ST. PAUL - The 19th-ranked UW-Stevens Point volleyball team saw its run in the NCAA Division III Championship tournament come to an unexpected end on Thursday evening as the favored Pointers fell 3-2 in a thrilling five set contest.
“I thought our players fought hard and played a good match,” said an emotional head coach Stacey White. “Things didn't go our way at the end, but overall we had some really great individual performances. I felt like the team came together and worked hard. It's definitely a disappointment, but that's sports.”
The Pointers looked shaky in the tournament's opening set, but used an 11-2 run midway through the opening set to take command. Northwestern mounted a comeback, using a 7-3 run late in the set to close to within three, 23-20, but the Pointers closed out the set, 25-20. Morgan Bartkowiak tallied five of the team's 11 kills in the first set.
“Morgan [Bartkowiak] has always been a very consistent player,” said White. “Things were clicking for her tonight. She brought it all together and you could really see her determination and wanting to help her team out. She executed our game plan really well. She ran the slide really well and we got a lot of points out of it tonight.”
The Pointers, who had been 6-1 in five-set matches heading into the tournament, managed to overcome an early deficit to take an 11-9 lead, but the Eagles rallied to score the final points of the match and score the upset victory, 15-12.
“We didn't want it to end this way,” said White. But we can't let this match reflect back on our entire season and what this team has done.”
The win marks the first-ever NCAA tournament victory for the Eagles in any sport. Led by Kendra Korporal's 19 kills and Krista Stoltz's 55 assists, the Eagles advance to face St. Benedict, 3-0 winners over Dominican University (Ill.) in the day's first match.
Bartkowiak and Alexis Hartman led the Pointers (29-8) with 15 kills each while Christina Brinkman and Kati Rau each tallied 10. Hartman added 46 assists and Sarah Wildish had a team-best 23 digs.
“This [senior class] did all they could to change our program around,” said White. “They stayed focused, worked hard, and didn't quit even when the chips were stacked against them. I can't say enough about their leadership, their abilities, talents, and determination. I told our returners that the best 'thank you' they could give to the seniors was to continue what they started; to keep working to make the program better.”
EAGLE RIVER - Soccer players may need to wait for the snow on their fields to melt. But they know cabin fever is starting to set in, and it's the perfect time to capitalize on it.
The 7th annual Cabin Fever Indoor Soccer Tournament kicked off today at Northland Pines High School. The event raises money for the school’s boy's and girl's soccer teams.
"This was an opportunity to have an indoor soccer program so the kids can do something in the winter," says tournament director Steve Gilbert. "There was a need for a fundraiser so we thought why not have a tournament. There are other tournaments in the region, why not have one here with this tremendous facility that we have here at Pines."
Nearly 100 5th through 8th graders played in the co-ed soccer matches. Their participation makes it possible for the team to buy new equipment.
"It allows us to buy things that maybe the school can't afford to buy for them, so different types of warm-ups, equipment out on the field," says Gilbert. "One time we bought a camera for them so we could film their games. So it's going to good causes."
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
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