Sports

Thu
28
Sep
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Swimmers dunk Madison East

Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team came one step closer to clinching the Big Eight Conference dual meet title last Friday.

The Cardinals rolled past Madison East, 135-32, and improved to 6-0 in the conference.

“We swam very well vs. Madison East, and got a chance to see our girls swim some events they don't typically do,” Middleton coach R.J. Leiferman said.

Middleton’s first place finishes included:

• The 200-yard medley relay, where Audrey Alexander, Brynn Sundell, Sulia Miller and Piper Garcia-Hall were first.

• The 200-yard freestyle relay, where Hannah Machleidt, Lily Mair, Aoife Ryan-Kaiser and Anna Dart were first.

• And the 400-yard freestyle relay won by the quartet of Kaylee Burt, Garcia Hall, Ellie Eisele and Clara Kiehl.

• Sundell won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.

• Addy Palmer won the 200-yard IM.

• Irene Lee captured the 50-yard freestyle.

Thu
28
Sep
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Boys spikers fare well at Middleton Invite

Middleton has ruled the Big Eight Conference in boys volleyball for 12 years.

The Cardinals extended their winning streak to 93 matches in Big Eight play when they swept Madison West 25-16, 26-24, 25-11 on Sept. 20.

But senior outside hitter Ambrose Engling said that isn’t enough for the Cardinals, who are in search of their elusive first WIAA state championship.

Engling said the Cardinals hope to use tournaments like their own Middleton Invitational to prepare them for their ultimate goal.

“We’ve had a lot of close matches, so it’s really great that we’re getting that experience now because we’ve gone undefeated in conference for about 12 years,” said Engling, who will attend Princeton University next year to play volleyball and study architecture or economics. “So we need those close matches. Most teams never go undefeated. All that matters is the state tournament at the end of the year.

Thu
28
Sep
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Middleton boys 13th at Midwest Invite

They wanted more.

The good news is there’s still plenty of time to get it.

Middleton went to the Midwest Invite at Blackhawk Golf Course in Janesville last Saturday and finished 13th out of 50 teams. The Cardinals, who entered the star-studded race ranked 10th in the state, were hoping for more.

“Well, that was a rough one,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “We were pretty disappointed in the performance.

“Finishing 13th and being ranked 10th was certainly not what we envisioned. I really thought we’d be top-five. A few of the teams ahead of us we beat earlier in the season, too. Definitely a surprise.”

Oconomowoc won the race with 102 points, while Middleton finished with 435 points.

“I have seen our improvement and the workouts have been quite well,” Finnel said. “This was definitely not a reflection of how good this team is. I know the team is doing some soul-searching and I am reflecting on righting the ship.

Tue
19
Sep
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Middleton gets back on track

MADISON — When it was determined an hour before game time that star senior running back Bryce Falk would miss last Thursday’s Big Eight Conference game against Madison Memorial due to an injury, the Middleton Cardinals opted to unleash their not-so-secret weapon.

And the host Spartans had no answer.

Middleton senior quarterback Gabe Passini ran for 198 yards on 19 attempts and scored three touchdowns to spark the Cardinals’ 31-20 victory over Memorial at Mansfield Stadium.

Passini, who also completed 11 of 20 passes for 115 yards, tormented Memorial all evening.

“If he doesn’t have that type of performance, we don’t win this game tonight,” Middleton co-head coach Tim Simon said of Passini.

Cardinals’ senior starting left tackle Hudson Cleary agreed.

“His running is something special. It’s like something I’ve never seen,” Cleary said of Passini. “It seems like every time he gets hit, he gets another five yards.

Tue
19
Sep
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Perfect 10 for golfers

Make it a perfect 10.

Middleton’s girls golf team won a 10th straight Big Eight Conference regular season title last week, rolling to a perfect 9-0 mark in conference dual meets.

During Middleton’s decade of dominance, it’s posted a 90-0-1 record in conference dual meets.

“That says a lot about the girls that have come through this program,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “I really can't say enough about the program that Dewey Stendahl started and was continued by Bill Curtin and Jeff Kenas.

“I am proud to continue building on what they had started and be able to be a part of it myself. I'm so proud of all the girls that have played for us and the commitment they have given to the program.”

The Cardinals also finished in third place at the 17-team Janesville Parker Invite last Saturday.

Tue
19
Sep
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Swimmers enjoy another big week

Middleton and Verona.

Verona and Middleton.

These two swimming giants have gone head to head multiple times this season, exchanging wins along the way. And the super powers could eventually be the two favorites at the state meet.

Last Saturday provided the latest battle, as Verona edged the Cardinals, 329.5-324.5, at the star-studded Waukesha South Invite. Rhinelander (233), Arrowhead (222) and Waukesha West/Catholic Memorial (202) rounded out the top five at the 16-team invite.

“The Waukesha meet was another great competition with Verona and we just missed out on winning the meet,” Middleton coach R.J. Leiferman said.

Per usual, the Cardinals and Wildcats were neck-in-neck throughout and Middleton received several terrific swims along the way.

Tue
19
Sep
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Boys spikers keep rolling

During their 12 year stretch of greatness, it’s been rare when Middleton’s boys volleyball team has been challenged by a Big Eight Conference foe.

The Cardinals — who haven’t lost a conference match since Sept. 29, 2011 — have largely rolled over each and every Big Eight team they’ve come across.

Last week, though, Middleton was given a stern test.

The Cardinals were challenged by host Madison Memorial, but showed grit and determination on their way to a 25-20, 16-25, 30-28, 25-13 win on Sept. 13.

Middleton, ranked No. 4 in the state, pushed its conference winning streak to 92 straight matches with the victory over the eighth-ranked Spartans.

“Our match against Memorial was great for us,” Middleton coach Dylan Griffith said. “We knew going in that Memorial was having a great season and beat some pretty good opponents from around the state.

Tue
19
Sep
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Girls spikers split a pair

Middleton’s girls volleyball team split a pair of matches last week.

Janesville Craig defeated the Cardinals, 26-28, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14, on Sept. 12. Middleton rebounded, though, with a 24-26, 25-21, 25-22, 25-15 win over Madison West on Sept. 14.

Middleton coach Ben White wasn’t thrilled how his team played against the visiting Cougars.

“We felt like we took a bit of a step back during this match,” White said. “We had a few too many unforced errors where we watched the ball land with no one going for it and we weren't aggressive enough on our third hits to get Craig out of system.

“Craig controlled the tempo for most of the match. We also struggled with our serve receive, which made it difficult for our setters to run a consistent offense.”

Keaten Davis led Middleton with 15 kills, while Sadie Newcomb had 11 kills and 15 digs. Haley Stoffregan had 17 assists and four aces, while Andrea Wipperfurth had 16 assists, four aces and 19 digs.

Tue
19
Sep
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Soccer Cards cruise past West

They still have half of the Big Eight Conference schedule left to navigate.

But Middleton’s boys soccer team has put itself in terrific position to win a second straight Big Eight Conference title.

The Cardinals rolled past Madison West, 3-1, on Sept. 14 and improved to a conference-best 4-0 in the Big Eight. Sun Prairie West is also 4-0.

“We're sitting 4-0 in conference play which is great, but we still have a lot of the season left,” Middleton coach Kevin Pauls said. “We always wear that target so we know we're going to get everyone's best. Nothing is a given and we'll just keep getting ready for the next game.”

The Cardinals were certainly ready for this game.

Pauls has been stressing the importance of the first goal — and his team keeps listening.

Tue
19
Sep
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Girls XC team second at Grade Level Challenge

Middleton’s girls cross country team finished second at the Big Eight Conference Grade Level Challenge on Sept. 12.,

“The team had a fantastic showing, losing to a pretty impressive Madison West team,” Middleton co-coach Kelly Julian said. “This race is unique in that athletes race against their grade level. That often opens up opportunities for younger classmen to score points, and potentially place.”

That was certainly the case for freshman Josephine Schiferl, who finished second among freshman race and third overall, completing the 5,000-meter race in 21 minutes, 52.6 seconds.

“She looked relaxed and confident, especially for a freshman runner,” Julian said of Schiferl.

Rory Rhodes was fourth among seniors (22:26.2), while Avery Tiller was sixth among juniors (21:38.6). Morley Schroeder (22:52.5) and Caroline Blust were sixth and seventh (23:21.7) respectively among seniors, while and Olivia Strasia was ninth among juniors (22:14.5).

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