Edgerton High’s volleyball team found itself in the land of the giants Tuesday night with no way out.
A much taller McFarland team dominated play at the net and cruised to a 3-0 sweep in an alternate fall season WIAA Division 1 sectional title match at Kettle Moraine High School.
The Spartans won 25-16, 25-19 and 25-14.
McFarland (13-3) advanced to state for the second straight season and will find out its state semifinal opponent at today’s seeding meeting.
Edgerton, which swept Janesville Craig in its sectional semifinal match, ended the season with a 12-5 record.
Edgerton coach Sharon Fox said her team simply could not overcome the decided height advantage of McFarland.
The Spartans had 6-foot-2 Katie Hildebrandt up front, along with 5-11 Avery Pennekamp and 5-11 Nina Crull.
Pennekamp and Crull combined for 23 kills.
“You have to play a solid game when you’re going against somebody with that size, and our serving and our passing were just not as sharp as they needed to be,” Fox said.
“They have a lot of height and a lot of weapons, and we just didn’t handle it well enough.”
Edgerton fell behind 15-9 in the first set and got no closer than five after that. Angel Wilcox’s spike cut McFarland’s lead to 20-15, but the Spartans scored five of the next six points.
The Crimson Tide led 9-6 in Game 2, but a 6-0 run spearheaded by the serve of Pennekamp gave the Spartans the lead for good at 12-9. Edgerton got within one at 18-17, but once again McFarland finished strong, scoring seven of the last nine points.
McFarland coach Trish Fortune, whose team was forced to play all road games in the first month of the season, said the Spartans dominance up front was the difference.
“They really had no answer for our size,” Fortune said. “The first match we kind of had to settle in and work through our nerves and how to play in our system, but in the second match we came out ready and confident right away.
“We executed much better in our second match today. We cut down on our errors, terminated the ball much better than we did the first match and got a lot of quick side outs.”
Another long scoring run for McFarland was the difference in set three. With the game tied 8-8, Pennekamp served seven straight points. Edgerton was out of gas and never got within six after that, with the match ending on a Pennekamp kill.
Despite the loss, Fox said reaching a sectional final match was something the team will never forget after not even knowing if there would be a season two months ago.
“We were thankful every day for the opportunity to play,” Fox said. “We had a full season, and it was very successful. A lot of great memories made and so much improvement.”
MCFARLAND 3, EDGERTON 0McFarland 25 25 25
Edgerton 16 19 14
McFarland leaders: Aces—Avery Pennekamp 4; Kills—Pennekamp 12, Paige Hildebrandt 11; Assists—Maddy Fortune 33; Digs—Pennekamp 12
Edgerton leaders: Aces—Kate Fox Gunderson 2; Kills—Carly Rebman and Shannon Rusch 5; Assists-Fox Gunderson 15; Digs—Abby Blum 9
Edgerton 3, Craig 0—The Crimson Tide exacted revenge on the Cougars after being swept by them in the regular season. Edgerton won 25-19, 25-10 and 25-18 in the Division 1 sectional semifinal match.
Kate Gunderson led Edgerton with 29 assists, 11 digs and four aces, while Carly Rebman had a match-high 11 kills.
Craig, which finished the season 7-8, was led by Britten Bertagnoli’s 10 kills.
“We didn’t serve well, which really hurt us the first two games,” Craig coach Blake Budrow said. “That gave them confidence.
“And when we got a little bit of momentum going, we had a service error or hit a ball out of bounds to take it right away.”
EDGERTON 3, CRAIG 0Edgerton 25 25 25
Janesville Craig 19 10 18
Edgerton leaders: Aces—Kate Fox Gunderson 4; Kills—Carly Rebman 11; Assists—Fox Gunderson 29; Digs—Fox Gunderson 11
Craig leaders: Aces—Mckaylie Justman 3; Kills—Britten Bertagnoli 10; Assists—Abby Trapp 18; Digs—Sophia Vitaioli 7