Athlete of the Week: Eau Claire Immanuel volleyball team

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Eau Claire Immanuel volleyball earned themselves a 3-seed in the playoffs this year and they have been playing at their best so far this postseason.

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“I just think our team seems to be gelling right now," said Lancers head coach Joe Lau. "We seem to be playing for each other. Not worrying about who gets credit. Just going out and playing hard. It’s a good time to end the season playing your best.”

After sweeping Plum City and then taking down Prairie Farm at home, the Lancers went to McDonell over the weekend beating the Macks in four sets to claim their first Division 4 regional championship since 2015.

“It was especially satisfying that we could do it on their court because I think it was a challenge that our girls were ready for and they stepped up,” explained Lau.

Immanuel has been clicking of late. The only times their opponents have been able to beat them in the playoffs have come in the second set, but they’ve been persistent in making it a battle for every point.

“I think it’s just been our energy because like the second set we usually aren’t that together and then after that we’re kind of like, 'Okay, we’ve got to do this right now.' Then we all just kind of get more energy that way,” said Immanuel senior Alexus Aichele.

“I think we’ve just been like passing a lot better and getting our passes up. I think we’ve just been using all our points and forcing our points where we fight for all of our points. So, we’ve been making them go over. We’re not giving up,” added Lancers sophomore Erica Oster.

Standing in their way in the sectional semifinals is Clayton, the reigning Division 4 state champions.

“We know it’s an uphill road from here, but I’d much rather play in this game then not play in this game," described Lau. "I think – I told our girls today that if we do what we can do on our side of the net, we shouldn’t think that we can’t knock off anybody.”

“We’re playing really well as a team right now and I think we’re just ready to keep rolling,” said Oster.

A year ago the Lancers were swept by the Bears in the regional finals, but they hope for a better game when they return to Clayton Thursday night.