With 10 Greater Metro Conference titles since 1996 to its credit, the Menomonee Falls girls volleyball team is used to having its way in league play.
But with a young back row still working out the kinks and some mystifyingly inconsistent play dogging the team, the Indians had to work hard to go 2-0 in GMC duals with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 decision over a veteran Brookfield Central team Wednesday night.
"When people ask me how we're doing I say 'fair to moderate'," said Indian coach J.C. Bruns. "We had some inconsistencies with our pass tonight. We passed fairly well for good stretches at times tonight, but then at other times, it went 'Bye-Bye'."
Lancer coach Scott Spiess, whose team returns eight players this season, knew that his side missed out on a great chance tonight.
"We did have a good chance," he said, "but we couldn't quite make enough plays at the end of each game to make it work. We're more competitive, more so than in the past. We've just got to get it into our heads that we believe we can do it."
The Lancers closed the gap to 20-18 in the first game, but then Falls scored the last five points, including a kill by Abby Becker, to close things out.
In the second game, Falls had a 22-19 lead but Central, behind a big block by Sam Horvath and Anna Liewen, tied it at 22-all. It went back-and-forth, but at 24-all, the Indians got a big kill from Chelsea Lee and then won the game on an error by the Lancers.
Central went on a five-point run early in the third game and had the lead for most of the contest. Behind a powerhouse effort by junior outside hitter Taylor Held (19 kills), they were ahead 22-18 before Falls went on a 5-0 run to take a 23-22 lead.
The game was so tense that not even four students running by the Central court, three dressed as bananas and the fourth as a chasing gorilla, could break the players' concentration.
Simone Lee put the Indians ahead with a huge kill off the left side after a long rally, but Held then got a nice tip kill to tie the score.
But Falls pulled it out when the Lancers committed a hitting error and then Sarah Held got a big block to end the match.
"We took a timeout late in that match and all I did there was point to the JV (in the stands)," Bruns said. "They were tired and they wanted to go home. We were fortunate enough to force them into mistakes and then good enough to take advantage of those mistakes."
He praised Held, who he admitted the Indians had a hard time dealing with.
"We were scrambling all over the place trying to figure out what we could do to try and stop her," he said. "That block at the end by Sarah (Held) was just huge."
Falls got 10 kills from Becker, while Holly Ordinans had 18 assists, while Stef Klamerus had nine digs, Madeline Molnor four blocks and Becker and Katherine Von Bank three aces each.
Mallory O'Halloran had 34 assists while Held added 10 digs for Central.
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