Girls spikers set for sectionals

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Mane Bobadilla (12) and Middleton’s girls volleyball team travel to Waunakee for a sectional semifinal Thursday night at 8./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld


Last year is just that.

Revenge isn’t a factor.

Instead, Middleton’s girls volleyball team is focusing on the here and now.

At least that’s what Cardinals head coach Franco Marcos is saying publicly.

Middleton stormed through regional play last week, with impressive wins over Holmen and La Crosse Central.

Now, the third-seeded Cardinals travel to second-seeded Waunakee Thursday for a sectional semifinal at 8 p.m. A year ago, the Warriors defeated Middleton in this same gym and at the same point in the postseason.

Marcos insists, though, that the past is the past.

“We have a different team this year and so do they,” Marcos said. “We will be at their place and we need to not beat ourselves. We just need to be the best team on Thursday night.”

Middleton certainly was the best team in its regional victories.

The Cardinals toppled 14th-seeded Holmen, 25-18, 25-10, 21-12 last Thursday.

Senior standout Mane Bobadilla had 13 kills, seven aces and 11 digs, while Leia Peterman had four aces and 18 digs. Bre Schlueter had 10 assists, Arissa Milton added three blocks and Audrey Hinshaw had two blocks.

Middleton raced to a 23-13 lead in Game 1. The Cardinals had four straight unforced errors, before regaining their balance and putting Holmen away.

Middleton had comfortable leads of 10-1 and 17-5 in the second game, and was never really challenged.

“We had total command of the second set,” Marcos said.

The third game was a carbon copy of the second, as the Cardinals cruised to an easy win.

Middleton then upended La Crosse Central, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19 in Saturday’s regional final.

“This was a great win for us beating the Mississippi Valley Conference Champion,” Marcos said.

Bobadilla had a huge night with 36 kills and 20 digs, while Peterman had two aces and 45 digs. Schlueter had 40 assists and 10 digs, while Logan Welti had two aces, eight kills, 1.5 blocks and 16 digs. Arissa Milton added 10 kills, 1.5 blocks and seven digs.  

Central led most of the way in Game 1, but Middleton used a 7-2 burst to snag a 23-20 lead. The Cardinals were clinging to a 24-23 advantage, then closed out the game.

Middleton raced to leads of 4-0 and 19-12 in the second game. The Cardinals led, 24-18, when Central scored five straight points and pulled within one late in the contest. But Middleton once again scored the key point and pulled out the second game.

Central responded with an impressive 25-23 win in the third game.

“We were not hitting our service zones,” Marcos said. “They had a great libero and our serves kept finding her.”

But the Cardinals answered back, and surged to a 15-9 lead in the fourth game. Central pulled within 17-15, but never came any closer as the Cardinals prevailed.

“We tend to give up too many points in a row and we need to cut down on those unforced errors to guarantee a trip to state,” Marcos said. “Overall it was a good regional and we are working towards a great sectional showing.”

If Middleton can upend Waunakee Thursday night, it would face the winner of top-seeded Sun Prairie and fourth-seeded DeForest Saturday at 7 p.m. in Middleton.

“We have Waunakee on our mind,” Marcos said.

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