Sun Prairie has dominated Big Eight Conference girls volleyball the last three seasons.
The Cardinals have won three straight conference dual meet titles and have made two WIAA Division 1 state tournament appearances in that span.
Don’t look for things to change much in 2019.
Sun Prairie rolled to a 3-0 win over Janesville Parker on Thursday night. The eighth-ranked Cardinals won 25-8, 25-22 and 25-16 to improve to 21-2 overall and 4-0 in the Big Eight.
Parker, which is one of the most improved teams in the conference, could not match Sun Prairie’s size up front in falling to 2-2 in conference play.
Outside hitter KJ McNabb had 11 kills to lead the Cardinals.
Setter Josie Halbleib kept the offense flowing with 29 assists.
Sun Prairie coach TJ Rantala said her team continues to improve, and that’s a major problem for the rest of the Big Eight.
“We’re not satisfied right now with the way we’re playing, but I feel like every day we make advances in the right direction and that’s what’s most important,” Rantala said.
“We’re very fortunate to have some go-to players that we can rely on to put the ball away or make a tough serve. And defensively, we have really improved from where we were a month ago.”
Sun Prairie jumped out to a 10-0 lead in Game 1 behind the serve of Payton Addink. The 6-foot-1 junior had two aces during the run, while the Cardinals’ size up front gave the Vikings fits.
Parker regrouped and played much better in Game 2. The Vikings trailed 16-13 before rattling off six straight points to take a 19-16 lead. Jenna Gackstatter’s two aces fueled the rally.
Sun Prairie, behind five Parker unforced errors, scored nine of the last 12 points to win the game.
“The way we played in set two is a better indication of who we are,” Parker coach Andy Kimball said. “The girls gained some confidence knowing that was coming against one of the best teams in the state.
“But for us to get manhandled the way we did, because we think we’re a pretty good team, just shows you how good Sun Prairie is.
“And their size gives them a huge mismatch because they have 6-1 and 6-2 girls hitting over the top of our 5-9 girls.”
Sun Prairie completed the sweep by rolling in Game 3. The Cardinals again raced out to an early lead at 10-3 and never looked back.
Tina Shelton had five kills to lead Parker, while setter Shay Riley had 17 assists.
Parker plays at the Delavan-Darien Invitational on Saturday.
SUN PRAIRIE 3, PARKER 0
Sun Prairie 25 25 25
Janesville Parker 8 22 12
Parker (aces, kills assists)—Carlie Curtis 2-0-0; Jayda Schober 0-3-0; Jenna Gackstatter 2-2-0; Kylee Skrzypchak 0-1-0; Rachel Van Beek 1-3-0; Shay Riley 0-1-17; Tina Shelton 0-5-0
Sun Prairie leaders: Aces—Payton Addink 4; Kills—KJ McNabb 11; Assists—Josie Halbleib 29; Digs—Emily Mickelson 14; Blocks—Kirsten Anderson 2.5