Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig each finished in the upper half of the Big Eight Conference volleyball tournament Saturday.

Parker, which hosted the event, matched its third-place finish from the regular season. The Vikings gave regular-season unbeaten Verona a scare in the semifinals and beat Madison Memorial for third place.

Craig, which was sixth (4-5) in the regular season, avenged an earlier loss this season to Middleton when they met in the fifth-place match.

Sun Prairie took the tournament title, beating Verona 25-19, 26-28, 15-9 in the final match.

Parker nearly pulled off the upset of the Wildcats before the Cardinals got their chance. The Vikings lost the semifinal 21-25, 26-24, 13-15.

“We were right there,” Parker coach Andy Kimball said. “Our bench got a yellow card at the end, but I couldn’t even be mad because the energy our girls had after a block to get within 14-13 was just so much fun to watch.

“If our girls compete like we did today, it could make for an interesting playoff run.”

Parker senior Carlie Curtis led the way defensively with 36 digs. Senior setter Shay Riley dished out 116 assists in 13 sets on the day. Rachel Van Beek delivered a team-best 39 kills for a group of hitters that hit .301 on the day. Senior Tina Shelton hit .482 with 30 kills, 18 digs and four blocks.

“Carlie Curtis’ serve receive today was as good as it’s ever been, and to maintain that for a whole tournament was impressive,” Kimball said. “Hitting, we just had great balance. Everything came together well today.”

Craig rebounds after losing first two matches

Craig lost its first two matches to Sun Prairie and to Parker, then rebounded to defeat Madison West, Beloit Memorial and Middleton.

“We finished sixth in the regular season, so we made a little improvement,” Craig coach Blake Budrow said. “McKaylie Justman played consistent all day. She served well, led us in kills with 35 and hit hard.

“Our setters did a good job controlling our offense, and Sophia Vitaioli and Lauren Glissendorf did a good job digging out of the back row.”

Glissendorf had six aces to lead the Cougars and Abby Trapp led the team with 59 assists.

The eighth-seeded Cougars open WIAA Division 1 tournament play at home against Lake Geneva Badger on Thursday. Parker earned a No. 2 seed and has a bye into Saturday night’s regional finals.

Big Eight Conference girls volleyball tournament

At Janesville Parker, SaturdayTEAM RESULTSChampionship: Sun Prairie def. Verona, 25-19, 26-29, 15-9. Third place: Janesville Parker def. Madison Memorial, 25-20, 25-10. Fifth place: Janesville Craig def. Middleton, 27-25, 25-18. Seventh place: Beloit Memorial def. Madison La Follette, 25-21, 25-13. Ninth place: Madison West def. Madison East, 25-8, 25-17. Semifinals: Verona def. Janesville Parker, 25-21, 24-26, 15-13; Sun Prairie def. Madison Memorial, 25-19, 25-21.

Parker pool play match results—Lost to Sun Prairie, 16-25, 20-25; def. Craig 25-16, 25-21; def. Beloit 25-12, 25-12; def. Madison West 25-20, 25-6.

Craig pool play match results—lost to Sun Prairie, 25-11, 25-14; lost to Parker, 25-16, 25-21; def. Madison West, 25-14, 25-22; def. Beloit, 25-18, 26-24.

Parker statistics (aces-kills-assists-blocks-digs)—Brooke Payne 0-0-0-1-0, Carlie Curtis 4-0-3-0-36, Emma Perry 0-0-0-0-9, Grace Williams 6-0-15-0-2, Jayda Schober 3-27-0-1-7, Jenna Gackstatter 12-18-0-2-4, Kylee Skrzypchak 0-17-0-6-3, Lexi Walters 0-1-0-0-4, Rachel Van Beek 4-39-0-2-16, Shay Riley 0-4-116-2-12, Sydney Pajerski 0-0-0-0-1, Tina Shelton 4-30-2-4-18.

Craig statistics (aces-kills-assists)—Maddie McCormick, 3-8-0; McKaylie Justman, 4-35-2; TaylorTompkins, 0-0-1; Julia Masterson, 0-3-22; Taylor Morgan, 0-2-0; Kelly Heinzen, 1-2-0; Abby Trapp, 4-2-59; Lauren Glissendorf, 6-1-2; Maggie DeGarmo, 0-0-1; Sophia Vitalioli, 3-3-0; Rachel Bonham, 3-15-0; Taia Hodgkinson, 0-10-0; Britten Bertagnoli, 0-15-1; Jessa Alderman, 0-2-0.