East Troy High School’s Isabelle Martino (No. 11) sets the ball as Katie Winkler (No. 17) prepares to assist against McFarland on Sept. 12. The Trojans won, 3-1. (Eric Kramer photo)

Team heads to West Bend Sprawl this weekend

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

Before the East Troy High School girls volleyball team can accomplish its postseason goals, the Trojans have their sights set on a run toward another Rock Valley Conference title.

And it won’t be easy, as the conference boasts a number of talented squads capable of winning on any given night.

East Troy fought through two of those tough opponents last week to get its RVC season off to a strong start with identical 3-1 victories over McFarland and Big Foot.

The Trojans (9-5 overall, 2-0 RVC) opened play with a 25-14, 17-25, 25-16, 25-19 win over McFarland last Tuesday, followed by a 25-11, 21-25, 25-13, 25-13 win at Big Foot two nights later.

There’s always work to be done, first-year East Troy coach Scott Nagorski said.

“We are happy to be 2-0, but we are focusing on playing a more consistent match,” he said. “(Against McFarland), the girls played pretty well. The home crowd gave us a boost of energy, which helped throughout the match.”

Sandwiched in between three fairly convincing set victories was the loss in the second set that came down to a case of McFarland putting together a solid effort of its own, Nagorski said.

“(They) served well, which took us out of system more than we would like,” he said. “We became a little too predictable.”

Nagorski was pleased to see his team rally from that early setback to take control with the identical 25-13 wins to close out the match.

There never was a drop in confidence, even as the Spartans knotted the match at a set apiece, he added.

“There may have been some nerves, but this group has played a lot of volleyball together,” Nagorski said. “They knew if they focused on passing well, the rest would follow. Also, the energy of the home crowd certainly helped.”

Leaders for the Trojans included Briana Scuric (28 kills, 17 digs), Julian Friedrichs (nine kills, two aces, four blocks), Katie Zewiske (seven kills, nine digs), Emily Wendt (three aces, nine digs, 23 assists) and Isabelle Martino (12 digs, 32 assists).

East Troy was back in conference action Tuesday night against visiting Edgerton, followed by a road trip to Clinton on Thursday. The Trojans close out their week at the two-day West Bend Sprawl on Friday and Saturday in a tournament that features some of the top teams in the state.

“We would like to take care of our two conference matches and then take that confidence into the Sprawl,” Nagorski said. “We have shown that we can play with some of the top Division 1 teams, and we are hoping we can push that a bit further and see where that takes us.”

Strong effort in opener

The story was similar against Big Foot to start the week, as the Trojans overcame a little hiccup in the second set to pull out the four-set win.

Nagorski said the difference between the three victories and the one loss in the second set came down to passing.

“Our passing fell off in Game 2, but we got it back to together for Games 3 and 4,” he said. “They also had a loud student section, and some of my players feed off that and used it for motivation (in the last two games).”

Leaders included Scuric (15 kills, 18 digs), Zewiske (11 kills, 11 digs), Katie Winkler (10 kills), Friedrichs (five blocks), Mati Jakscht (20 digs), Wendt (10 digs, 25 assists) and Martino (26 digs).

Nagorski continues to be pleased with Scuric’s effort, both statistically and with what she has brought to the team.

“It’s not just her stats that show up big,” he said. “She sets a fantastic example of leadership and determination to win every match. She will put forth maximum effort in doing whatever it takes to push for victory.”

 
 

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