The Wisconsin School for the Deaf volleyball team accepts the second-place trophy from the Great Plains School for the Deaf volleyball tournament. (Submitted photo)

The Wisconsin School for the Deaf volleyball team traveled to Iowa School for the Deaf for the annual Great Plains School for the Deaf volleyball tournament Oct. 5 and 6.

WSD was seeded fourth and was placed in a pool to face Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. All of the matches for the tournament were played two out of three sets. WSD lost the opening match to Kansas 0-2 – 16-25 and 22-25.

WSD won the next match against Missouri, which lost its sixth player with an injury. WSD won 2-0 – 25-8 and 25-11. Missouri played the tournament with five players.

The last set of the round robin was against Minnesota, which is in a rebuilding year. WSD won 2-0 – 25-12, 25-10.

WSD was ranked second in its pool and faced third-ranked Arkansas from the second pool Oct. 6. Arkansas played similar to Minnesota, and WSD was able to survive the single-elimination round with a 2-0 win – 25-18, 25-11.

The Firechicks then faced their “twins,” the New Mexico School for the Deaf Roadrunners. The match determined who went on to the championship round at 4 pm and who went in to the third- and fourth-place round.

The game was a nailbiter with both teams having several awesome volleys that showed each side’s skills and ability to play as a team, said Athletic Director Matthew Eby. WSD was able to secure the win 2-1 (25-19, 21-25, 15-6) and move on to the championship round.

“We were all at the edge of our seats anticipating the last and final match of the tournament,” Eby said.

WSD played Kansas for the third and final time this year. The first match started off competitive, and, by the eighth rotation, the teams were tied at 13-13. Kansas’ best player served next and scored a lot of points during her rotation, pulling ahead and finishing the set in Kansas’ favor 25-17. In the second set, the Firechicks tried to keep the team together and were able to limit Kansas’ best player from scoring as many points as in the first set, but Kansas still came away with a 25-17-win.

WSD brought home the second-place trophy and two of its players – Keisha Payne and Madison Bongard – were named all-tournament medalists.


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