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Cubans stay in the hunt for SWAL volleyball title
cc vb hartl dig
Cuba City's Megan Hartl (3) and Allison Brogley (14) race to dig out a serve during Thursday's SWAL match against Riverdale. Hartl had a team-high 21 digs in the match. Brogley had 13.

CUBA CITY – After falling to Southwestern two weeks earlier, the Cuba City volleyball team knew that if they had any hopes of earning their fourth consecutive SWAL title they would have to head into the rematch with the Wildcats without any more setbacks.

The Cubans (21-5 overall, 9-1 SWAL) stayed on task by sweeping Fennimore, 3–0, and defeating Riverdale, 3–1, in league matches last week to run their SWAL winning streak last week. The Cubans then ran their win streak to five matches and pulled into a first-place tie with Southwestern by sweeping the Wildcats in Tuesday night’s rematch at CCHS. (Complete coverage of the Cubans' win over Southwestern will appear in next week's Tri-County Press).

“We are continuing to search for our competitive edge. There is a sense of urgency now that it’s October,” stated Cuba City head coach Keri Lawson.

The Lady Cubans wrapped up Homecoming Week by surviving a tough battle against the visiting Chieftains (3–5 SWAL) last Thursday night.

After rolling to wins of 25–15 and 25–10 to start the match, things got a bit more rough as the Chieftains battled it out point-for-point with the hosts. A 28–26 win in set three kept Riverdale alive, but the Cubans closed out the victory with a hard-fought 25–18 decision in set four.

“There were some extra long rallies with some great defense by both teams. I am not sure how we won it. It didn’t feel like we did. Riverdale played lights out defense,” Lawson noted.

Senior Kaitlyn Kaiser finished with 21 kills to lead the Cubans, and hit .360 at the net for the night, which Lawson said was the difference down the stretch.

Senior Jessi Marti chipped in with 11 kills and 15 digs, and she served up seven aces during a 14-point run that put the Cubans ahead 18–1 at the start of set two.

Megan Hartl tallied 21 digs, 15 assists and two aces, while Ally Averkamp led the team with 24 assists and Emily Wiederholt recorded two blocks. Maziee Splinter added nine kills and Allison Brogley had 13 digs for the Cubans.

At Fennimore, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Cubans swept the host Golden Eagles (0–8 SWAL), 25–18, 25–17, 25–21, in SWAL action.

“Our focus for the week was to cut down on the serve errors. For the first set and a half we were perfect, then we seemed to lose focus and ended up with four serve errors. However, we did tally up seven aces as a team,” mentioned Coach Lawson. “Fennimore stayed with us in all three sets. They were ahead a few times in sets two and three, but they had trouble with our pressure at the net. When we had to find a point, we did and finished in three.”

Averkamp led the Cubans with 20 assists and 12 digs, while Kaiser recorded 16 kills and eight digs in the match.

Wiederholt added eight digs and three aces. Splinter had seven kills, and Marti finished with six kills and two blocks.

Cuba City will participate in the eight-team Lodi Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 10, starting at 9 a.m. The Cubans return to SWAL play at home against Boscobel on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

“All eight teams (at Lodi) are strong. It will be gut check time. Seeding will take place soon and that means playoffs are around the corner. If we are going to make a run, we need to figure some things out, now!” said Lawson.