By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

Finding information about the other teams in this weekend’s WIAA boys’ volleyball tournament won’t be all that difficult for Westosha Central coach Wayne Schultz.

There is a lot of familiarity – and that begins with the Falcons’ first-round opponent.

Central  (25-13) will face Racine Horlick (16-14) in the final first-round match Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on the Wisconsin Lutheran College campus.

The Falcons advanced to their second straight state tournament with a pair of sectional wins last weekend. Central advanced to the state semifinals last year.

Schultz said he and his team now are focused on the task at hand – and that’s beating Horlick. Central swept Horlick 25-21, 25-15, 25-17 in October.

“The key is going to be us coming out and playing our game, controlling our 900 square feet (of the court),” he said. “If we can do that, we’ll be just fine on Friday.

“It’s just us being us. If we serve tough and keep the pressure on them offensively, we should prevail.”

Leaders for the Falcons heading into the state tournament include senior Mike Michelau with 384 kills and 21 solo blocks, junior Caleb Mobile with 265 kills and 46 aces, sophomore Brooks Gahart with 686 assists and junior Jake Stetson with 280 digs

Horlick is making its first trip to state since 2009. The Rebels advanced with a 13-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 17-15 win over Greendale in last week’s sectional final.

Statistical leaders for Horlick heading into the state tournament are senior Mitch Greiner with 250 kills and 34 aces, junior Jacob McReynolds with 634 assists, senior Ben Schultz with 107 digs and senior Paul Mauer with 54 solo blocks.

Other first-round matchups pit Germantown (14-5) against Wauwatosa East (27-10), defending champion Catholic Memorial (29-3) against Marquette (43-4) and Kaukauna (35-6) against Muskego (23-12).

The winner of the Central-Horlick match will face the winner of Kaukauna-Muskego Saturday at noon. The title match is set for 5:30 p.m.

Along with Horlick, the Falcons have faced Muskego, Wauwatosa East and Catholic Memorial already this season.

Central beat Muskego in both matchups, swept Wauwatosa East and fell in two sets to Catholic Memorial.

That familiarity will help as the tournament rolls along – but Schultz insisted that his team is squarely focused on the first step.

“That’s true, but our main focus right now is Friday night against Horlick,” he said. “In order to get to Saturday, we have to win Friday night. All I’m concerned about right now is the Horlick match.”

Schultz said getting back to state again will help his team overcome any nerves it may have before Friday’s match begins.

Another positive is all the high-level tournaments the Falcons competed in during the season, he said.

“We’re battle tested,” Schultz said. “We play in a lot of good tournaments. Pretty much my entire roster was with me last year at state with a couple of the younger guys. They’ve already seen this venue, and they’re ready for it.”



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