THE BASICS

What: The 45th annual WIAA state girls volleyball tournament.

When: Thursday through Saturday.

Where: Resch Center, 1901 Oneida Street, Ashwaubenon.

Tickets/parking: Tickets are $8 per session and may be purchased at the door. Parking is available at nearby Lambeau Field for $8.

On the air/streaming: Thursday quarterfinal and Friday semifinal matches may be viewed online, on a subscription basis, on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network. Saturday championship matches will be aired on Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus (check local cable/satellite listings).

On the Web: Visit https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/GirlsVolleyball.aspx for schedules, live results, statistics and history.

SCHEDULE

Thursday quarterfinals

Division 1 upper bracket (4:30 p.m.): Waunakee (44-7) vs. Oconomowoc (30-9); River Falls (40-0) vs. Kimberly (26-10).

Division 1 lower bracket (7:30 p.m.): Greendale (32-10) vs. Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels (36-14); Mukwonago (33-6) vs. Burlington (32-10).

Friday semifinals

Division 4 (10 a.m.): Benton (25-2) vs. Oshkosh Lourdes (35-9); Clayton (30-2) vs. Wausau Newman (29-11).

Division 3 (1 p.m.): Waterloo (27-15) vs. Hartland Lake Country Lutheran (43-5); Eau Claire Regis (25-6) vs. Stratford (44-1).

Division 2 (4 p.m.): Lakeside Lutheran (37-5) vs. Waukesha Catholic Memorial (30-21); Merrill (32-7) vs. Luxemburg-Casco (40-8).

Division 1 (7 p.m.): Thursday’s upper bracket winners meet; Thursday’s lower bracket winners meet.

Saturday finals

Division 4: 9 a.m.; Division 3: 11:30 a.m.; Division 2: 2 p.m.; Division 1: 4:30 p.m.

THE LOWDOWN

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Rachel Aasby, 5-7, jr., OH, Oshkosh Lourdes: An all-state honorable mention pick last year, Aasby led Lourdes to the Trailways Conference title and a state berth, racking up 364 kills and 303 digs along with 59 service aces.

Brooke Andersen, 6-0, sr., OH, Hartland Lake Country Lutheran: The only player in the state field who earned first-team all-state honors last season, Andersen has delivered 581 kills, 222 digs, 15 blocks and 35 service aces.

Izzy Barr, 5-9, sr., S, River Falls: A third-team all-state setter last year for River Falls, Barr has scored 780 assists (20.5 per set) and 150 digs for the undefeated Wildcats.

Marissa Gilbertson, 5-5, jr., S, Clayton: The junior has earned 794 assists and 114 digs for the Bears.

Emma Lawrence, 5-9, sr., MH, Benton: Lawrence has scored 429 kills and 463 digs for the Zephyrs.

Claire Mosher, 5-11, sr., S/RH/OH, Waterloo: A senior who was an honorable mention all-state pick last year, Mosher has 313 kills, 298 digs and 108 assists for the Pirates.

Grace Novotny, 5-9, sr., L, Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels: A third-team all-state pick in 2016, Novotny has 561 digs and 104 service aces in 125 sets this season.

Amber Rowoldt, 5-11, sr., OH, Lakeside Lutheran: Rowoldt was named honorable mention all-state last year and is this year’s Capitol North Conference Player of the Year. She has 456 kills and 437 digs for the Warriors this season.

Kiana Schmitt, 6-3, jr., MH, Waunakee: Schmitt anchors Waunakee’s productive front line, leading the team in both kills (346) and blocks (115).

Katie Schoessow, 5-6, sr., L, Mukwonago: A second-team all-state pick last year, Schoessow has totaled 478 digs this season.

Rylie Vaughn, 5-9, sr., S/OH, Wausau Newman: Vaughn earned third-team all-state honors last year, scoring 656 kills, 326 assists, 392 digs, 93 service aces and 29 blocks.

TEAMS TO WATCH

DIVISION 1

Coach Anne Denkert’s Waunakee Warriors (44-7), back at state for the first time since 1993, are the only Division 1 entry not mentioned in the last Division 1 state coaches’ poll. Waunakee lost three of five matches to Badger North Conference champ Mount Horeb, and also fell to West Allis Hale, Milton, St. Francis (Ill.) and Normal (Ill.) University High. Transfer Milla Malik, a 5-10 sophomore outside hitter, has 310 kills, 337 digs and 37 blocks, and junior outside hitter Kaleigh Roepke has 309 kills and 354 digs.

Oconomowoc (30-9), at state for the second time in three years, earned the No. 1 ranking in the latest state coaches’ poll after tying Hartland Arrowhead for the Classic 8 Conference title and beating the Warhawks in the conference tournament. Coach Michelle Bruss’s team has gone 29-4 after losing five of six matches at the opening Joust tournament. Katy Kluge, a 5-9 senior, leads Oconomowoc with 351 kills and has 295 digs.

River Falls (40-0), champs of the Big Rivers Conference, earned a return state berth with an undefeated record and the No. 4 ranking, having lost only four sets all year, including one in a sectional final victory over Schofield D.C. Everest. Coach Sara Kealy’s Wildcats beat Clayton, the top-ranked Division 4 team, in an early tournament, but have no other victories over a ranked Wisconsin team.

Kimberly (26-10), champs of the Fox Valley Association, is back at state for the first time since 2014. Coach Jeff Nieuwenhuis’ 14th-ranked Papermakers suffered all their losses in multi-team tournaments. Maggie Cartwright, a 6-2 junior outside hitter, leads with 259 kills and has added 282 digs.

