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Panther spikers look to finish this time vs. Prescott

Ellsworth's Tacia Kuhl will lead the Panthers

When you're the smaller team in prep volleyball, you have to try harder. And when you try harder it takes up a lot of energy.

Thus, even a 2-0 lead in a match, the kind of lead Ellsworth had on Prescott during their regular season match a few weeks ago, isn't safe when a taller team can score quick and easy points which don't fatigue as much.

Thus Ellsworth hopes to finish the match out victorious instead of on the tail-end of a 3-2 loss as they did against the Cardinals, otherwise the season's over in this first-round, WIAA regional tournament contest tonight at Prescott beginning at 7 p.m.

Prescott has the size advantage on Ellsworth across the front and the Panthers depend a lot on seniors Olivia Helmer and Megan Schroeder not just for points but the passes to set up those points as well.

EHS head coach is looking for players like seniors Tacia Kuhl and Chelsy Strom to pick-up more offense balanace out the Panthers' effort. She also believes the Panthers are better conditioned to go a five-game match than they were back on Oct. 3 at Prescott.

"Smaller teams can compete in volleyball if they play a fast tempo on offense and are aggressive and force their taller opponents to play defense constantly," EHS head coach Nicole VanderBerg said. "You have to be in condition and you have to jump higher and that's what we've been working on since the first Prescott match and hopefully it will make us better able to close out a lead if we have it."

Ellsworth, 12-15 overall, comes in having won three matches in a row but Prescott has plenty of momentum as well. At the start of the month the Cardinals were 10-11 overall. Since then PHS has gone 16-5 for a 26-16 overall record and a above .500 record in the Middle Border Conference (thanks to the win over Ellsworth) The scoring the Redbirds are gettting up front is not just from the Weisers Lily and Anna, but also Kellie Magee, Andrea Lewis and Gabby Janovec.

"We're excited for the playoffs," Prescott head coach Patti Tulip said. "We're playing well as a team and we've made changes and adjustments to our line-up which are working for us."

One team also looking for the playoff to start is Spring Valley. The Cardinals had a bad week where they went 1-7 and dropped their overall record to 26-15. Valley hosts Augusta in a Division 3 first-round match-up this evening. Also at home and also playing with some momentum is Plum City. The Blue Devils have won three matches in a row to improve to 13-16 overall. They'll look for win No. 4 against Eleva-Strum in Division 4 this evening.

Elmwood, 5-20 overall, has a very tough first round match as they are at Clayton, ranked No. 3 in Division 4.

Winners tonight head to the regional semifinals Thursday, also at 7 p.m.

Here are the links to the WIAA volleyball tournament brackets:

Division 2:

Division 3:

Division 4: