SPASH volleyball wins two matches as host of invite
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — Volleyball matches have officially begun after scrimmages were spread throughout the weekend of Aug 20. For SPASH, their first official invite was one that they hosted at the SPASH Fieldhouse on Aug 23. The Panthers played in four matches throughout the day, coming out with a 2-2 record.
The invite brought schools from all over the state to Stevens Point. Berlin, De Pere, Eau Claire Memorial, Green Bay New Lutheran, Northland Pines, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, and Wittenberg-Birnamwood all participated in the matches.
The Panthers played Green Bay New Lutheran in the opening match. SPASH took care of business in the first set, winning 25-16. They had the game in control with a late lead, 22-14. Senior Emma Barton got the game-winning point off a block at the net.
Set number two brought more intensity between the two teams. No team had a substantial lead early on. The Panthers trailed 15-13, and Maria Ananiadis went up top for a block that turned the game around. Fast-forward, the Panthers were down 20-18 with the serve and took the lead shortly after. Junior Brooke Boeck spotted one over two blockers on the far sideline for a huge point. Right after, Ananiadis and Barton combined for a block that led to a 23-21 SPASH lead. SPASH floated one over two blockers again for the win, 25-22. The Panthers beat the Blazers two sets to none.
SPASH’s second game of the invite came against De Pere. The Panthers began the game with a 4-1 lead after Barton had a couple of kills. The first set had plenty of momentum swings on both sides. A 4-1 advantage for SPASH turned into a 10-9 lead for the Phantoms. Later, six of seven points went in favor of the Panthers, who now led 15-11. After that stretch, De Pere outscored SPASH 14-8 to win the set, 23-25.
De Pere continued that momentum in the second set. SPASH was down 5-3 early and later 10-7 going into a timeout. After the break, the Panthers tried to climb back with a couple of points, but De Pere threw four straight points on the board to lead 18-10. Seven of the last ten points went to the Phantoms, who beat the Panthers two sets to zero.
SPASH got a break in between its second and third matches before playing Northland Pines in the afternoon. The Panthers took care of business versus the Eagles, winning in two sets, 25-21, 25-18. The final game for the Panthers happened to be the longest one for them. The Panthers played an always good Wittenberg-Birnamwood team. SPASH won the first set, 25-20, and then the Chargers fought back. They took the second set 18-25 and won the final set by six points, 9-15.
The Panthers finished the invite with two wins and had an active day upfront. Emma Barton led the team with 24 kills on offense. She also played well defensively with seven blocks. Alli Schrank led the team with 54 digs in the four matches. If you have other local sports news or information, contact me at [email protected]. You can also follow me on Twitter at JacobHeid_15 for coverage of sporting events.