Volleyball: NLS moves on
Second-seed New London-Spicer tops Morris/CA, a team that beat the Cats during the season.
NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer Wildcats squeaked by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta in the first round of the Section 3AA-North playoffs on Friday evening.
Seeded at No. 2, NLS won 25-22, 26-28, 25-23 and 25-22 over the No. 7 Tigers, who beat the Wildcats 3-0 during the regular season.
The four-set win brings the Wildcats into the Section 3AA-North playoffs quarterfinals against the Minnewaska Lakers.
With NLS trailing 20-21, senior outside hitter Avery Rich tied the match at 21-21 with a kill that forced Morris/CA to call a timeout. The Wildcats then scored the next three points before closing out set one 25-22 to swing momentum in their favor.
However, the Tigers stuck around, battled, and played NLS close. Morris/C-A took set number two in a 28-26 win after the Wildcats once held a 26-25 advantage.
After it conceded set two, NLS responded in set three with a 25-23 victory and found similar results with a 25-22 victory in set four to close out the match.
NLS served well against the Tigers, tallying 11 ace serves. Senior middle blocker Ellary Peterson led with three. The Rich sisters - Avery and Dakota - junior setter Ava Hauer and sophomore libero Grace Truscinski each recorded two.
Wildcats junior setter/right-side Kendra Gerhardson posted an all-around performance to pace NLS to victory. She led the team with 19 set assists, 14 kills and four ace blocks, adding five digs.
The Wildcats saw three players reach double-digits in digs. Peterson led with 14 digs as Dakota and Avery Rich followed with 12 and 11.
The Wildcats play host to the No. 6 seeded Minnewaska Lakers at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Section 3AA-North quarterfinals at New London-Spicer High School. The winner will face the winner between the No. 1 Paynesville Bulldogs and the No. 4 Litchfield Dragons at 7 p.m. Thursday at a neutral site that is to be determined.
NLS 3, Morris/CA 1
Morris/CA (11-10) 22 28 23 22
NLS (16-11) 25 26 25 25
Stats not available
Serving (aces): Ava Hauer 2, Avery Rich 2, Dakota Rich 2, Ellary Peterson 3, Grace Truscinski 2 … Set assists: Hauer 18, Peterson 1, Emma Madison 1, Truscinski 2, Kendra Gerhardson 19 … Hitting (kills): Ava Carlson 7, Rich 5, Ayla Caskey 5, Peterson 3, Madison 8, Gerhardson 14 … Blocking (aces): Carlson 1, Caskey 1, Peterson 2, Gerhardson 4 … Digs (5 or more): Hauer 8, A. Rich 11, Caskey 5, Dakota Rich 12, Peterson 14, Truscinski 9, Gerhardson 5