Welcome to the state's top 10 Germantown boys volleyball team.
Now you're going to get everyone's best shot.
And that was indeed the case Wednesday night at Whitefish Bay, as the Warhawks had to come back from a two games to one deficit to pull out a 23-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-15, 15-9 decision against the determined Blue Dukes in a North Shore Conference dual.
"They just started to get the feeling (in the fourth game) that they were going to take control of the match and not let the officials decide it," said Warhawk coach Brian Rushmer. "We started getting the ball up better (on the dig) and that really helped."
"We have a lot of talent, but if you can't control the ball (on the dig) you can't win. You make a bad play, just move on."
Germantown, which entered the week ranked seventh in the state, a heady achievement for a program less than five years old, will get further challenges this Saturday, when it goes to the Waukesha West Invitational where six of the top eight state-ranked teams will be playing.
"We have so much talent and ability," said senior middle blocker Zak Showalter, whose better known for his all-state basketball duties in the winter. "When we figure it all out, we can be pretty special."
Figuring it out was exactly what the Warhawks did in the middle of the fourth game, as Bay held a 9-6 lead and looked like it was going to pull off the large upset and make a name for itself in the bargain.
But that was not to be the case, as Germantown flipped a switch, got the pass up successfully and went on a 15-2 run to take a 21-11 lead and eventually tie the match at two games apiece.
"We haven't played a single tourney yet or a really high level team before tonight," said Blue Duke coach Jason Zaleski, "and it showed up right about then. We played nearly flawlessly in the first couple of games, but we just couldn't sustain it."
Which is something the Warhawks did in the fifth and deciding game, pulling out to a 4-0 lead and never trailing. The Blue Dukes closed the gap to 5-4 on a 3-0 run, but then Germantown scored eight of the next 10 points to pull away for good.
Bay will be at the Arrowhead Invitational this Saturday.
'When we look good we can look really good," said Zaleski, "but when things go bad, they go really bad. We'll get some more reps on Saturday and that will help. A match like this will also help us when we go up against a good team again. We'll know what to do then."
The Blue Dukes were led by Zach Tazalla with 16 kills while Riley Mehls had 38 assists and Max Pignotti and Tazalla had 17 digs apiece.
Germantown was led by Matt Schultz with 18 kills and two aces while Showalter's younger brother Jake had 47 assists. Zak Showalter had eight blocks and several acrobatic saves while Corey Petta helped out with eight digs.
"We did well at the Racine Park tourney (a tie for third in the 32-team field a few weeks ago)," said Rushmer, "and now we have our full team together so we're working hard on communication and ball-handling now."
"We knew we'd have a good team this year, but we didn't know how good. I know we're not near our ceiling yet."
- Germantown softball team rallies to hold off Brookfield Central, 5-3
- Belief earns Germantown track teams many state berths
- Germantown doubles team Rait/Luo earns second state tennis berth
- Germantown softball team gets help en route to sixth NSC crown
- Germantown girls second, boys fourth in NSC track outdoor
- With some help, Germantown wins North Shore girls softball title
- Germantown boys track team shows depth in Cedarburg win
- Wrestling: Germantown's Jesse Thielke has support for Olympic wrestling berth
- Germantown girls win four events at NSC track relays
- Longtime assistant Steve Martin will adopt teacher-first mentality as new Germantown boys basketball coach