'm hoping we can turn around and fight Big Foot for first place in the end.”
BIG FOOT 3, BRODHEAD 0
Big Foot 25 25 25
Brodhead 15 14 17
Leaders: Kills—Amy Schryver (BF) 15, Carly Mohns (Bro) 11, Rachel Heller (Bro) 11. Blocks—Mikaela Lagerhausen (BF) 3.5, Mohns (Bro) 4. Assists—Ali Mazur (BF) 27, Kylie Moe (Bro) 19. Digs—Kennedy Hehr (BF) 14, Amber Pickel (Bro) 20. Aces—Julia Gilstrap (BF) 4, Payton Wright (Bro) 2, Heller (Bro) 2.