Westosha Central defeated top-seeded Muskego Tuesday and advances to Thursday’s sectional final (Top row, left) assistant coach Ashlen Powles, assistant coach Brett Kaczmarek, Luke Nosek, Alex Salerno, Jack Rose, Joey Michelau, Bradley Bell, Cade Nichols, Tyler Horton, coach Drew Cox, assistant coach Diane Coleman; (front) Keegan Kearby, Daniel Tompkins, Zachary Meyers, Paul Capelli, Corey Hinze (Submitted/The Report).

Falcons to host Franklin 7 p.m. Thursday

By Jason Arndt
Editor

After defeating Greendale to open WIAA tournament play, the Westosha Central High School boys volleyball team had a daunting task on Tuesday, when the Falcons visited top-seeded Muskego in the sectional semifinal match.

If playing on the road against No. 1 Muskego was challenging enough, after the Falcons dropped the first two sets, they were pushed to the wall.

Westosha Central, however, bounced back by capturing the next three sets and advanced to its first sectional final since 2015.

The fourth-seeded Falcons will host No. 2 Franklin Thursday at 7 p.m.

According to first year coach Drew Cox, the Falcons passion helped them prevail in the thrilling five set victory, which came on decisions of 11-25, 25-27, 25-21, 25-23, 15-13.

“It was a collective team effort,” he wrote in an email to area media following the game.

“They all played with passion and heart; they fought for everything!”

The senior duo of Joey Michelau and Alex Salerno, in his first game back from injury, led the Falcons offensive attack.

While Salerno chipped in 14 kills, Michelau produced a game-high 19 kills, adding four blocks, four digs and three aces.

Adding reinforcements along the front row were freshmen Jack Rose, who pitched in six blocks and five blocks, and Bradley Bell (five blocks).

Senior Luke Nosek added another three kills along with a block.

Junior setter Tyler Horton registered 42 assists, seven digs and a block.

Defensively, junior Zachary Meyers recorded 14 digs and freshmen Daniel Tompkins contributed another seven and accumulated four service aces.

“I am so proud of these boys boys and the strides they have made from the beginning to now during our season,” Cox states.

Westosha Central, which has made three state appearances, last qualified for the championship series in 2013.

Falcons sweep visiting Greendale

For the visiting Greendale High School boys volleyball team, the Panthers could not solve Westosha Central senior Joey Michelau, who kept swinging away during the Oct. 26 regional title match.

Michelau, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter, recorded a game-high 15 kills, added five digs and produced a block in a three-game sweep of the Panthers, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17.

Greendale coach Kurt Kaempfer, whose team entered as a fifth seed, said Michelau’s versatility caused some matchup issues.

“They were able to run their middle more than I would have liked,” he said. “(Joey) has a nice swing, he gets up there and plays really well. He is their go to guy and we some rotations where we couldn’t get a block on him.”

No. 4 Westosha Central, which had a back-and-forth first set, jumped ahead 19-17 after 6-4 freshman Bradley Bell produced back-to-back kills.

After Greendale answered one of Bell’s kills, the freshman middle hitter responded with another and sparked a 6-1 run to close the set, which Michelau capped off with a block.

Freshmen step up
In the second set, Greendale faired better, holding a lead for most of the first half until 6-3 freshman middle hitter Jack Rose produced a block, which deadlocked the set at 20 apiece.

Westosha Central then pulled away, courtesy of a 5-1 run, ending with a junior Cade Nichols block.

While Bell finished with four kills and three blocks, Rose accounted for a game-high seven blocks and four kills. Rose also contributed a dig.

Westosha Central coach Drew Cox, who is in his first season, has been impressed with the progress of both freshmen.

“Bradley and Jack have made strides this season, this is their first year playing volleyball ever, they are basketball players transitioning into playing a volleyball sport, so it is starting to click for them,” he said.

The two freshman, Cox said, have created openings for other players in the rotation.

Luke Nosek, a 6-2 senior outside hitter, was one player who saw more opportunities.

Nosek had eight kills and four digs.

“They are actually swinging, which is awesome, and it is opening things up for Joey, Alex (Salerno) when he was playing, and Luke.”

Salerno, a senior right side hitter, has been sidelined with an injury.

Falcons keep pace
While the Falcons maintained the lead in the third set, Greendale kept the contest within 2-3 points, but Westosha Central was able to widen its margin by the middle of the frame.

Falcons Junior Tyler Horton, a 6-0 setter, recorded a game-high 32 assists and four service aces along with two blocks.

Defensively, junior Zach Meyers dove in for a game-high 10 digs.

Freshman Keegan Kearby had five digs, a block and a service ace.

Westosha Central played top-seeded Muskego in Tuesday’s sectional semifinal.

Greendale’s information was not available.

 
 

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