By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

The road through the 2011 season hasn’t always been smooth for the Westosha Central boys’ volleyball team.

But in recent weeks, the Falcons began to show they may be ready to again make another journey to the WIAA state tournament.

And last weekend, they officially punched their tickets.

Central defeated Southeast Conference rival Burlington 25-23, 15-25, 25-16, 25-19 Nov. 3 to win the sectional final and advance to this weekend’s state tournament at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

The Falcons won their first-round match 25-18, 25-20, 25-15 over Middleton two days earlier.

“We’ve overcome so much,” Central coach Wayne Schultz said. “This year is sweeter than last year. Last year (going to state) was awesome, but this year we have overcome so much as a group. It’s just very exciting.”

Schultz said he always has an eye on the postseason and trying to get his team ready to compete at a high level when that time comes.

And that’s certainly what’s happened in 2011.

“That’s the thing we always strive for,” he said. “I don’t care about winning matches in September. Our goal is always to be the best we can at the end of the year.

“We’re always pushing just to keep getting better. It took us a little bit longer than I expected, but the light finally went on. In the last two or three weeks, I believe we’ve been playing as well as anybody in the state.”

The battle with Burlington was hard-fought all match, Schultz said.

“It was a well-played match,” he said. “The key was our aggressive serving. We kept Burlington out of their offense by serving very well.”

Burlington refused to go away quietly in the second set, Schultz said, as it tried to build some momentum with the 25-15 win.

After that loss, however, Schultz said he never felt any panic from his players – as they were determined to get back on track.

“We were going to stay the course, to continue to serve tough,” he said. “We made a little bit of an adjustment in our serve-receive in between games.”

Leading the way were Mike Michelau with 22 kills, 14 digs, two blocks and four aces; Caleb Mobile with 15 kills, seven digs, three aces and three blocks; Regan Hess with seven kills, two aces and two blocks; Erik Spangler with five kills; Brooks Gahart with 42 assists and seven digs; and Jake Stetson with 15 digs.

Schultz was pleased with his team’s effort in the opening-round matchup with Middleton.

“We served them out of the gym,” he said. “We had 22 aces against them. Our first three serves of the night were all aces, and we just built from there.”

Statistical leaders for the Falcons against Middleton were Michelau with five aces, two blocks, 12 kills and seven digs; Hess with five aces, three blocks and four kills; Mobile with four aces, two blocks, 13 kills and 10 digs; Spangler with three blocks; Gahart with three blocks and 30 assists; Stetson with 11 digs; and Brent Larsen with six digs.



No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment



Local weather