Sports

Mon
18
Nov
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Boys spikers fall just short at state

MILWAUKEE — Defense, defense, defense.

That plan was hatched early last week. And it certainly wasn’t an easy sell.

But Middleton boys volleyball coach Ben White knew it was probably the only way his Cardinals could upset Germantown in the WIAA state quarterfinals last Friday.

Instead of entering a slugfest with the bigger, more physically imposing Warhawks, Middleton believed it could outlast Germantown and force a stream of unforced errors.

And for the first two games inside Wisconsin Lutheran College, everything went right for the upstart Cardinals.

But Germantown eventually adjusted, cleaned up its play, and rallied for a thrilling 26-28, 25-27, 25-18, 25-15, 15-11 win.

Middleton finished the year with a 19-6 record, while Germantown went on to reach the state finals, where it lost to Milwaukee Marquette.

Mon
18
Nov
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Middleton swimmers shine at state

Middleton’s girls swimming team had just the recipe for success. The Cardinals talked about things like sacrificing for the team and encouraging and pushing one another.

It all added up to a stunning third place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving championships at the UW Natatorium last Saturday.

“Our goal was top five and we knew if we swam at our best we could get there,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “To come out with that just shows that we swam our best. It’s just really exciting.

“Our girls really stepped up. They wanted it really bad and it showed.”

Waukesha South/Mukwonago edged Hartland Arrowhead 337-333 to win its third consecutive state title. Middleton finished with 176 points to beat out fourth-place Verona (162 points) and fifth-place Appleton North (148).

Mon
18
Nov
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Five girls spikers honored

Their year was both surprising and satisfying.

Middleton’s girls volleyball team exceeded the expectations of many, won the Big Eight Conference tournament and came within one win of reaching the state tournament.

And when their thrilling season came to a close, five Cardinals were named to the all-Big Eight Conference team.

Senior outside hitter Mane Bobadilla and senior libero Leia Peterman were named first team all-Big Eight Conference. Sophomore outside hitter Logan Welti and senior setter Bre Schlueter were named second-team all-league, while senior outside hitter Arissa Milton was named honorable-mention all-conference.

Bobadilla was a three-year starter who saved her best for last.

Bobadilla was named the Cardinals’ MVP after leading the team with 585 kills and finishing fourth with 231 digs. Nicknamed “Hammer Time”, Bobadilla was also named honorable-mention all-state.

Wed
13
Nov
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Middleton swimmers set for state

 

Ashley Aegerter heard the chatter.

Middleton’s girls swimming team might be vulnerable. The Cardinals had immense holes to fill and could slip a notch or two this fall.

Aegerter, a standout senior, wasn’t buying it.

“Although we lost many strong seniors, our team mentality was still high throughout the whole season,” Aegerter said. “Out of my four years swimming with this team, this season had the most positive energy and the hardest working group of girls yet.”

All that hard work paid off with a terrific regular season. And the Cardinals opened the postseason in style, too.

Middleton won its own sectional last Saturday, posting 367 points. Verona was a distant second at 324, while Madison Memorial and Madison West (302 each) tied for third, and Sun Prairie (230) was fifth.

Wed
13
Nov
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Middleton golfers dominate all-Big 8 team

 

They had a year they’ll remember for a long time.

And they were rewarded for it in a big way.

Middleton’s girls golfers, who won the Big Eight Conference dual meet and the conference tournament, as well, dominated the all-conference teams.

Cardinals sophomore Loren Skibba and senior Sheenagh Cleary were named first team all-Big Eight. Seniors Hunter Schultz and Meggie Acker were named second-team all-conference, while senior Kelly Wassarman was named honorable-mention all-conference.

Middleton first year head coach Becky Halverson was also named the league’s Coach of the Year.

“I couldn’t be happier for these five girls,” Halverson said. “To have all five girls on all-conference is something that other schools dream of. 

