Coming off a disappointing 3-0 loss against Pierz on Sept. 30, snapping a five-game winning streak, the Milaca volleyball team knew they let one get away from them.
Instead of dwelling on the loss, the squad used it to their advantage. “It was a wakeup call and got them refocused for the weekend,” said Milaca Head Coach James Taylor.
With the motivated Milaca team heading to the Moose Lake for their Rebel Invitational Tournament on Oct.2, the Wolves did not let the loss to the Pioneers hold them back, pushing to a 4-0 weekend and a first place finish in the tournament.
Milaca was able to pick up wins over South Ridge, Hinckley-Finlayson, Moose Lake-Willow River and Cromwell-Wright to secure the tournament title. After a three set game over South Ridge, the Wolves were able to sweep the remaining games, each by 2-0 scores.
“I think they wanted to prove that Thursday wasn’t them and kind of a fluke. They played tough all day,” said Taylor.
Starting with the South Ridge Panthers, though playing well all day, Milaca did not get off to the best start, dropping the first set via a competitive 25-22 score.
From there, the Wolves would wake up.
Milaca would rebound from the first set loss to tie things up a one apiece followed by a 15-11 victory in the third and decisive set to move on from the Panthers with a victory.
A huge catalyst in the win for Milaca, was senior outside hitter, Morgan Majerus, who had 10 kills in the match against South Ridge while fellow senior libero Lexy Gall added 24 digs in the win.
Up next for the Wolves was Hinckley-Finlayson.
Wolves advance past Jaguars
Back in action after picking up the win over South Ridge, awaited Hinckley-Finlayson for Milaca.
The Wolves made quick work of the Jaguars, beating the opposition via 25-14 and 25-13 sets to continue their strong play.
Milaca setter, Macy Mach played well in the match, picking up 17 assists in the win.
Getting past Hinckley Finlayson, tournament host Moose Lake-Willow River got its chance to knock off the Wolves.
Milaca makes quick work of Rebels
In the third game for Milaca in the tournament, the Wolves showed no signs of letting up, picking up a win over the Rebels to move to 3-0 on the day.
The squad once again added another 2-0 win with 25-12 and 25-18 victories sealing the defeat of Moose Lake-Willow River.
Middle hitter, Maggie Westling was able to help the Wolves past the Rebels with nine kills to lead the team.
After the win, Cromwell-Wright waited to take on Milaca.
Wolves take championship
In their last match of the day, Cromwell-Wright fought hard versus the Wolves but failed to force a third set, falling 25-23 and 25-14 to seal the title for Milaca.
Wolves’ outside hitter, Mae Concannon paced the team in kills with six while Mach added 15 assists in tournament closing victory.
With the four wins on the day, Milaca moved to 13-5 on the year.
Now up next for the Wolves’ team is a couple of key games inside conference play with a trip to Little Falls on Oct. 5 followed by a home contest against Mora.
As both games are well within grasp for Milaca to win, the team has to keep playing with intensity to not experience any set backs. “These are two big games, we need to make sure we are focused,” said Taylor.
The Wolves took on the Mustangs on Oct. 7.