Sports

Sun
27
Oct
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Tennis Cards win state title

After defeating its nemesis, Mequon Homestead, in the state semifinals Saturday, there was only one remaining goal for Middleton’s girls’ tennis team – a state title.

The Cardinals made it a reality by beating Eau Claire Memorial, 5-2, for the WIAA Division 1 team title at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

“It feels awesome to win state,” said sophomore Kaisey Skibba, Middleton’s No. 2 singles player. “Our team has worked so hard all year there’s nothing that feels better than to win state.”

“It’s just amazing,” added Baylie Gold, who plays No. 2 doubles. “We’ve all put so much work into it and we’ve all worked so hard and I’m just really proud of everyone because I just think we really deserve it this year. This is our year to win and we got it.”

The Cardinals got off to a slow start after their emotional win over the Highlanders, but managed to shake it off.

Sun
27
Oct
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Skibba powers tennis Cards past Homestead

 

Facing her biggest moment on by far the biggest stage of her young tennis career, Kaisey Skibba confirmed what those who know her best already knew – she has nerves of steel.

With Middleton and Mequon Homestead locked in a 3-3 tie during the state semifinals Saturday, everything was riding on the outcome of Skibba’s match. And Skibba, who was playing No. 2 singles, was in deep trouble.

Trailing 4-1 in the third set, the sophomore somehow turned it around and pulled out a thrilling 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Anna Kreynin. That gave the Cardinals an exhilarating 4-3 win over Homestead in the semifinals of the WIAA Division 1 girls state team tennis tournament at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

Middleton then rolled past Eau Claire Memorial, 5-2, later in the day to capture the program’s first state title.

“We were all but out,” Middleton coach Deke Bradley said. “She put our team on her back and saved us.”

Tue
22
Oct
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Middleton, Memorial will meet again

 

The original film was a horror flick for Middleton’s football team.

Now, the Cardinals hope the sequel has a much different ending.

Middleton will host Madison Memorial in a WIAA Division 1 first round playoff game Friday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals (7-2) are the No. 3 seed, while the Spartans (6-3) are seeded sixth.

The game will be a rematch of the regular season opener, a game in which visiting Memorial cruised past Middleton, 31-14.

“We’re a lot better than we were back in August in Week 1,” Middleton senior quarterback Kasey Miller said. “We have been improving every week, and continuing to grow and succeed as a team.

“It was early in the year and receiving that first loss hurt. But it showed us how much we needed to pick up our play and I believe that's exactly what we have done since that game.”

Senior offensive tackle Hayden Acker agreed.

Tue
22
Oct
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Middleton rallies past La Follette

 

It’s been almost 14 years now since Jeremy Ziegler and Ryan Oliversen stamped their names into Middleton football lore. On Oct. 30, 1999, that duo hooked up for a game-winning touchdown pass with 3 seconds left and Middleton stunned Sun Prairie, 14-10, in a WIAA Level 2 playoff game.

Last Friday, Middleton’s Kasey Miller and Demond Hill combined to give the Cardinals arguably their most dramatic win since that 1999 thriller.

Miller threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Hill with 38 seconds left to give Middleton a stunning 34-33 win over host Madison La Follette.

“I think there were 40 seconds left and La Follette had a (linebacker) out of place,” Miller said. “We saw it, quick snapped the ball early and had the right pass called.

“I just got the ball out in Demond’s hands and he did the rest of it to get in. It was huge for our team.”

Tue
22
Oct
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Girls spikers win Big Eight

This is what any team desires, what any coach craves.

When the postseason arrives, everyone hopes to be peaking. And clearly, Middleton’s girls volleyball team is doing exactly that.

The Cardinals captured the Big Eight Conference tournament last Saturday held at Beloit Memorial. Middleton pushed its winning streak to 10 straight matches and seems ready to make some noise this postseason.

“It was sweet to win the Big Eight Tournament and keep the momentum going before the playoffs start,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said. “Great time to peak.”

Indeed.

Middleton, which is the No. 3 seed in its sectional, opens the postseason Thursday against No. 14 Holmen at 6:30 p.m. in a regional semifinal. If the Cardinals win there, they’ll meet either Madison Memorial or La Crosse Central Saturday at 7 p.m. in a regional final.

