Emme Bullis put on a clinic Tuesday night at the expense of the Walworth Big Foot volleyball team.
The junior seemed to be all over the court in leading Whitewater to a 3-0 win over Big Foot in a WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal match. The Whippets won 25-17, 25-21 and 25-22.
Tenth-seeded Whitewater plays at second-seeded Lakeside Lutheran on Thursday night in a regional semifinal.
Bullis was the difference Tuesday. She had a match-high 16 kills, four aces and six blocks, and every time Big Foot tried to make a run, Bullis was there to stop it.
“We just couldn’t shut her down,” Big Foot coach Caitlin Dowden said. “When we tried to block her, she’s just too talented and puts the ball elsewhere. They look for her, even when she’s in the back row.
“I don’t think we lost because of a lack of effort but more because of a lack of discipline. That was the worst that we’ve serve-received all season. And all night long I thought we were on the defensive end of things.”
Whitewater led the first set 11-8 before rattling off six straight points behind the serve of Bullis. Big Foot rallied to cut the deficit to one at 17-16, but four unforced errors by the Chiefs and two kills by Bullis closed it out.
The Whippets led the majority of the second set, including 21-13 on a kill from Kacie Carollo. Big Foot again stormed back and eventually got within three at 24-21, but a Bullis kill from the back row ended the game.
The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recruit said the Whippets benefited from beating the Chiefs in the Rock Valley Conference tournament Saturday.
“Playing them definitely helped us, because we knew had it in us,” Bullis said. “It helped us because it gave us confidence.
“And we knew that if we lost tonight, we were done, and we want to keep going.”
Big Foot, which split during the regular season with Whitewater, came to life in the third set. The Chiefs took their last lead of the night at 20-19 on Greer Lettenberger’s perfectly placed drop shot.
Whitewater came back to tie the game on a Bullis kill and took the lead for good on Carollo’s smash that made it 22-21. The match ended on Carollo’s eighth kill of the night.
“It’s going to be tough to go up and play Lakeside. They’re tough,” Whitewater coach Kathy Bullis said. “We saw them at the Warhawk Invitational. But we’re not the same team now, and they’re not the same team, either. It should be a great match.”
WHITEWATER 3, BIG FOOT 0
Whitewater 25 25 25
Walworth Big Foot 17 21 22
Leaders: Aces—Emme Bullis (W) 4, Sariah Tracy (BF) 4. Kills—Bullis 16, Kacie Carollo (W) 8, Lindsey Paulsen (BF) 8. Digs—Carollo 9, Reagan Courier (BF) 9. Assists—Cora Linos (W) 15, Lahni Palmer (BF) 16