Sun
10
Nov
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Boys spikers headed to state

Connor Zimmick didn’t waste any time looking up information on the 2013 WIAA boys volleyball sectional tournament after his Middleton Cardinals were eliminated a in the sectional title match at Kettle Moraine a year ago.

What the senior setter discovered not only made him smile, but it also made Zimmick more determined than ever to leave his mark on the program.

“When the schedule came out and I saw this night would be on my birthday, I said that was the match we had to get to,” Zimmick said last Thursday. “I did everything in my power. I willed the team. I tried to keep everyone’s spirits up and focused on the goal. That was winning the games.”

Zimmick did exactly that and led Middleton to a 30-28, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19 win over Kettle Moraine. The Cardinals earned their sixth trip to state in the program’s history and their first since 2009.

Thu
07
Nov
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Boys spikers one step from state

All season long, Middleton boys volleyball coach Ben White has asked his team to develop a closer’s mentality.

On Tuesday night, the Cardinals resembled Mariano Rivera.

Middleton cruised past visiting Beloit Memorial, 25-18, 25-19, 25-17, in a WIAA sectional semifinal. And the Cardinals’ performance down the stretch in each game was extremely impressive.

“We played our best down the stretch of each set, and that’s the first time I can say that this year,” White said. “I was impressed at how we closed out the sets against Beloit. We haven’t had much success doing that this year.”

Middleton advanced to a sectional final against Kettle Moraine, a match the Cardinals will host Thursday at 7 p.m. The state tournament is Nov. 15-16 at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee.

Middleton had an extremely balanced attack in beating the Purple Knights for a third time this season.

Wed
06
Nov
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Football Cards ousted by Oconomowoc

 

OCONOMOWOC — Everything was set up for a night Middleton’s football team would never forget.

The Cardinals were playing their best ball of the year. They were healthy and had a sense of belief.

And perhaps most importantly, Oconomowoc standout quarterback Canton Larson was sidelined for the teams’ WIAA Division 1 Level 2 playoff game last Friday.

So after Middleton exited with a 27-24 loss to the Racoons, many of the Cardinals were admittedly stunned at what had just transpired.

“If you would have told me Tuesday or Wednesday they weren’t going to have (Larson), I would have thought it might be an easier game,” Middleton senior wideout Derek Rongstad said.

Middleton finished the year 8-3, while Oconomowoc improved to 11-0 and reached the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1987.

Like Rongstad, senior right tackle Hayden Acker was stunned the year ended when it did.

Wed
06
Nov
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Fabulous 4th for girls XC team

 

Rachel Wians could very well be the poster girl for Middleton’s girls cross country team this fall.

From day one, the Cardinals preached development, improvement and peaking when it mattered most.

And no one exemplified that mantra more than Wians.

At last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 state meet at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, Wians gave a memorable performance.

Wians finished 22nd overall — and 14th among individuals that were there with their team — and propelled Middleton to a fourth place team finish for the second straight year.

“I was super proud with my race,” said Wians, a junior. “I knew that I had to get out fast and maintain if I wanted to achieve my goal of an overall (personal record).

“Knowing it was my last race of the season I didn't want to have any regrets or what if’s. So I left it all out there on the course.”

Wed
06
Nov
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Boys XC team shines at state

 

The 2013 boys cross country season had been over for less than 24 hours.

And Middleton standout freshman Gus Newcomb already had a message for the rest of the state.

“The best teams in the state had better take note of us for next season,” Newcomb said. “Because our guns will be loaded come next fall.”

That was apparent the way the Cardinals finished off this season.

Middleton surprised many by simply qualifying for last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 state meet held at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The Cardinals then gave a solid performance and finished 15th at the 20-team event.

Stevens Point won the title with 83 points, while Madison West (124), Eau Claire Memorial (126), La Crosse Logan (156) and Madison La Follette (159) rounded out the top five.

Middleton finished with 381 points.

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