Despite SubDistrict setback, Lady Vikes put together a successful volleyball season

WAUSA — Ultimately, Tri County Northeast was just too much for the Wausa volleyball team to handle, handing the Lady Vikes a 3-1 (13-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-16) Sub-District setback last week.

That ended the Lady Vikings’ season at 13- 10, a season that flipped the script from a 10- 19 finish in 2019.

It was the first time the Lady Vikings had finished above .500 in “many years,” according to head coach Greg Conn.

Alexa Cunningham (eight kills, four blocks), Hunter West (six kills, 16 digs), Charlie Price (six kills) and Clara Schindler (32 assists) led Wausa in the defeat.

“We beat the teams we should have beaten, but did not beat a team that was better than we were,” Conn said. “We were close on several occasions but just could not get over the top of the wall. We had a lot of depth with this team and when someone was struggling, there was always someone else ready to step in, a win by committee and that is a great luxury that most teams don’t have,” Conn said.

Conn said this approach is great for both depth and team-building.

“It also creates great competition in practice that correlates to a strong competitive team if allowed,” he said.

That depth includes a lot of young players.

“The future looks good as does the state of the program, however, if anything is worth having, then you must sacrifice and work for it because no one hands you success, it is earned,” he said.

Junior Leah Bloomquist believes the season was a successful one that brought the girls together to another, closer level both on and off the court.

Even if they didn’t go as far as they would have liked, the team was a success according to Bloomquist.

“The season benefitted us by being able to open up a lot more and that wouldn’t have happened without our coaches and teammates allow us to open up and let loose and not be afraid to do that,” she said. “Against Tri-County, we came out for our first set really hyped and full of adrenaline. Once we won that first set so easily, we thought we had it in the bag or something.”

No one wanted to see the season end this way, she said.

“At the end we were all really pretty sad because it stinks that it had to end that way,” she said.

In the past, the team has battled inner-team turmoil and the goal was to create a more welcoming environment and allow for the players to enjoy their time on the court.

“Us loving each other more in a sister way really benefitted us,” Bloomquist said. “We care about what they are going through, and the wins and losses and you end up playing more for each other.”

Wausa now is built on positive vibes and a new sense of camaraderie and that should push the Lady Vikings into hopefully a pandemic-free 2021.

“We have the tools and skills moving forward, but now we have to start laying the blocks for next year’s foundation and it starts now,” Conn said.

Bloomquist feels optimistic that the future of the program is really bright.

“I am really excited, and they have a lot of potential,” Bloomquist said. “Many of them have a love and passion for the sport that they can do some great stuff.”

Morgan Kleinschmit led Wausa with 123 kills, while Cunningham added 120 and West finished with 100. The latter two are a sophomore and freshman respectively.

Schindler led the team with 22 aces while Cunningham paced the front row with 95 blocks.

Kleinschmit and West finished with 151 and 150 digs while Bloomquist contributed 116 digs.

Schindler set up the offense, as she tallied 506 assists.

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