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Cardinals depth overmatches FDL's grit

Thursday's varsity girls volleyball game between Cromwell-Wright and Fond du Lac featured one team with a host of veterans versus a young squad looking to improve each night they hit the court. While the Cards came out with a 3-0 victory over the Ogichidaa, the match featured hard work on both sides of the net.

"Fond du Lac has a very, very young group, but, boy, do they work hard," said Cards coach Amy Granholm. "I was impressed with how hard they work on the defensive end, and they are scrappy."

On the other side of the net, Cromwell-Wright has won 15 matches and boasts a ton of talent. They hope to make a run as the season winds down.

"Cromwell has so much experience and skill, and they just have so many good players," said FDL coach Larissa Littlewolf. "They are so good mechanically that they can be difficult to play."

The scrappy Oghichidaa worked hard defending their side of the net, but the Cards just had too much firepower. Cromwell was led by a fearsome foursome of hitters who were able to get the ball on the floor and score points. Mya Gronner and Siiena Anderson had eight kills each, Jill Anderson got seven kills and Bryanna Foster finished with six.

"We've been up and down this season and we've been dealing with some injuries, but I like the work ethic of this group," Granholm said. "All of our players have high determination and they really love playing."

While the Cards were pounding the ball on the floor, the young Ogichidaa were relying on junior standout middle hitter Zoey Peacock as well as sophomore and freshman setters Mattison Defoe and Jacey Aubid to run their offense.

"We also have been getting strong play from our hitters Nyleah Durant, Rylie Diver and Millie Olson," Littlewolf said.

"They've come into their own recently," Littlewolf said. "It was a rough start to the season, but our girls are learning to own their positions. The majority of our team are eighth- and ninth-graders with very little experience, but they have grown so much. I am impressed by their dedication at being at practice and getting better each and every day."

The Cards also got an impressive serving performance from Emerson Lind, who was 100-percent serving while Katie Metzer had 15 set assists and Karina Olesiak added six digs.

Littlewolf made the determination to not keep stats this season so that her youthful team will focus on learning technique and getting better through game repetitions.

"My message has been not to get discouraged and not worry about wins and losses," said Littlewolf. "The future is very bright for this group if they decide to keep putting in the work and be dedicated to getting better."

The loss dropped Fond du Lac to 1-11. The win, with another against Cook County on Tuesday, puts C-W at 16-7.