After its first conference tournament title in 25 years, the Pewaukee volleyball team was riding a wave of momentum going into its opening round of the Division 2 postseason against Pius. The Pirates continued their impressive play with a 25-13, 25-17, 25-15 victory on Oct. 18.
Third-seeded Pewaukee beat Pius, the sixth seed, for the third time this season. PHS won all eight sets in 2016.
"I guess it's always reassuring knowing you've already beaten them twice," junior setter Kat Van Hulle said. "But we know in the playoffs that we still have to play our best and come out firing right away no matter who it is and how many times we beat them. We were locked in."
Van Hulle had a team-high 16 assists and four aces.
"I think we worked really hard the past week for conference because we knew how important it was," Van Hulle said. "We haven't won a title in a long time, so was all very important to not only all of us as players, but for our coaches as well. There was a lot of hard work that went on in practice and we're confident we won conference and obviously really excited about it."
Pewaukee coach Anne Slattery wasn't worried about her team coming into the Pius match with overconfidence.
"We don't ever want to come in overconfident, so we focus on the fundamentals of blocking and pressing the net, and worried about doing this well and minimizing mistakes," Slattery said.
Winning the conference tournament championship as an underdog meant an enjoyable couple days of practice for the Pirates.
"Practice was still on a high from the weekend," Slattery said. "We were very excited and very motivated for the week ahead. We worked on scenario and situational games, trying to focus on setting down particular players or serving to different areas of the court."
Hannah Siebert led with nine kills. Amy Yarcho contributed seven and Brooke Siebert had six.
"We've done a really good job taking matches one at a time," Slattery said. "Their end goal is to get to Saturday night (for the third round) and have a win. We're taking one day at a time. They've been really good at staying in the now vs. looking ahead of in the past."
The victory over Pius was Pewaukee's seventh in a row. Pewaukee travels to second-seeded New Berlin Eisenhower for a second-round matchup on Oct. 20.
"We're very focused," Slattery said. "The girls want it. The first time we played them we weren't at full strength. Last weekend, we were at full strength and we can still do better in certain areas of our game."
Hannah Siebert and Jinda Guidinger blocked two shots each. Izzy deAngelis had six digs.