Girls spikers tie for 3rd at own invite

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Jennifer McGinnis (3) and Meghan Bayer helped Middleton’s girls volleyball team tie for third at their own invite last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

There were signs of progress.

There were periods of growth.

And that has Middleton girls volleyball coach Franco Marcos extremely excited.

The Cardinals reached the semifinals of the 14-team Middleton Invite before losing to Platteville last Saturday. For a Cardinals squad searching for a branch of consistency to grab ahold of, it was an exciting day at the office.

“Overall it was a good performance by the team,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said. “Everyone is back and we are working towards solidifying our starting lineup. 

“We expected a better performance in the win-loss column. However, we were still able to claw our way to the semifinals and faced a solid Platteville team.”

Middleton opened the day with a 23-25, 25-18, 15-10 win over Sauk Prairie. Lily Welti had eight kills, six digs and two aces, while Meghan Bayer had six kills and 2 ½ blocks. Elizabeth Keller had 12 assists, Logan Welti had six kills and seven digs, and Morgan Roberts had 10 digs.

“Sauk Prairie played us tough,” Marcos said.

Middleton then fell to Monona Grove, 25-20, 25-22. Lily Welti had 10 kills and 9 digs, while Roberts had 13 digs. Logan Welti had two aces, seven kills and seven digs and Mimi McMurray had 18 assists.

“We committed way too many unforced errors against a much improved Monona Grove team,” Marcos said.

Middleton finished pool play with a 25-15, 25-21 loss to Waunakee. Middleton had just 11 kills and four blocks as a team in the two games. 

“Waunakee was tall and very relentless on defense,” Marcos said. “Our blocking was a no show. We will need to improve on this performance against Waunakee since they are in our sectional.”

In the first round of the playoffs, Middleton defeated an up-and-coming Madison Memorial team, 25-19, 25-22.

Lily Welti had seven kills, Logan Welti had eight kills, nine digs and two aces, and Gabie Buechner had four kills. Roberts had eight digs, Keller had 10 assists and eight digs and McMurray had two aces and seven assists.

“Madison Memorial is a contender this year,” Marcos said. “We were able to bounce back from the earlier losses and win. Keeping their big gun in the back row as long as possible paid off.”

Platteville then defeated Middleton, 25-16, 26-28, 15-6, in the semifinals. The Cardinals overcame seven match points in the second game and prevailed, before losing in the third game.

“It was a great match,” Marcos said. “Both teams left it on the floor.”

Lily Welti had 10 kills and three blocks, while Jessi Nonn had seven digs.  McMurray had 13 assists, Roberts had 10 digs, Logan Welti had two aces, four kills and 12 digs and Molly Zeinemann had three blocks. 

“We served tough and our defense was flawless both at the net and in the backcourt,” Marcos said. “The bottom line is that we took care of the ball and refused to lose. We did not have much left in the tank for the deciding set, but it was a great comeback against the champions.”

Middleton also rolled past Madison La Follette, 25-11, 25-15, 25-21 last Thursday. Logan Welti and Lily Welti both had eight kills, while Roberts had 28 digs and three aces. Hannah Flottmeyer added four solo blocks, while McMurray had 22 assists and 10 digs.

“It was a match to try and work out a different lineup, given that two of our starters were out nursing minor injuries,” Marcos said.

• On deck: Middleton hosts Sun Prairie Thursday at 6:30 p.m., then heads to the UW-Oshkosh Invitational Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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