Girls spikers ousted in regional finals

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Molly Zeinemann and Middleton's girls volleyball team fell in the regional finals last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Back and forth they went, in a postseason thriller Saturday night.

Middleton’s girls volleyball team seemingly seized control of its WIAA Division 1 regional final at Monona Grove. But back stormed the Silver Eagles.

Eventually, fourth-seeded Monona Grove edged fifth-seeded Middleton, 25-17, 19-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-12 and captured the regional title.

Middleton’s season ended sooner than it had hoped, while the Silver Eagles now meet top-seeded Verona in a sectional semifinal Thursday.

“We would have like to go further into the sectional, but there was a reason that they were seeded fourth and we were fifth seeded,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said. “We were trying to pull and upset and came up short.”

The Cardinals had a rough start, hit -0.171 in the first set, and fell into a 1-0 hole. Middleton played better in the second set, breaking away from a 14-all tie and tying the match up.

“Set number one did not start out good,” Marcos said. “After taking the lead, Monona Grove tied the score and we trailed from then on. Set number two we were tied at 14 and took the lead and never looked back.”

Middleton led the third set, 22-16, before the Silver Eagles used a 5-0 run to close within one point. But the Cardinals answered with a 4-1 run to take a 2-1 lead.

Monona Grove grabbed an early lead in the fourth set, maintained control throughout and tied the match, 2-2.

The deciding fifth set was a nailbiter throughout. Middleton led, 10-9, and the set was tied at 11. But the Silver Eagles finished with a 4-1 run and moved on to sectionals.

Lily Welti led the Cardinals with 19 kills and 25 digs, while Logan Welti had two aces, 24 kills and 24 assists. Molly Zeinemann had 5.5 blocks and Mimi McMurray had 27 assists.  

“Heck of a match,” Marcos said. “Compared to the teams in our conference and sectional we held our own. They were better than us and we needed to play flawless volleyball at all positions in order to beat these teams.”

Middleton also rolled past 12th-seeded Baraboo, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19 in a regional semifinal last Thursday .  

Logan Welti had 17 kills and 12 digs, while Lily Welti had two aces, eight kills and nine digs. Molly Zeinemann added five kills and five blocks, Elizabeth Keller had 33 assists and Morgan Roberts had 11 digs.  

The first set was tied, 14-14, when Middleton used an 8-0 run to take control of the match. The Cardinals led the second set, 15-13, then used a 7-0 run to pull away.

Middleton trailed the third set, 10-8, before catching fire and burying the Thunderbirds.

While the season ended sooner than Marcos and the Cardinals would have liked, Middleton’s future looks bright.

“Our future looks good,” Marcos said. “There is lots of talent and I believe that the passion is not far behind.”


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