Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CMH gets chance to defend v-ball crown

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

CMH gets chance to defend v-ball crown
Girls oust KM Lutheran
By Lee Fensin Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – A Catholic Memorial High School girls volleyball team that has lost only four games against Wisconsin opponents goes looking for its second straight state championship this week. The defending Division 2 champion makes its fifth trip to the WIAA state tournament and third in a row after defeating Kettle Moraine Lutheran 25-20, 25-19, 25-12 in a sectional championship match at Whitefish Bay High School on Saturday.

The Crusaders open tournament play at 4 p.m. Friday at the Resch Center against Waupun, the team that beat Memorial in the 2008 state title match. Memorial and Waupun have not met this season. Waupun earned its trip to Green Bay with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-7 rout of Green Bay Notre Dame in a sectional final Saturday. The other state semifinal pits Madison Edgewood against Tomahawk, with the title match set for 3 p.m. Saturday.

Memorial is one of three Waukesha County teams that have qualified for state, as two other perennial powerhouses, Muskego and Menomonee Falls, will play in Division 1. Defending Division 1 champion Muskego plays Pius and Menomonee Falls plays Burlington in 7:30 p.m. quarterfinal matches Thursday, with semifinals set for 7 p.m. Friday and the championship match for 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Also in the Division 1 field are Eau Claire North, Kaukauna, Madison La Follette and Fond du Lac.

Catholic Memorial swept Appleton Xavier in three games in last year’s title match. Xavier lost in a regional final this year. Memorial seems to be the logical tournament favorite, having a 44-4 overall record with only one of those four losses to a Wisconsin team – Burlington. The Classic 8 Conference champion Crusaders have a 104-11 game record, with seven of those lost games to out-of-state teams.

“I am cautiously confident,” Memorial coach Ted Schulte said. “I am pleased with what I’m seeing.” Are the Crusaders peaking at the right time? “We’re showing signs of getting there,” Schulte said. “Kettle Moraine Lutheran is a really good team and we dismantled them in the third game.” Schulte added about his offense: “A team can hang around with us for a while, but sooner or later we are going to find a rotation where we get a mismatch and we just open it up. We kind of wear people down.”

It was the fifth consecutive sectional final meeting between the two teams. CMH is 4-1 in those finals, with KML’s only victory coming in 2007 when the Chargers won the state title. Waupun is led by senior Lilly Bressler with 660 kills this season, but Waupun, which won five state championships in the 1990s and won five consecutive Division 2 titles between 2001 and 2005 before winning again in 2008, has only one other player with more than 200 kills while Memorial has five players with more than 200 each. “It will be a matchup of styles,” Schulte said. “We’re more balanced than they are.”

Schulte said his players had “a really focused effort” while beating Kettle Moraine Lutheran for the third time this season. It’s not a surprise that Memorial is two victories away from successfully defending its title as two seniors, Kate Acker and Patti Abshire, were first-team allstate last year while another senior, Kelli Browning, was second-team all-state. Another senior, Aly Kujawa, received all-state honorable mention last year. “I’m the luckiest coach in the Wisconsin, that’s for sure,” Schulte said. “Four years ago these four seniors made varsity as freshmen – not because there was a weakness, but they came in and performed.”

Acker had 12 kills and Kujawa 11 kills Saturday, while Abshire had 12 digs, junior Sara Connell had 23 assists and junior Amanda Hansen had four blocks. Kujawa had four consecutive kills early in the third game to help put away KML.

E-mail: lfensin@conleynet.com
Also contributing: Pat Neumuth/Conley News Service

No comments: