Blue Devils can go from worst to first with win Tuesday
PLUM CITY - Last season Plum City High School's volleyball team went 3-24 overall and were dead last in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference with a 1-8 record.
Yet within 24 hours the Blue Devils can go from worst to first if they beat Colfax at Colfax Tuesday evening. Match time will begin approximately at 7 p.m.
PC head coach Nanette Murray knows this possibility exists for her team but isn't dwelling on it right now.
"It's going to be a tough match-up and girls are understandably nervous," Murray said. "We need to maintain our focus: one match, one game, one point at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. There will be plenty of time for reflection at what we've accomplished when the season is over with."
Murray doesn't believe the Blue Devils will have their way with the Vikings like they did in their first meeting back on Aug. 24. Colfax, the defending D-SC, started their season miserably, going 2-10.
"They were having problems with the serve-receive and they weren't really on the same page as team," Murray said. "They were the same concerns we had early on too. But given the way both teams have been playing lately, I doubt if they'll be problems now. It should be a great match."
Vikings coach Pam Meredith would agree with that assessment.
"Last year we had a pretty set lineup and designated roles," said fourth-year head coach in an interview with the Dunn County News. "This year we are asking all players to handle multiple roles. The athletes have risen to the challenge and are working extremely hard...We are going to take our lumps and bumps during our non-conference portion of our season but believe when conference play starts, we will have fine-tuned our defense and offense."
Indeed, since the Vikings 2-10 start their record is 14-3. Meanwhile, the Devils have gone 10-4 since a 7-15 beginning.
Senior Jenni Gust leads Colfax with 105 kills with junior Hailey DeMoe second with 64. Sophomore Mallie Doucette leads the team in assists with 152. At least four players are double digits in aces with Gust leading the way with 18. Gust also leads the team in digs with 96 and blocks with seven. Colfax is a mostly junior dominated squad as they have just four seniors on the varsity.
Colfax doesn't have as much at stake as Plum City, which is looking for its first league title since 1999, because they have already clinched a share after beating Mondovi and Pepin last week by 3-1 scores.
Still, Murray knows this will be a tough match-up given Colfax's talent, the fact the match on the road and the fact Meredith has been Plum City's nemesis over the past 12 years since she first started coaching in the league in 1999 at Spring Valley. Her overall record against PC is 9-5.
"We need to continue to serve well and we have to play tougher than they will if the match goes to a fourth or fifth game," Murray said. "Fatigue gets to be a big factor when you play for that long and so which team has the mental toughness is well on its way to winning."
If Plum City wins and assuming Mondovi doesn't lose at Elmwood Tuesday, it would set-up the first three-team tie for the league title since 1985 when Elmwood, Colfax and Arkansaw all shared equally. Colfax has 10 D-SC titles in school history while PC is looking for its second.