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An athletic and talented Whitnall girls volleyball team placed second at The Prairie School Tournament on Aug. 27.

The Falcons dropped a 21-25, 25-23, 15-11 decision to University School of Milwaukee in the title match of the tournament. They had downed Racine St. Catherine's, 20-25, 25-17, 15-7, in the semifinal match.

"We overcame some early poor play to take control," coach Todd Smith said.

In pool play, Whitnall downed Racine Horlick, 25-15, 25-16; fell to St. Catherine's, 25-20, 26-24; and beat Sheboygan Lutheran, 25-12, 25-13, 25-12.

This season's team has eight seniors, four juniors and two sophomores but is not as much of a veteran squad as it would appear, Smith said.

"Our players don't have a lot of varsity experience," Smith said, "but they are very athletic and want to play hard. Last season, we had a unique skill set with three strong middles, so we designed an offense around them. This year, we have players with an even more unique skill set, so again we are tailoring our offense around them to put their athleticism to work. They have been improving steadily."

Whitnall opened the season with a 25-15, 25-16, 12-25, 22-25, 16-14 dual-meet victory over Whitefish Bay on Aug. 23.

Junior Hannah Hinson led in service aces with four and in assists with 22; sophomore Haley Wynn topped the team in digs with 14; senior Amber Markowiak in blocks with five; and senior Lilly Naumann in kills with nine.

The Falcons will take on Greenfield in a crucial Woodland Conference dual meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at home and then are at the Germantown Invitational at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3.

They visit Brown Deer for another Woodland meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

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