Lady Elks taking steps in challenging area scene

 

By Chris Bennett

Sports correspondent

The Elks finished eighth out of 14 teams Aug. 26 at the Craig/Parker Volleyball Classic at Craig High School in Janesville.

The Elks played a non-conference match Tuesday at Clinton, and play tonight at Burlington in their Southern Lakes Conference match of the season.

Coach Justin Diderrich, in his third season at the head of the program, said the Craig/Parker tournament is the first two-day tournament in which the Elks have played during his tenure at the top.

“I am very happy to see the growth in the program,” Diderrich said. “We were able to make it to the gold side after Friday, and we were given a challenge on Saturday.

“This is a great sign of things to come for the rest of the year. I hope we can continue to show this growth as the season continues, and start to make some progress in the conference.”

Elkhorn finished 0-5 on Aug. 26 after opening 4-2 on Aug. 25.

In their final match on Friday, Elkhorn took Janesville Parker to three sets. Parker won the first set 27-25 and the Elks won the second set 27-25. Parker won the third set 15-5.

Parker beat the Elks 25-14, 15-14 in the first match of the day that Saturday.

Brodhead beat the Elks 25-13, 25-19, Craig beat the Elks 25-12, 25-15 and Edgerton won 25-22, 25-16.

Adrienne Bain finished with 25 assists in matches on Saturday. Julie Heck tallied six kills. Morgan Hunter and Kate Passler each finished with five kills.

On Aug. 25, Elkhorn opened the tournament against defending WIAA Division 2 runners-up Green Bay Notre Dame. Notre Dame went on to win the tournament title, and beat the Elks 25-18, 25-11.

The Elks then lost 25-14, 25-19 to Craig before winning four straight matches.

Elkhorn beat Tomah in three sets. The Elks won the first set 25-17 before losing the second set 25-18 and winning the third set 16-14.

The Elks beat Madison Memorial 25-21, 25-20; Portage 25-19, 25-17; and Cambridge 25-21, 25-21.

Passler finished the day with 17 kills. Maddie Ivey tallied 13. Ivey finished with 14 assists in the Friday match against Craig.

The Elks went 0-7 in SLC play last season, and finished 5-21 overall.

Elkhorn counts nine returning letter winners this season, including Baine at setter, Heck at middle blocker, Sarah Rychlak at libero and outside hitter Morgan Hunter.

Passler and Ivey, both sophomores, are news faces who will be counted on to help the Elks improve on last season.

Diderrich said he feels like the Elks are ready to compete with every team in the SLC, and expects to win a healthy share of conference matches.

“I believe that we have the athleticism and volleyball knowledge to make our move up the conference standings,” Diderrich said. “Everyone we face this year will see a team that is going to battle for every point, and is going to enter every match with a determination to win.”

 
 

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