The Brodhead volleyball team has played older than its roster has indicated all season long.
Saturday night against Cuba City, the Cardinals once again had to show they have grown up in a hurry.
The top-seeded Cardinals outlasted Cuba City in five sets to capture a WIAA Division 3 regional title.
Brodhead saved its finest set for last, beating Cuba City 15-4 in the fifth set to clinch the title and set off a wild celebration among the Cardinals players and their fans that helped make the Brodhead gymnasium a standing-room-only crowd.
Brodhead middle hitter Katie Goecks was a true force, finishing with 26 kills, three blocks and three aces.
Goecks, one of the few seniors on the Cardinals roster, said the team knew it had to take care of business after playing sloppily in a 25-20 fourth set loss.
“We knew it was our time,” Goecks said. “Our great crowd was behind us, and we just all knew we had to step up as a team. Coming off that fourth set, we just had to put that in the past, and that’s exactly what we did.”
A pair of freshmen, Alexis Kammerer and Abbie Dix, played critical roles, as well. Kammerer finished with 54 assists, 13 digs and three aces, while Dix had 18 kills to go along with three blocks.
Brodhead coach Erin Kammerer said an aggressive mindset was critical heading into the final set.
“We had kind of been backing off our serves in the previous couple of sets,” Kammerer said. “In the last set, we got back to being aggressive. Cuba City just didn’t let anything drop, so getting into extended rallies with them wasn’t the way we were going to advance.”
The Cardinals will face Wisconsin Heights on Thursday in Brodhead in the sectional semifinals at 7 p.m.
BRODHEAD 3, CUBA CITY 2Cuba City 20 25 16 25 4
Brodhead 25 19 25 20 15
Leaders: Kills: CC, Stich 13; B, Goecks 26; Aces: CC: Stich 1; B, Goecks, Kammerer 3; Digs: CC: Stich 22; B, Moe 15; Assists:CC, Kayla Stich, 21; B Kammerer 54
Fort Atkinson 3, Milton 0—Fort Atkinson was able to get Milton out of its offensive system enough times to earn a 25-12, 25-19, 25-21 victory in a WIAA regional final volleyball match Saturday night.
The No. 4-seeded Red Hawks were led by Abbey Falk, who had team-highs in kills (12), blocks (2) and aces (3).
The No. 5-seeded Black Hawks move on to face top-seeded Burlington in a sectional semifinal Thursday night in Burlington.
FORT ATKINSON 3, MILTON 0
Fort Atkinson 25 25 25
Milton 12 19 21
Milton leaders: Assists—Jordan Karlen 44. Kills—Abbey Falk 112. Blocks—Falk 2. Aces—Falk 3. Digs—Juliet Karlen 17.
Wilmot 3, Elkhorn 2—The sixth-seeded Panthers upset the third-seeded Elks to earn a spot at sectionals, where they will face second-seeded Janesville Parker.
Wilmot won 25-22, 17-25, 13-25, 26-24, 15-11.
Full statistics were not made available.