Germantown girls volleyball team cruises to tourney title

Sept. 9, 2013

The Ted Gollakner era was formally christened in a big way this past week for the Germantown girls volleyball team, as the Warhawks opened North Shore play with a dual meet win against Whitefish Bay on Sept. 3 and then came back to claim an impressive championship in the Kettle Moraine Laser Invitational on Saturday.

"What I really liked about the day was how hard we worked on defense," said the first-year coach Gollakner. "We had been doing that all week (in practice) and it really showed up on Saturday and really helped our offense."

The Warhawks will look to build on that success with a hectic week. They took on Cedarburg on Tuesday in another North Shore dual and then will visit area rival and defending state Division 2 champion Kettle Moraine Lutheran at 7 p.m. today. This Saturday, they will be at the West Allis Hale Mary Blandino Invitational.

What Gollakner will want to see in the coming weeks is the continued development of the defense and the development of a little more diversity on offense. Not that he is unhappy with his offense right now, as he notes "teams have been unable to stop our middles."

Primarily 6-foot-2-inch senior Elizabeth Kuske and 6-0 junior Kayla Budgins.

"They really have been unstoppable," said Gollakner. Kuske had 33 kills in five matches at Kettle Moraine on Saturday with a great kill percentage while Budgins had 20. Senior outside hitter Emily Hillmann also had a great day with 23 kills while still playing some great defense in the back, Gollakner said. Senior Carly Townsend had 55 assists on the day.

The team's overall success really started earlier in the week when Gollakner and his staff switched up the lineup, moving senior Paige Groth into the back full-time where she has been very effective both passing and setting.

"We put in that new lineup and in a few matches it was clear that the girls really loved it," said Gollakner. "They got really comfortable with it."

Yes, they did. In pool play, Germantown cruised, downing Lake Geneva Badger (25-18, 25-20); Kettle Moraine (25-15, 25-15); and Shawano (25-10, 25-14).

In the championship semifinals, the Warhawks rallied to defeat New Berlin West (23-25, 25-20, 15-10); and then overpowered Whitnall (25-18, 25-19) in the finals.

"The kids were very excited about this," said Gollakner. "They got some nice medals and it was clear they were very happy about what they had done."

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