The Catholic Central volleyball team displays its trophy from winning its bracket at the Richland Center Invite. The Lady Toppers knocked off Shoreland Lutheran, 25-23, 25-22, 28-26, on Thursday night. (Submitted/SLN)


By Dana Ehrmann

Sports Correspondent

Catholic Central girls volleyball assistant coach Kelli Smith told junior Grace Spiegelhoff to come up with three words to say before each serve that might calm her.

Spiegelhoff’s words? “Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

“Whatever the girls need to do to stay calm and be happy works for me,” said Head Coach Bailey Racky.

This is just one example of how the Lady Toppers are having fun and keeping loose this year, yielding positive results.

“When I think about last year to this year, there is just a much more relaxed feeling amongst everyone. We are working hard every day in the gym, but they are so comfortable together.”

That feeling was present during the Richland Center Invite on Saturday, Sept. 2.

After a quick win against Mineral Point, Lodi dealt Catholic Central a tough loss.

After that, assistant coach Maureen Shaw had all the players switch jerseys to rid the team of any bad mojo.

It worked, as the Lady Toppers won the rest of their matches (and sets) against Belleville, Fennimore and Royall to win the tournament’s Silver Bracket.

Spiegelhoff contributed eight aces and 27 kills throughout the tournament.

Freshman Grace Antlfinger served up 11 aces and added 54 digs, while fellow freshman Sammie Seib, back from injury, tallied 25 kills and 24 digs.

“Those two have no fears out on the court, and they do not play like freshmen,” said Coach Racky.