Brodhead ends season proud to reach state

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Eric Schmoldt
Friday, November 8, 2013

GREEN BAY—Carly Mohns' chin never dipped as she walked off the Resch Center floor.

Quite frankly, she and her Brodhead volleyball teammates never expected to be there.

The Cardinals' dramatic run through the WIAA Division 3 playoff bracket ended Friday afternoon when they lost a state semifinal match in the program's second-ever trip to state. Eau Claire Regis' 6-footers up front proved too much to handle in a 25-16, 25-20, 25-19 sweep.

“We came into this big atmosphere a little shaky, and it took us a little bit to settle in,” said Mohns, Brodhead's senior middle hitter. “After we settled in, I think we showed very well, and none of us should hang our heads.”

Regis (36-5) moves on to face Auburndale in the title tilt today, looking for its first state championship.

The Ramblers dominated the first set. They jumped out to a 9-1 lead and coasted the rest of the way as the Cardinals adjusted to playing on the big stage.

Brodhead looked more relaxed to start the second and led 4-1 early, but head coach Erin Kammerer never felt like her team got in a groove.

“They settled in, but we never really got into the flow; we never gained our momentum,” she said. “Regis did a really nice job of throwing off our defense enough that we never got a good pass to have our offense really show up.”

The Cardinals trailed 14-10 when they used a 5-0 run to regain the lead. Mohns had a team-high 11 kills and got two of them in that spurt, which forced Regis to call a timeout.

Regis sophomore outside hitter Shae Brey, who stands 6 feet tall, took over down the stretch. She had five of her match-high 18 kills over the team's final 10 points in the second game. Trailing 19-16, Brae had four kills in a span of five points—including one on a block and one on a tip—to lead a decisive run.

“That's just what good teams are going to do,” Mohns said. “They put up a very good block and could hit the line. They're a dominant team.”

Mohns, the Cardinals' tallest player by three inches at 6-1, spent much of the Ramblers' late run relegated to the back row, an unlucky break in the rotation.

“There was always that one rotation where (Mohns and senior Rachel Heller) were in the back row,” Regis coach Kendra Pagel said. “We took advantage of that.”

It was the same story in the third set.

Brodhead led 14-12, but the Ramblers made their run with Mohns in the back row. It was 20-17 by the time the Cardinals got their best hitter back up front, and the Ramblers didn't let up. Fittingly, they put the match away with a pair of kills by Brey.

Brey and 6-foot-1 junior Haley Gibbons worked the net, helping Regis pile up seven blocks as a team. Senior Brenna Brey pitched in 32 assists.

Mohns added 10 digs in her final high-school match. Heller had 17 digs to go along with 10 kills as her senior season came to an end much later than initially expected.

Kammerer said the team's goal list at the beginning of the season didn't even include winning a regional title.

“Our seniors came up with the slogan, 'Believe in the dream,'” she said. “But when we made our goals at the beginning of the season, this wasn't anywhere close to it. To be able to get down and work hard enough to get here and have their dream come true was pretty powerful.”

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