BELLEVILLE — The Fennimore volleyball team is off to a fast start, placing second out of eight teams at Saturday’s season-opening Belleville Invitational.
Coach Jerica Nelson’s Golden Eagles, who are hoping to build off last year’s 13–15 finish, finished second in pool play after winning a tie-breaker over Orgeon to earn a spot in the championship gold bracket.
Fennimore (2–3) open the tournament with a 25–12, 25–21 sweep of Green Lake/Princeton, but then suffered a three-set loss to eventual champion Dodgeville, 25–15, 19–25, 15–10.
Fennimore was then swept by Oregon in a pair of close games, 25–23, 25–22, but Oregon had previously lost to Green Lake/Princeton and Nelson Eagles won the tie-breaker by virtue of pushing Dodgeville to a third set.
Fennimore opened gold bracket play with a 25–21, 17–25, 17–15 victory over host Belleville, which won the other pool, in the semifinals.
Dodgeville once again held off Fennimore in three sets, 25–23, 31–29, 15–11 in a wild back and forth rematch in the championship.
“We played well at our first tournament,” said Fennimore coach Nelson. “The girls played aggressively and were running a lot of different things. We will continue to work on our serve receive which has been our greatest weakness, but the girls dug the ball well and improved on defense throughout the day on Saturday.
Junior Drehya Dresen made 25 digs and served up six aces in her first start at libero.
Senior setter Bailee Hunt, a three-year starter and 2018 first-team All-SWAL selection, passed out 83 assists and led the team with 11 aces in five matches.
Junior middle hitter Brynlee Nelson led the offense with a team-high 42 kills and also had 27 digs.
Senior middle hitter Alexis Adkins added 19 kills and three blocks.
“Drehya Dresen did a great job of reading their hitters and playing defense, Bailee ran our offense well, and the hitters were all able to find holes on our opponents side,” added Nelson. “The girls have improved from last year, they are playing more aggressively and seem more confident in themselves and each other.”
NEXT: Fennimore will open Southwest Wisconsin Activities League play tonight at home against Darlington at 7:15 p.m. The Eagles will then host Cuba City on Tuesday.
(from Saturday, Aug. 31 @ Belleville)
Championship: Dodgeville def. Fennimore 25–23, 31–29, 15–11.
Semifinals: Fennimore def. Belleville 25–21, 17–25, 17–15.
Pool A: Dodgeville 3–0, Fennimore 1–2, Oregon 1–2, Green Lake/Princeton 1–2.
Pool B: Belleville 3–0, Poynette 2–1, Deerfield 1–2, Madison West 0–3.
Fennimore pool play match scores
Fennimore def. Princeton 25–12, 25–21
Dodgeville def. Fennimore 25–15, 19–25, 15–10
Oregon def. Fennimore 25–23, 25–22
Fennimore stat leaders (entire tourney)
Kills: Brynlee Nelson 42, Alexis Adkins 19, Madalyn Glasbrenner 17, Claire Faulkner 16. Blocks: Bailee Hunt 4, Adkins 3, Glasbrenner 2, Faulkner 2. Assists: Hunt 83. Aces: Hunt 11, Kyleigh Dresen 9, Drehya Dresen 6. Digs: Nelson 27, Dresen 25, Adkins 20, Dresen 19, Hunt 11.