Simply put, the fourth-ranked in state Menomonee Falls girls volleyball team needed to win a tournament.
So, at the end of a busy week, the Indians came home and got the job done, outlasting D.C. Everest, 22-25, 26-24, 15-11, in the title match of their own invitational Sept. 30.
"We hadn't gotten that done before now," said Falls coach JC Bruns of the crown in the eight-team event. "I think we really needed to get one, and the competition we faced was good. New Berlin Eisenhower was a solid team, and we got to West Allis Hale for the second time in a week. We also played Germantown, which was in our (WIAA) sectional, and we beat that tough Everest team in the final."
The victory came at the end of a productive week for the Indians, who downed West Allis Hale in a Greater Metro Conference dual meet Sept. 27, and then came back to beat fourth-ranked in state D2 polls Kettle Moraine Lutheran in a five-set thriller.
The Indians had a statement GMC dual with Brookfield Central on Oct. 4, and will be off this weekend.
Bruns was pleased with the Indians' level of play over the course of the past week.
"It was interesting," said Bruns. "Kettle Moraine Lutheran came into our match with only one loss, and Everest came into our match with only one loss. We just didn't know how good of competition they had faced, but they turned out to be very good teams."
In the Sept. 30 tournament, the Indians swept area rival Germantown (25-16, 25-14), New Berlin Eisenhower (25-9, 25-17) and Middleton (25-13, 25-21) in pool play. They then knocked off Hale for the second time in a week in the semifinals, 25-14, 25-23, before facing Everest in the finals.
Bruns said that by the time of the final, fatigue was starting to set in, and that led to the slow start against Everest. In fact, in the second set, Falls was up 24-18, only to see the Evergreens score 6 straight points to force a 24-all tie. Falls was then able to get the final 2 points to win and force the decisive race to 15.
In that final set, Falls regained its composure, said Bruns, getting out to an early lead and then holding on to win the championship.
"We were really running out of gas," said Bruns. "Those last couple of sets with Everest, we were really working on fumes."
The Indians were led by Mackenzie Robertson with 34 kills, while Ebun Olapo had 26. Mckenna Micech had 59 assists, while Cami Stigler had 59 digs, Ciara Gilbertson 11 aces and Rachel Murphy eight blocks.
Bruns said that the libero Stigler had a "dynamite day" running the back row and noted that the rightside hitter Olapo came up with one big kill after another.
In the warmup for that against Lutheran on Sept. 29, the Indians survived a 25-22, 15-25, 17-25, 25-18, 15-11 thriller as Robertson had 20 kills, Ashley Guenveur 12 and Olapo 10.
Falls overwhelmed Hale in the GMC dual, 25-20, 25-18, 25-14.
All-in-all, it was a productive week, said Bruns.
"I was really pleased that we were able to finish matches," he said. "We weren't winning these long matches earlier in the season, and those are the kind that we're going to have to win if we want to get back to (WIAA) state."