Craig volleyball knocks off Madison West
JANESVILLE--Janesville Craig didn’t play its best volleyball of the season Tuesday night.
The Cougars had numerous unforced errors and struggled, at times, in finding a rhythm offensively.
Fortunately for Craig, it played good enough to win.
Ali Calkins and McKenzie Bertagnoli combined for 24 kills, and the Cougars finished with 14 aces in a 3-1 Big Eight Conference win over Madison West. Craig won games one, three and four, while the Regents rallied for a 25-23 win in game two.
“I’m happy that we won, but we can play quite a bit better,” Craig coach Blake Budrow said. “There was a lot of miscommunication on our part, and that let West back into the match.
“It just seemed like we weren’t in it emotionally. Maybe there was a little bit of a letdown after winning the Elkhorn tournament last Saturday.”
Craig (14-5, 2-0) broke out to an early lead in game one but needed a late push in winning 25-18. Melanie Tinker and Haley Updike both served five straight points to help Craig keep West (0-2) at bay.
After the Regents stormed back to win game two, the Cougars used another late run to win game three, 26-24. Bertagnoli’s spike ended the game as West had no answer at the net for the Cougar junior middle hitter.
“When we were passing the ball and were able to keep (Kayley) Hackett off the net so she could pass the ball, good things happened,” Budrow said.
“And Bertagnoli actually hit .440 tonight, which anytime you’re over .300 for your hitting percentage, you’ve done a pretty good job.”
Leading the match 2-1, Craig cruised to the win in game four. The Cougars got off to an early 8-3 lead and never looked back. Calkins and Bertagnoli helped put the Regents away with a strong fourth game at the net as the Cougars won 25-17.
Hackett finished with a match-high 29 assists, while Haley Updike led with four aces.
Craig plays at Verona on Tuesday night.
CRAIG 3, WEST 1
Madison West 18 25 24 17
Janesville Craig 25 23 26 25
Craig (aces, kills, assists)—Melanie Tinker, 3-0-9; Haleigh Salemi, 1-0-0; Kayley Hackett, 0-1-29; Kourtney Kell, 0-11-0; Ali Calkins, 0-13-0; Gabby Loveland, 3-1-0; Haley Updike, 4-3-0; Amanda Trapp, 0-0-1; Aly Raymond, 3-6-0; McKenzie Bertagnoli, 0-11-0; Jenna Brandt, 0-1-1.