Season's final volleys: Craig, Milton fall in sectional semis
STOUGHTON--Burlington has been to the WIAA state girls volleyball tournament seven of the last eight years.
Janesville Craig found out why Thursday night.
The Demons dismantled the Cougars in a Division 1 sectional semifinal. Burlington swept Craig 3-0, winning 25-16, 25-9 and 25-9.
After getting within one point in Game 1 at 13-12, Craig was thoroughly dominated the rest of the way. The Cougars played back on their heels and could get nothing going offensively. Burlington executed block after block at the net, stifling any Craig momentum.
“I thought even when we did get a good set offensively, they just stuffed us,” Craig coach Blake Budrow said. “We haven't run into a blocking team like that all year.
“Their outside hitters didn't hurt as much as maybe a team like Sun Prairie did, but their middle hitters were the best we've seen. They were very effective.”
Craig, which finished 39-12 and won the Big Eight Conference tournament title, stayed close in Game 1. The Cougars stayed within a point until the Demons, behind the serve of Brooklyn VandeHei, went on a 6-0 run to take a 20-13 lead. VandeHei had two aces to spur the run. Game 1 ended on Emily Alan's kill.
The second and third games were all Demons. A 10-0 run in Game 2 pushed Burlington's lead to 23-8 and it ended on an ace from Samantha Naber.
A 13-4 start to Game 3 by the Demons quickly dashed any hopes of a comeback. The match ended on a VandeHei kill.
“It's disappointing because we didn't play our best, but there's a reason they've been to state so often,” Budrow said. “But I'm very proud of the season we had. We just got beat by a very good team.”
BURLINGTON 3, CRAIG 0
Janesville Craig 16 9 9
Burlington 25 25 25
Craig (aces, kills, assists)—Lily Stockheimer 0-4-0; Arielle Henkel 0-1-0: Deja Calvin 0-5-0; Taylor Salmon 0-1-17; Amanda Carlson 1-6-0.
Westosha too tough for Milton
Milton High girls volleyball coach Wayne Hansen knew his team had to bring its “A” game Thursday night.
The Red Hawks were playing perennial state power Westosha Central in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal match.
And although Milton went toe-to-toe with the Falcons over three straight games, in the end the Red Hawks came up short.
Westosha swept the match 3-0, winning 25-21, 26-24 and 25-18.
Thanks to the stellar play of setter Kennedy Muff, Westosha advanced to Saturday's sectional final against Southern Lakes rival Burlington.
Muff finished with a match-high 33 assists and set the tone offensively.
“Their setter played a lot better than I thought she would,” Hansen said of Muff. “She kept a lot of balls in play.
“And we didn't pass the ball very well tonight. Usually we're a two- or three-point passing team, but tonight we struggled.”
Milton, the Badger South runner-up, trailed 19-18 in Game 1 but saw Westosha score six of the last nine points to win.
The Red Hawks again had chances in Game 2 but couldn't finish. The game was tied 24-24, but the Falcons scored the last two points on Muff's perfectly placed lob shot and a game-winning ace from Laura Shoopman.
Game 3 saw the Falcons score seven of the last nine points to finish off the sweep.
Skylar Salter had 12 assists for Milton and Chloe Buescher finished with 12 kills.
“I lose four seniors, but I've got eight juniors coming back,” Hansen said. “We'll be even stronger next year.”
WESTOSHA 3, MILTON 0
Westosha Central 25 26 25
Milton 21 24 18
Milton leaders: Aces—Skylar Salter 1. Kills—Chloe Buescher 12. Digs—Ashley Diderot 16. Assists—Salter 12.