Craig adds some drama to win over Tremper
JANESVILLE--What started out as an easy day at the office Saturday turned into some overtime work for Janesville Craig's volleyball team.
The Cougars won the first two games of their WIAA Division 1 regional final against Kenosha Tremper but dropped the next two games.
And trailing 6-2 in the fifth and decisive set, Lily Stockheimer and her teammates decided enough was enough. Stockheimer had back-to-back kills to end the match as Craig won Game 3 15-11 to advance to the Stoughton Sectional.
Craig plays Southern Lakes champion and top-seeded Burlington in a semifinal match in Stoughton at 7 p.m. Thursday. Milton and Westosha Central meet in the other.
The Cougars found themselves back on their feet after losing the third and fourth games, but Stockheimer said the team just had to relax and play its brand.
“I think we got a little bit overconfident after the first two games,” Stockheimer said. “And once we fell behind in the last game, coach just told us to pick up our intensity and that's what we did.
“And when it got to be match point, my teammates told me one more swing by me and it was over.”
Trailing 6-2 in the fifth game, Craig stormed back behind the serve of Taylor Salmon. The junior served seven points to give Craig a 9-6 lead. Tremper fought back and eventually cut the deficit to 10-9, but Craig scored five of the last seven points. Stockheimer made it 14-10 with her 20th kill of the match and put an end to Tremper's season with her match-high 21st kill.
Craig coach Blake Budrow credited Tremper for coming back but said his team has faced adversity all season and been able to overcome it.
“I just told them in Game 5 that we've been in this situation before so there was no need to panic,” Budrow said. “All we had to do was go on another run like we've done so many times before this season and that's what we did.
“I'm very proud of the kids for showing some resiliency and overcoming a Tremper team that was much better than a 12 seed.”
Amanda Carlson finished with 20 kills for Craig, while Salmon had a match-high 52 assists.
Budrow knows that Burlington is one of the top programs in the state but he quickly pointed out that Craig's win over Big Eight dual meet co-champion Sun Prairie a week ago looms large.
“I think Burlington and Sun Prairie are very similar as far as style of play and how they run their offenses,” Budrow said. “We just can't have that letdown like we did tonight in games two and three.”
CRAIG 3, TREMPER 2
Kenosha Tremper 17 19 27 25 11
Janesville Craig 25 25 25 20 15
Craig (aces, kills, assists)—Jessica Filter 2-0-1; Skylar Flood 1-0-3; Lily Stockheimer 4-21-0; Arielle Henkel 0-9-0; Deja Calvin 0-2-0; Lauren Glissendorf 0-0-1; Taylor Salmon 0-2-52; Amanda Carlson 1-20-0; Maddy Grund 0-2-0.
Last updated: 11:50 pm Saturday, October 21, 2017