The Seneca volleyball team loses in three sets 25-20, 25-10, 25-6 to Newman Catholic in a Division 4 semifinal game of the WIAA State Tournament.
The Indians led 18-17 in the first set. However, Newman Catholic was led back to victory by their unstoppable Mariah Whalen, a senior hitter who has a volleyball scholarship to attend UW-Madison next year. Whalen had 22 kills in the game. Newman Catholic's Rylie Vaughn had 12 kills. Seneca's sophomore hitter Liv Swanson recorded six kills.
Whalen served the final five serves of the the third set and had three aces among them coming from her incredibly strong jump serve.
Seneca scored its final point of the match when Hannah Whiteaker saved a ball headed out of bounds off a Seneca player and it was returned over the net to make the score 19-6 in the third set.
Seneca played well, but didn't have an answer for Whalen or Vaughn, who combined for 34 kills unofficially.
Seneca's libero, Alivia Salinas, dug up countless hits that should've been kills, while Seneca's 5'4" hitter Haley Wall went toe-to-toe at the net with Newman-Catholic hitters a foot taller than her.
Congratulations to a fine Seneca Indian volleyball team on a superlative effort and a nod to the team's only senior, Becky Trautsch, who also played well in the final game of her high school volleyball career.
Finally, hats off to Seneca volleyball coach Dawn Ray and her assistants for their hard work without which this team would not have appeared in the state tournament.
Oh and one more thing...here's a little message for Newman Catholic....good luck on your effort to win a fourth straight state championship on Saturday, but don't count on winning a state championship in 2017...hope to see you in Green Bay again next year.