By Jennifer Eisenbart

Sports Editor

If there’s a staple in the schedule of the Catholic Central volleyball team’s schedule, it’s the trip to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater tournament to start the season.

The Lady ’Toppers made sure the trip was worth their effort Friday and Saturday, finishing as the only Division 4 team in the gold bracket.

Catholic Central finished fifth overall, beating Appleton North 23-25, 25-15, 15-7 for their final place.

“This is a promising start to the season,” said coach MaeMae Oberhofer. “We were able to get a lot of touches on the ball and get some of our new starters Ali Wiemer, Sara Seib and Brittany Martin (in).”

In pool play on Friday, the Lady ’Toppers swept Beloit Memorial (25-11, 25-10), Oak Creek (25-20, 25-11) and Waterloo (25-12, 25-15) before falling in three sets to Brookfield East 25-17, 18-25, 15-10 and Merrill 25-12, 25-23.

Starting off in gold bracket play Saturday, Catholic Central swept Sheboygan 25-17, 25-16, then beat Tomahawk 22-25, 25-22, 17-15.

CCHS lost to Kenosha Bradford 25-23, 25-15 to end hopes of a top-four finish, but bounced back to sweep Lakeside Lutheran 25-8, 25-20 and defeat North.

The Lady ’Toppers got solid play from its normal standouts, as Maggie Smith finished with 73 kills and Megan Wadsworth 72.

Senior setter Kelly Gould had 164 assists and 18 aces, while Wiemer finished with 100 digs.

Wadsworth added 18 solo blocks and five block assists, while Smith had 15 solo blocks and three block assists.

“Key to our success was our defensive play, which was a result of a strong block scheme, which was led by Maggie Smith and Megan Wadsworth,” Oberhofer said. “Our block allowed our defense to control the ball and get into system.

“Kelly Gould did a great job distributing the ball.”