Athletes of the Week: Fall Creek Volleyball

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FALL CREEK, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Fall Creek Crickets volleyball team is piecing together one of their best seasons in years. Sitting with a 34-3 record, the Crickets are our Osseo Automotive Athletes of the Week. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert reports.

Fall Creek takes on Altoona in volleyball

The Crickets sit in a tie with McDonell atop the Cloverbelt standings. Fall Creek and McDonell will meet in the teams’ final Cloverbelt match of the year Thursday night in Fall Creek.

“I’m just really proud of how they’ve come together and how they’ve worked to get to where we are now, where we have potential and opportunities to do some special things here,” Matt Prissel, Fall Creek’s head coach, said.

And just how have they come together?

“We’ve been playing club ball since 5th grade,” Abigail Bell, the Cricket libero, said. “So yeah, we’ve spent a lot of time together on the court, off the court.”

Gianna Vollrath is 6’0”, only a sophomore, and dominating her competition. During her freshman campaign in 2018, Vollrath tallied 342 kills; this year, she has already topped 300. All that success is a recipe cooked up with her and the play by the Cricket back row.

“Every good play starts with a good pass, and our back row does a very good job of accomplishing that,” Vollrath said. “And then our setters are very good, too. They set us up where we need to be set and everything, so we can dominate at the net.”

Malerie Vining, who had 320 kills last season, has been sidelined for a big chunk of the year with impingement in her hitting shoulder, but it hasn’t taken the wind out of her sails.

“I actually love watching them. It’s a lot of fun because you can still get excited, and you’re still there for them,” Vining said. “We have something really special. You know it’s really special when you’re not on the court, and you still feel like you’re a part of the team.”

The community is doing exactly what the Crickets need: supporting them to the fullest extent.

“We have a very good student section. They support us in everything we do,” Vollrath said. “Also, the fans come during the games, and we always have pretty good crowd turnout. They always support us.”

“We’re in a basketball community here in Fall Creek, and we all know it, but I don’t think, right now, volleyball is taking a backseat to much of anything,” Prissel said.

High expectations all year, but this Cricket squad is taking it game-by-game, and not letting the outside noise have any say in what they do on the court.