Lady Vikings are on a roll

Wausa girls open the season at 4-0

WAUSA — It’s all about good volleyball and a plenty of better times around the dinner table for the Wausa Lady Vikings.

Good food and excellent conversation has helped the Wausa girls to evolve into a much improved squad on the floor, but more on that part later.

The Lady Vikings are now 4-0 and already almost halfway to their total-win count from 2019 after topping Elkhorn Valley 2-1 (14-25, 25-20, 25-18) and sweeping Winside 2-0 (25-14, 25-11) to roll to an unbeaten night at their own triangular last Thursday.

“It was a lot of fun to see these kids play with intensity and have fun at the same time,” Wausa head coach Greg Conn said.

Morgan Kleinschmit had 11 kills, five solo blocks and 10 digs to pace the Lady Vikings over the two matches while junior Abrielle Nelson had 17 digs and served up two aces and served at a 92 percent clip.

Junior libero Leah Bloomquist was a sizzling 25-of-25 serving with two aces and 12 digs. Setter Clara Schindler stepped up big as the senior had 32 assists to quarterback the offense.

”Looking at film, what I like right now is that we are getting better at doing the little things right that we talk about each day,” Conn said. “I saw improvement in our blocking, we are reading hitters better and getting hands on the ball a little more consistently. Digging was also an improvement. The team can’t rest, though, he said.

“We just have to keep pushing ourselves to get better fundamentally each week. We have raised our level of play another notch and just need to keep improving on being consistent each night out.”

Morgan Kleinschmit says a lot of the team’s improvement is the increased level of chemistry amongst the players.

“It’s the way we are bonding this year and focused on working together,” she said. “We have more team dinners and we had about two or three over the summer to see if we could get along even better,” she said. “The seniors have talked about having more team dinners because of that. It did help with the bonding, talking to each other and learning about each other instead of just getting on the court and not knowing anybody at all.”

The dinners put the players in a more private and intimate setting to focus on just themselves and learning more about life with each other while enjoying some good grub.

“At some of the dinners we have games we can play so we can figure out and understand other people to learn what they are like inside,” Kleinschmit said. “For this group, I feel we know each other on a personal level. In a small town, we know each other and their parents. We understand what they go through – and it helps them open up on a personal level.”

Kleinschmit admits one of the bigger topics is about personal stuff regarding school and especially boys.

“It’s more about how we feel about what’s going on right now,” she said. “People are opening up about what they feel about things and not as much about what they did.

These events have really allowed the girls to get comfortable with each other.

“At the team dinners it’s mostly sidebars. I may go talk to this person for a while and if it’s a good conversation it might go through the whole night,” she said. “Sometimes there is a group that just talks about one thing and they have their opinion. They learn they can have an opinion on the court since they know they can have one (at the dinners).”

Kleinschmit admits that the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been one that has infiltrated their discourse and the group focuses more on the team and how they will play together.

It’s all about building chemistry and comfort in just being themselves.

“Mostly when we talk about stuff and opinions someone might give them a joke and people start laughing about it, but they know it’s a joke and no one takes it personally,” Kleinschmit said.

The Vikings travel to Bloomfield for a Thursday matchup with the Lady Bees who the Wausa girls beat in the first week of the season.

Hard work will be needed in order to win, Conn said.

“We have to raise the level of intensity, serve aggressively, be aggressive at the net, and passing the ball efficiently to keep putting pressure on their defense,” Conn said. “They are scrappy and will fight for each point you earn.”

Wausa 25 25

Winside 14 11

KILLS Wausa - Charlie Price, 5; A Cunningham, 3; Abrielle Nelson, 2; Ali Lundberg, 2; Morgan Kleinschmit, 2.

ACE SERVES - Wausa - Leah Bloomquist, 2; Abrielle Nelson, 1; Jaide Kaiser, 1.

BLOCKS - Wausa - Ali Lundberg, 3; Morgan Kleinschmit, 3; A Cunningham, 3; Charlie Price, 1.

DIGS - Wausa - Abrielle Nelson, 7; Morgan Kleinschmit, 3; Clara Schindler, 3; Leah Bloomquist, 3; Abby Kaiser, 2; Charlie Price, 2.

SET ASSISTS Wausa - Clara Schindler, 14.

Wausa 14 25 25

Elkhorn Valley 25 20 19

KILLS Wausa - Morgan Kleinschmit, 9; A Cunningham, 8; Ali Lundberg, 3; Abrielle Nelson, 2; Brooke Kumm, 1.

ACE SERVES - Wausa - Ali Lundberg, 1; Clara Schindler, 1.

BLOCKS - Wausa - A Cunningham, 6; Ali Lundberg, 5; Brooke Kumm, 2; Morgan Kleinschmit, 2; Abrielle Nelson, 1.

DIGS - Wausa - Morgan Kleinschmit, 12; Leah Bloomquist, 12; Abrielle Nelson, 11; Abby Kaiser, 4; Brooke Kumm, 4; Ali Lundberg, 3; Clara Schindler, 3; Charlie Price, 2.

SET ASSISTS - Wausa - Clara Schindler, 22.

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