The Stoughton volleyball team got off to a 4-5 start after road matches against Monroe and DeForest and seven matches at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Invitational.

DeForest def. Stoughton

25-17, 25-21, 25-19

Paige Schutterneier recorded a team-high 15 digs to go with five kills and three blocks, but the Vikings were swept by the Norskies on Tuesday, Sept. 3, in a Badger Conference crossover match.

Abby Lewis had a team-high eight kills for Stoughton. Greta Nashold dished out 18 assists, and Aspen Alexander served up two aces.

UW-Whitewater Invite

The Vikings defeated Evansville (23-25, 25-21, 15-12); New Berlin Eisenhower (25-22, 25-11) and Clinton (25-23, 25-13).

Stoughton lost to Waterloo (25-13, 25-22); Kenosha St. Joseph’s (25-23, 19-25, 15-9); Kenosha Bradford (25-21, 27-25) and Badger South rival Milton (25-21, 27-25).

“The girls all got more comfortable in their positions and started building trust with one another,” Stoughton coach Rachael Gierhart said.

Lewis recorded 13 kills and two blocks against Evansville. Nashold dished out 27 assists, and Alexander had a team-high 16 digs.

Riley Royston had a team-high six kills and Kat Eugster added five kills against Eisenhower. Nashold had 20 assists and posted seven digs. Alexander led the team with 10 digs.

Hodkiewicz posted eight kills and Lewis had five kills versus Clinton. Alexander posted 14 digs and three aces. Nashold passed out a team-high 18 assists.

Amber Hodkiewicz had a team-high four kills against Waterloo. Riley Royston and Savanna Jemilo each posted two blocks. Nashold dished out 14 assists, and Alexander had eight digs.

Lewis and Hodkiewicz each had six kills against St. Joseph’s. Nashold had 27 assists, and Alexander piled up 15 digs.

Schutterneier had 11 digs and a team-best two blocks against Bradford. Lewis had four kills, and Hodkiewicz added a pair of aces. Alexander posted a team-high 14 digs, and Nashold had 11 assists.

Hodkiewicz had five kills and two blocks versus Milton. Alexander had nine digs and two aces. Nashold posted 12 assists, and Avary Rodefeld had two aces.

Stoughton def. Monroe 21-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-15, 15-9

Eugester had 10 kills and 10 digs to lead the Vikings past the Cheesemakers in the season opener.

After dropping the first set, the Vikings turned to the tip to build a 12-7 lead in the second set.

Royston scored on a tip, and Eugster had a kill to extend the Vikings’ lead to 15-9. The two teams traded points for the remainder of the set.

“I think we came out a little shaky getting all the rust off,” Gierhart said. “We have noticed in our preseason matches teams are scoring on a lot of tips against us. We need to be able to utilize our different shots. Instead of swinging hard every single time and letting them sit and just dig everything up, we need to move them around and make them work harder.”

The third set was a see-saw battle, but the Cheesemakers went up 2-1 in the match despite four service errors.

“We just need to be disciplined in our defense,” Gierhart said. “We like to cheat and read, but we need to stay true to our positions and not cheat.”

Stoughton rebounded and raced out to a 10-4 lead in the fourth set. The Vikings got strong play at the net from Eugster, Hodkiewicz and Schutterneier in the fourth.

The Cheesemakers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the decisive fifth set, but Eugster delivered a kill and Hodkiewicz scored on a tip to cut Monroe’s lead to one.

Stoughton went ahead 7-6 after a Monroe hitting error, then rattled off five straight points.

“We finally came out with some confidence after the first four (sets),” Gierhart said. “They knew they were the better team on the floor.”

Nashold, who was the backup setter last season, had 37 assists.

“She definitely had some jitters coming out of the gate as a new setter and leading the team,” Gierhart said. “By the end of that fifth set, she was composed and rallying the team around her.”