Tue
22
Oct
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Tennis Cards gun for state title

 

This date, this moment, this event has been in the back of their collective minds for months.

And Middleton’s girls tennis team can’t wait to make the most of it.

The Cardinals are back at the WIAA Division 1 state team championships for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in school history.

But this is undoubtedly Middleton’s best team ever. So the Cardinals fully believe they have a legitimate chance to bring the gold ball back to Middleton.

“Everyone is so excited for this weekend,” Middleton senior doubles standout Darcy Hogendorn said. “Since the first day of season, the one thing that has been on everyone’s mind has been Team State.

“I know every single girl on this team wants it so bad, and we are all going to work hard this week to get ready. We know it’s not going to be easy, but if we want to win it all, all we have to do is play our best tennis and give it our all.”

Tue
22
Oct
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Hogendorn, Ragsdale shine at state

 

MADISON — They began discussing their dreams last winter.

At the time, they seemed extremely lofty. But Darcy Hogendorn and Allison Ragsdale never lost sight of those aspirations — and last weekend Middleton’s tennis duo made them a reality.

Hogendorn and Ragsdale played some of the most inspired tennis of their young lives. And the pair earned an impressive fifth place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament held at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

“I am so happy about getting fifth place,” Hogendorn said. “Last year during the winter, Allison and I had a talk with our offseason coaches, and they asked us what we wanted to accomplish this season.

“We told them we wanted to get on the podium at individual state. The fact that we not only got on the podium, but got fifth place, feels pretty amazing.”

Sun
20
Oct
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Girls cross country team wins Big 8

 

Madison West was the perennial power to dethrone.

Sun Prairie was the hard charger, looking to crash the party.

But Middleton’s girls never blinked. And because of it, the Cardinals won the Big Eight Conference meet Saturday at Rockport Park in Janesville.

Middleton finished with 40 points, while Sun Prairie was second at 49 and West was third with 57.

“I think the conference meet was a testament to our girls’ experience,” Middleton co-coach Isaac Mezera said. “They went into the meet confident, knowing that if they ran their “pack attack” race strategy they would have the opportunity to win the meet. Then, when the race came and they needed to pass one or two more runners, they made it happen.”

Middleton sophomore Sam Valentine had a terrific race and finished second overall in 14 minutes, 59 seconds. Sun Prairie’s Katie Hietpas won the 4,000-meter run in 14:41.

Sun
20
Oct
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Boys cross country team 4th at Big 8 meet

 

Timing is everything.

Middleton’s boys cross country team can certainly attest to that.

The Cardinals’ top finishers at the Big Eight Conference meet all had their season-best performances. And that helped Middleton place fourth overall in a meet held at Janesville’s Rockport Park last Saturday.

Madison West won the race with 47 points, while Madison La Follette (49), Verona (92), Middleton (139) and Sun Prairie (147) rounded out the top five.

“There are many competitive and quality teams on the boys’ side of this conference,” Middleton co-coach Cindy Bremser said. “The season goal was for everyone to be improving and for the team to finish in the top half of the conference.”

Middleton freshman Gus Newcomb finished sixth overall, completing the 5,000-meter race in 16:11. Sophomore David Marrone was 26th (16:49) and junior Andrew Plumb was 30th (16:59).

Sat
19
Oct
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Soccer Cards ousted from playoffs

 

This one will sting — perhaps until the soccer balls are pulled out for the 2014 season.

Middleton’s boys soccer team met Madison West in a WIAA Division 1 regional final last Thursday. And the upstart Regents toppled the Cardinals, 2-1.

Middleton finished the year 11-8-1 in Ben Kollasch’s first season as head coach.

“This was a really tough loss,” Kollasch said. “We have struggled in big games throughout the season and we knew that we would have to win big games. We had thought we were ready to win a tough game down the stretch, but we just ran out of time.”

Middleton had defeated West, 1-0, on Sept. 17 during a game that was played in a downpour. Neither team could show off its speed or physicality in that contest.

But this game was much different.

West’s Woo Jin Jeon had a goal and an assist as the Regents built a 2-0 lead by the 27th minute.

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