Divine Savior Holy Angels (36-14), ranked 10th, has won 11 of its last 12 matches, including a sweep in the Greater Metro Conference tournament after a fourth-place finish in the regular season. DSHA won back-to-back state titles in 2014 and 2015. Haley Multerer, a 6-1 senior middle blocker, has 347 kills and 46 blocks for coach Caitie Ratkowski’s Dashers.

Greendale (32-10), ranked 12th, won the Woodland Conference title despite a loss to Pewaukee in the league tournament final, and has regular-season losses to tournament qualifiers Divine Savior Holy Angels and Burlington. Coach Kelly Schmidt’s Panthers have gotten 797 assists from 6-0 senior Kacey Litzau.

Mukwonago (33-6) has earned its first state trip — but it’s not the first trip for Coach Alli Glisch, who led Muskego to the 2009 state title. Three players have more than 230 kills for Mukwonago, led by 6-0 junior outside hitter Alayna Jansky with 291. Mukwonago has won 14 of its last 15 matches, and has lost earlier to state qualifiers Kimberly and Lake Country Lutheran.

Burlington (32-10), ranked ninth, lost the state final to Neenah last year, last won titles in 2011 and 2012, and is at state for the fourth straight year and fifth time in six years. Coaches Dan Lynch and Teri Leach have helped the Demons win 11 consecutive matches after a runner-up finish in the Southern Lakes Conference. Abby Koenen, a 6-0 outside hitter, has 358 kills and 168 digs.

DIVISION 2

Coach Jenny Krauklis has led fourth-ranked Lakeside Lutheran to a return state trip after a run to the Capitol North Conference title. Ellie Westrate, a 5-8 senior setter, has 901 assists for the Warriors, who earned a 2-0 victory over Catholic Memorial in the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Invitational final.

Waukesha Catholic Memorial is the three-time defending state champion, but enters state this year unranked after losing four all-state players to graduation last year, including two first-team honorees and one second-team pick. Coach Ted Schulte’s Crusaders, who took fourth in the Classic 8 Conference behind D1 state qualifiers Mukwonago and Oconomowoc (along with Hartland Arrowhead), have built around the play of 5-11 junior outside hitter Jenna Weinfurt (347 kills).

Eleventh-ranked Merrill (32-7) won the Division 1-heavy Wisconsin Valley Conference, and lost three regular-season matches to Division 4 qualifier Wausau Newman. Coach Kris Krug’s Bluejays are led by 6-0 senior middle hitter Morgan Wardall (375 kills).

No. 5 Luxemburg-Casco (40-8) beat eighth-ranked Little Chute and third-ranked Green Bay Notre Dame to take a 24-match winning streak into its first state trip. Coach Jeff Frey’s Spartans have gotten 409 kills from 6-0 senior middle blocker Alexis Dorner and 406 from 5-11 junior outside hitter Cassie Schlitz.

DIVISION 3

Waterloo (27-15), ranked eighth, lost 10 of 13 matches during a midseason slump (mostly against Division 1 competition, including DSHA), but has won 15 of 17 since to hold the No. 8 state ranking under coach Nicole Bakalars. It’s Waterloo’s third state trip in four years. Freshman Brooke Mosher, a 5-11 outside hitter, has a team-high 371 kills, followed closely by her senior sister, Claire, with 313.

Lake Country Lutheran (43-5) earned the No. 1 state ranking under coach Janet Bahr, and has only two losses (to Division 1 powers Sun Prairie and Mukwonago) in its last 40 matches to earn its second state trip in three years. Setting things up for all-state returnee Brooke Andersen have been 5-8 senior setter Sophia-Grace Schmidt (464 assists) and 5-5 senior setter Molly Howe (454 assists).

Coach Brooke Kafka’s Stratford Tigers (44-1) have earned the No. 2 ranking in Division 3 after tying Wausau Newman for the Marawood South Conference title and winning its first state berth. Newman is the only team to beat the Tigers. Junior Mazie Nagel, a 5-11 outside hitter, has 467 kills and 407 digs to lead the way.

Eau Claire Regis (25-6), the Western Cloverbelt Conference runner-up under coach Travis Eichner, has won 12 consecutive matches and is at state for the second time in three years. The Ramblers’ balanced attack is led by senior Amber Darge, a 5-9 middle hitter with 198 kills, and Grace Gilles, a 5-6 junior setter with 679 assists and 283 digs.

DIVISION 4

Four-time defending state champion Wausau Newman enters with the No. 3 state ranking this year, its 10th overall state appearance and ninth in 10 years. Coach Betty Lange’s Fighting Cardinals lost seven of their first 11 matches, all to larger schools, and have fallen to state qualifiers Lake Country Lutheran, Catholic Memorial and Luxemburg-Casco. Rylie Vaughn is the power source on offense, with setups coming from 5-8 junior setter Mackenzie Krach (679 assists).

Top-ranked Clayton lost to Division 1 state qualifier River Falls and Minneapolis Southwest during the regular season, and has won 24 of 25 matches entering its fifth consecutive state trip. Coach Sadie Schradle’s team has gotten 329 kills from 5-9 junior middle blocker Selena Levendoski and 794 assists from 5-5 junior setter Marissa Gilbertson.

Benton (25-2), ranked seventh, won the Six Rivers West Conference title and has won 12 straight matches to earn its first state berth. Coach Russ Hamm’s Zephyrs have lost only to River Ridge and Southwestern.

Ninth-ranked Oshkosh Lourdes (35-9) tied Waupun Central Wisconsin Christian for the Trailways East Conference title, then beat CWC in the final of the Trailways tournament before downing fifth-ranked Burlington Catholic Central in a five-set sectional final to clinch its third straight state berth.

0
0
0
0
2

Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.