An indomitable attitude helped the West Allis Hale girls volleyball team capture the championship of the Sept. 3 New Berlin West Tournament.
"The players showed a never-give-up attitude and the 'we always have a chance' mentality," coach Leng Sayaovong said. "We had to find a way to win in a couple of matches, and the players really stepped up to pressure and overcame it."
The Huskies lost the opening set of both the semifinal and title matches and had to hold on for a 25-23 victory in the second set of each just to force a deciding third set. In the semifinal, they were extended even further before prevailing, 20-18, in the final set.
Hale edged Union Grove, 23-25, 25-23, 15-8, in the title match of the gold championship bracket after downing Appleton East, 13-25, 25-23, 20-18, in the semifinal match.
In pool play, the Huskies downed Cedarburg, 23-25, 26-24, 15-8; New Berlin West, 25-18, 25-13; and St. Thomas More, 26-24, 25-9.
Abby Arena led the team in service aces with nine, in digs with 62 and in kills with 73 and was second in blocks with nine. KellyAnn Sotiros led the way in assists with 149 and was third in blocks with eight.
Maddie Lawson paced the Huskies in blocks with 14 and was second in kills with 36, and Taylor Supple collected 55 digs and 31 kills. Zoe Burczyk tallied 51 digs on the day.
"We again had steady play from KellyAnn, Maddie and Zoe," Sayaovong said. "Taylor got back to her excellent play, making some key plays on defense and offense. Abby carried most of the offense and had some timely service runs.
"The bench players were outstanding and stepped up late in the matches to make a difference. Everyone showed excitement and passion on every play."
The Huskies dropped a 25-23, 26-28, 25-22, 25-19 dual meet to Greater Metro Conference foe Sussex Hamilton on Aug. 30.
Arena collected two aces, three blocks, 13 digs and 20 kills; Supple had 17 digs and 10 kills; Sotiros 43 assists; Lawson six blocks; and Emma Dostalek two aces.
"We showed a lot of fight in each set and battled back but just couldn't come up with the big plays at the end," Sayaovong said.