Warhawks earn championship, two individual season honors
Stacy Boudreau of the Warhawks was named WIAC Coach of the Year, and senior Carley Polk was named Player of the Year.
While those accolades may have seemed insignificant at the time, they admittedly inspired Boudreau’s team. The Warhawks went out and defeated UW-Platteville, 30-17, 21-30, 30-14, 30-23, to win the conference tournament and earn an NCAA Division III tournament bid.
“The girls set a bunch of goals, and one was winning the conference tournament and getting the automatic bid,’’ Bourdreau said of the Warhawks, who are seeking their second national title in three years. “We’re really excited, and we’re going to move on and be ready to go.”
The Warhawks (31-4), ranked seventh in Division III, went undefeated in conference along with the tournament victory. They’ll will find out their postseason assignment today, but Boudreau expects to play the first round at Carthage College in Kenosha.
Whitewater was dominant at the net in knocking of seventh-seeded Platteville (24-12). Time after time, the Pioneers set up a seemingly easy spike, but combinations of Polk, senior Abby Schultz and junior Kelly Annen stopped the ball dead in its tracks.
The Warhawks got a leg up early. They overcame a 4-0 deficit in the first game, and a back-and-forth battle turned into a rout, with a 13-4 run carrying Whitewater to its 30-17 win, led by Polk’s five kills.
Platteville got right back into it, however, in the second game. Although Whitewater seniors Rebekah Nelson and Kate Lazotte provided excellent blocking up front, the Pioneers gained the upper hand.
Polk went to the bench midway through the game, and Platteville responded with a 6-1 run. The Pioneers rejected Whitewater’s comeback bid by finishing with a 7-3 run for 30-21 win that evened the match at 1-1.
After that, it was all Whitewater. The Warhawks led all the way in third game and finished off a 30-14 blowout with an 18-4 surge.
“We knew Platteville would come out firing,’’ Boudreau said. “I think we really stepped up our defense and serving in Game 3.’’
The momentum carried over into Game 4 as the Warhawks led most of the way after a 7-6 edge. Quality serving and thunderous kills proved too much for Platteville, and the Warhawks finished up their title surge, 30-23.
Polk finished with 14 kills, and Annen added 13.
Polk also realized it was a special day for her team and herself.
“When they announced I was Player of the Year, I was really excited because it’s only happened to one other girl at Whitewater,” Polk said. “We knew anyone we put on the court would be good to go.
“Nationals are definitely on our minds, but we try to take it one game at a time.”
WHITEWATER 3, PLATTEVILLE 1
UW-Platteville 17 30 14 23
UW-Whitewater 30 21 30 30
Platteville (aces-kills-digs-assists)—Lisa Bell, 0-5-0-0; Rachel Chapman, 0-11-17-2; Emily Walker, 0-3-10-1; Kelly Laschinger, 1-1-7-27; Stephanie Tronnes, 0-4-1-0; Melissa Hillebrand, 0-8-1-0; Brooke Temperly, 2-1-0-0; Abby Carey, 1-0-6-0; Rochelle Ripp, 0-0-17-1; Katie Deegan, 1-0-6-1. Totals: 5-33-65-32.
Whitewater (aces-kills-digs-assists)—Kelly Annen, 0-11-6-0; Abby Schultz, 0-9-23-1; Sarah Theis, 0-10-1-1; Rebekah Nelson, 0-3-7-3; Kate Lazotte, 3-3-11-42 Carley Polk, 0-14-1-0; Alyse Karls, 2-0-5-0; Kristina Conlin, 1-0-14-2; Stephanie Smithback, 0-0-1-0; Michelle Serath, 0-0-4-0. Totals: 6-50-73-49.