CUBA CITY – When you’re talking titles, the Cuba City Cubans’ volleyball team is not in a sharing mood.
The Lady Cubans wrapped up a perfect 12-0 finish and sealed sole possession of the 2017 SWAL title by sweeping Iowa-Grant and Fennimore in matches last week.
After pulling out a 3-2 victory over Darlington to open the season, the Cubans posted 11 consecutive sweeps en route to claiming the SWAL championship crown 12th time under head coach Keri Lawson.
“It is a rare feat to go undefeated in the SWAL. After going five with Darlington in the season opener, I really expected a lot of four- and five-set matches with the top teams in the conference. All of a sudden we found ourselves in the drivers seat and the team to beat,” stated Lawson.
“We always expect to contend for the title. It was a team effort to remain focused and push each other so there was always improvement and growth happening. These kids wanted to win, however they were not interested in sharing the title. Having only lost two sets– both against Darlington and only by two points each– shows where our efforts were. I’m proud of their tenacious efforts every single match. They should feel great about what they achieved.”
Junior setter Courtney Busch handed out 23 assists and junior middle hitter Brinley Wood tallied 12 kills and four blocks as the Cubans spiked the Panthers (6-6), 25-21, 25-19, 25-13, at IGHS on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Senior Mykenzie Vaassen chipped in with six kills, three blocks, three aces and a team-high 15 digs, while senior Megan Hartl added five kills and 12 digs in the win.
Cuba City closed the regular season sweeping Fennimore, 25-11, 25-11, 25-9, in their SWAL finale at home on Thursday, Oct. 12.
The Cubans finished the night with 29 kills and 22 service aces. Hartl registered seven of each along with seven digs to lead the Cubans. Wood contributed nine kills and a block, and Busch dished out 23 assists with seven digs.
Vaassen added seven aces, and Cummings had a block in the victory.
The WIAA Division 3 volleyball tournament began on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The #1-seeded Cubans hosted #16-seeded New Glarus in a regional quarterfinal match. The results of that match were unavailable at press time.
With a win on Tuesday, Cuba City would host the winner of the Boscobel vs. Marshall match in a regional semifinal contest on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. The D3 regional final match is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21, also at 7 p.m., while D3 sectional play will begin on Thursday, Oct. 26, with a semifinal match at Mineral Point High School, starting at 7 p.m.
“Winning the conference is exciting, but once Monday (rolled) around it is a new season for every team in the state. Many look at it as a ‘fresh start’, so we look at it as the next challenge. Regardless of seed, we need to clean up some areas of play and be ready to adjust against new opponents. It is one and done here on out. Practicing with a purpose for each opponent will become the focus next week. I am a firm believer in good teams can get better in the post season. Cuba City will hopefully be one of those teams,” added Lawson.
Cuba City……….. 25 25 25
Iowa-Grant……… 21 19 13
CC Leaders: Kills: Brinley Wood 12, Mykenzie Vaassen 6. Blocks: Wood 4, Vaassen 3. Assists: Courtney Busch 23. Aces: Vaassen 3. Digs: Vaassen 15, Megan Hartl 12.
At Livingston on Tuesday, Oct. 10
Fennimore…….. 11 11 9
Cuba City……… 25 25 25
CC Leaders: Kills: Brinley Wood 7, Megan Hartl 5. Blocks: Keisha Cummings 1, Wood 1. Assists: Courtney Busch 23. Aces: Mykenzie Vaassen 7, Hartl 7, Wood 4. Digs: Busch 7, Hartl 7.
At Cuba City on Thursday, Oct. 12