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About the only thing junior outside hitter Brittanie Paulus and sophomore setter Kristine Raeder had in common prior to being teammates on the
Now, the two have helped lead the Muskies to a 12-0 record in the Northern Athletics Conference and a 20-8 mark overall, putting the team in good position for an NCAA Tournament berth. The two have become very good friends and serve together on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at
The picture wasn't always so rosy, however.
Paulus, a Belgium native, and Raeder, a
As members of the Central Lakeshore Conference, the two schools were bitter rivals that are both traditionally strong in girls' basketball and volleyball. Raeder admitted that the schools "hated" each other, and didn't particularly enjoy seeing Paulus, a standout athlete in three sports, on the opposite sideline.
"Obviously, Brittanie was a conference rival, we always met up with her," said Raeder, also a three-sport athlete. "She was the good, competitive player that everyone didn't really like because they didn't know her, they just see her on the court."
Both Paulus and Raeder recalled one game in particular that stood out as a true rivalry game.
On Feb. 25, 2006, the two schools met in a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division III girls' basketball regional final at
"The gym was packed before our bus got there," Paulus said. "Before we were even in the locker room, the parking lot was packed, there were cars down the road; it was insane. That's how big the rivalry was. We had to hold hands walking through the lobby to get to the locker room, otherwise we would have gotten lost in the crowd of people."
During the regular season, Raeder's Oostburg squad defeated Paulus's Ozaukee team twice in their two contests.
"Ozaukee girls are known for their basketball and so is Oostburg," Raeder said. "The gyms would be filled when we were playing with each other, and it got really nasty on the court. We were really competitive, really aggressive and everyone would just go all-out for those games."
Paulus, however, would get the best of Raeder this time, as Ozaukee defeated Oostburg, 36-27, on its way to a runner-up finish at the WIAA state tournament in
The two also traded volleyball matches, with Oostburg making it further than Ozaukee in the 2005 WIAA Division III tournament. In 2004, Oostburg defeated Ozaukee in a regional semifinal.
The competition between the two has helped both players, as well as the team, on the court at
"Brittanie's that player that you don't want to play against, but you definitely want on your team," Raeder said. "There's a huge trust there, that we've got each others' backs, which is good. It's just good to have her on your team."
"They were known as ferocious high school players, and they had to play each other in volleyball and basketball," Schreiber said. "They both have the same hate for losing, so they're cut from the same mold in that they both probably hate losing more than they like winning. They went from having only one of their teams win to now being on the same team and both winning."
Playing for Schreiber's Go Fish Volleyball Club helped ease the transition for the two from high school to
"It was weird because we played volleyball together, but then we'd have basketball games start because it was during the winter," Raeder said. "Before we were playing volleyball together, people would talk bad about her on my team. After we started playing together, I was telling them that they really don't know her. You've got to get to know her, you just know her on the sports floor."
After Paulus decided on
"I kind of begged Kristine to come here," Paulus said. "She wanted to play in college, so I told her that I really thought she would play here, and she'd be an asset to our team. She was fun, and we got along great in club. It wasn't really an individual rivalry, it was more that the schools just hated each other."