Rise up. It was painted on a sign in the Bloomer student section at Saturday’s night sectional final volleyball match up between Bloomer and Mosinee. Bloomer rose, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite high enough.
Mosinee defeated the Blackhawks 25-22, 25-18, 25-11 25-23 in a WIAA Division 2 sectional final at Altoona on Saturday night. The win sends the Indians on to the state tournament and the Blackhawks to the gym to start training for next season.
The loss may have ended the season for Bloomer, but head coach Liz Bohl said what started in Bloomer’s gym in August will continue.
“It’s the mentality that we’re not going to give up and we’re going to keep going we’re going to fight back and we can play with anybody” Bohl said. “That’s how they left it on the court.”
The Blackhawks fought all night. Down 13-8 in the first set, Grace Post and Jessica Barr headed up a hard hitting offense at the net, sending balls deep down the line finding the holes in Mosinee’s defense.
The Indians retaliated with powerful kills from Aurora Krause and Hanna Nest and a scrappy defense led by libero Allison Miller. Regardless of the score, Bloomer continued to fight for every point and Bohl said their fight was one of the things she was most proud of.
“Mosinee is a good team, hats off to them they had hitters in all areas and it was tough to key in on any one of their hitters … but you know we kept going and kept pushing and balls never dropped,” Bohl said.
After two close sets, Bloomer decided it was time to make a statement of its own with a win.
Bohl said the Blackhawks talked before the third about switching up their offense. Bloomer did just that adding in tips and deep pushes to the back corners, to try catch Mosinee off guard. The dynamic attacks gave Bloomer the edge early in the third.
Setter Chloee Swartz pushed the ball deep to the corners eliminating the chance of a return and Barr and Post sent their tips right behind the blocks sending the Indians scrambling.
Libero, Bailey McConaughey anchored the back row popping the attacks up for Swartz and the front row hitters. Bloomer did not give up their lead in the third outscoring the Indians 25-11.
The beginning of the fourth set brought a change over the court. The Indians’ screams of animation switched to yells of encouragement and the Blackhawks began to find their quiet, steady rhythm that had anchored the win in the third.
Early in the fourth Bloomer had the lead 7-3 over the Indians, but a timeout by Mosinee switched the momentum. The powerful front row lead by Krause and Nest sent the ball hard and deep past the Bloomer defense. It was a battle but the Blackhawks were determined to give it their all until point 25.
Bohl said she knows the loss stings but hopes her team realizes what they have done this season.
“We never gave up, we continued to improve” Bohl said. “They’ve got a lot of heart, they just play their hearts out and they do everything I ask and more.”
It was part of the seniors’ legacy and it’s how they left it, making it to the sectional final for the second time in three years.