Catholic Memorial sophomore Lexi Alden goes for a block
against Muskego junior Rachel Hein during a Classic 8 Conference match.
Patrick Neumuth/Freeman Staff
CMH familiar with state meet
Memorial has four WIAA championships
WAUKESHA — Catholic Memorial High School girls volleyball has been synonymous with winning.
Memorial is making its seventh state trip since the WIAA absorbed private schools beginning in the 2000-01 school year. CMH has won four WIAA Division 2 state titles — including three in a row from 2009 to 2011.
However, 2011 was the last time the Crusaders made it to state.
This year’s team sees state as a new experience.
“I think we’re OK,” CMH coach Ted Schulte said. “We played such a tough schedule. It’s a big event, clearly, and it’s important in its own right. But we’ve played in a lot of big tournaments in feature matches at the Joust and at the Sprawl.
“We’re comfortable on the big stage.”
Seniors Lexie Calloway, Hayley Levenhagen and Bethanie Krause were freshmen the last time CMH went to state. Schulte isn’t opposed to putting underclassmen on the team as sophomores Kaitlyn Zingsheim, Maddy Rondeau, Ivey Whalen, Lexi Alden, Alyssa Miklosy and Kathryn Christian are all on the varsity team headed to Green Bay.
“I played so many freshmen last year,” Schulte said. “Very often, the development of a player is first year watch and learn, second year you’re on varsity and been there, done that.
“Last year we were young and inexperienced. This year, we’re young and more experienced. While we had hiccups this year, we were finding a way to get it done. When our backs are against the wall, we find way to score points.”
CMH gets a little something from everyone. Rondeau leads the team with 678 assists and also has 103 kills and 249 digs. Alden is the team leader in kills with 377 and has 37 blocks. Calloway is right behind Alden with 341 kills and leads the team with 327 digs.
The Crusaders (38-11) will play River Valley Conference co-champion Platteville (40-5) in a state semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday. The Hillmen’s last state appearance was in 1994, when the tournament was a pool-play format. Platteville won Class B championships in 1977 and 1979.
The two schools did not play each other, but have some similar opponents. Both teams beat Waunakee — Platteville twice — while the Hillmen lost to with Mukwonago this year, losing to the Indians in the Classic 8 Conference Tournament title match.
Waupun (37-11) plays Tomahawk (33-3) in the other semifinal. CMH beat Waupun in its only matchup this season and did not play Tomahawk. Waupun is making its 16th appearance at state.
“We’re confident without being overconfident,” Schulte said. “We know we’re a very good team. We know we make our share of mistakes. We know to go in there and take care of business and do what we’re capable of. I’d say we’re confident, determined, hungry to get this.
“Generally speaking, I think there’s a big target on our back wherever we go. Our reputation proceeds us. I think we have a big target on our back.”
Muskego is making its seventh straight trip and 10th in the last 11 years to the Division 1 tournament. Muskego is the lone state qualifier from last year to return to state this season.
The Warriors are led by senior setter Morgan Kath who has 955 of the team’s 1,059 assists. Sandra Mohr, a 6-foot-4 junior, is a presence in the middle, ranking second on the team in kills (261) and leading the team in blocks (117). Sophomore Brooke Gostomski leads the team with 347 kills, junior Julia Bajorek has a teamhigh 329 digs and senior Johna Radke has 294 digs as a defensive specialist.
Muskego (27-12) plays DeForest (41-3) at 4:30 p.m. in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. Manitowoc Lincoln (39-4) will play Burlington (42-3) in the other 4:30 quarterfinal. Merrill (31-7) will play Germantown (36-13) and Kimberly (34-10) will play Divine Savior Holy Angels (42-4) at 7:30 p.m.