Sports

Wed
18
Sep
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Boys spikers struggle at Racine

 

It was a harsh reality. But it was also one that could help Middleton’s boys volleyball team in the coming weeks.

Middleton went to the star-studded Racine Invite last Saturday, struggled early and wound up in the consolation bracket.

“Overall we learned a lot this week,” Middleton coach Ben White said. “We learned we need to work harder, play with a little intensity and value the ball. 

“That last one is the big one. The final four teams at the Racine Invite were all the teams that kept the ball in play, not the biggest hitters. A valuable lesson.”

Middleton opened with a 21-7, 12-21 split against Kaukauna, the No. 3 team in the state.

In the first game, the Cardinals had nine kills on 11 attempts, three aces and zero passing errors. In the second game, Middleton had four kills and nine hitting errors. 

Wed
18
Sep
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Girls spikers fourth at Appleton

Middleton’s girls volleyball team finished in fourth place at the highly-competitive Appleton West Invite last Saturday.

The Cardinals went 3-2 overall, going a perfect 3-0 in pool play, then losing a pair of playoff matches.

“We started out the tournament strong, but were not able to maintain the same level of play,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said.

The Cardinals opened with a 25-10, 25-16 win over Wausau West.

Mane Bobadilla had three aces, 10 kills and eight digs, while Leia Peterman had three aces and 14 digs. Reed Espie had three blocks, Bre Schlueter had 20 assists and Logan Welti had six kills.

The Cardinals then toppled Waupaca, 25-14, 25-21.

Bobadilla had 13 kills and five digs, while Schlueter had two aces and eight assists. Espie had five kills and 2.5 blocks, and Peterman had 10 digs. Welti added eight digs, Rachel Severson had 12 assists, and both Morgan Schmitt and Grace McMurray had two aces.

Wed
18
Sep
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Soccer Cardinals surging

On paper, it was a loss.

In so many other ways, it was a huge win.

Middleton’s boys soccer team took Milwaukee Marquette — the state’s No. 1 team — down to the wire Saturday. In the end, though, the mighty Hilltoppers prevailed.

“Great game to watch, either as a coach or as a fan,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “Our players were let down by the loss, but they realize we took a big step to being contenders against Marquette.”

The game was scoreless late into the second half, when Marquette finally broke through in the 67th minute. The Hilltoppers scored off a corner kick and grabbed a 1-0 lead.

But Middleton had an answer.

Devin Ott scored off a free kick at 72:22 after an assist from Ivan Khamenka.

“After Marquette scored we found a reserve of energy and determination,” Kollasch said. “The players showed they had an answer to the challenge.”

Fri
13
Sep
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Middleton rolls past Madison East

In the short term, the play meant very little.

In the long term, it could mean everything.

Middleton’s football team led Madison East, 35-0, on Thursday — a game the Cardinals would go on to win, 37-6.

Early in the third quarter, with the Cardinals driving deep in East territory, running back George Monreal coughed up the ball at the Purgolders’ 8-yard line.

East safety Tyrone Watson emerged from a pile with the ball, and took off in the opposite direction. Many Middleton players initially stood flat-footed, thinking the play was over.

But not Luke Schafer.

Watson had at least a 10-yard head start on Schafer and many other Cardinals. But Schafer never quit on the play and eventually dragged Watson down at the Middleton 1-yard line.

Wed
11
Sep
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Middleton's HTL team wears the crown

STOUGHTON — When T.J. DiPrizzio lofted a foul ball toward the first base dugout with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday, Middleton first baseman Mike Brabender eagerly took off in hot pursuit.

Brabender wasn’t able to retire DiPrizzio when the ball fell out of his glove as he slammed into the fence in front of the visiting dugout at Norse Park.

Moments later, though, Middleton right-hander Drew Farrell enticed DiPrizzio to ground into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.

Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand said Brabender’s effort and the ensuing twin-killing play started by shortstop Cole Cook summed up what the ‘29ers historic season was all about.

“We talked about how hard we were going to go after every ball,” Hellenbrand said. “It’s the last game of the year. If you get hurt, we have guys who can come in behind you. We had to go hard after every single ball.”

Wed
11
Sep
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Girls cross country team wins Verona Invite

For years now, Madison West has been the area’s gold standard when it comes to girls cross country.

Perhaps there’s been a changing of the guard.

Upstart Middleton, which nipped at the Regents’ heels throughout the 2012 season, caught and passed mighty West on Saturday.

Middleton finished with 52 points to edge West (57). Madison Memorial (84), Stoughton (148) and Mauston (148) rounded out the top five at the 20-team invite.

It was Middleton’s first win at the Verona Invite since 2007, and snapped West’s four-year winning streak.

“It was a great first step for us as a team,” Middleton co-coach Isaac Mezera said. “The athletes and coaches have some high expectations this season. This meet helped everyone believe — that with more hard work — that they can be accomplished.”

Middleton mastered the art of “pack running” in this event. The Cardinals were bunched tight, and Middleton’s group all gave exciting performances.

Wed
11
Sep
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Football Cards roll past Parker

Tim Simon knew there would be growing pains.

That Middleton’s football team likely wouldn't begin playing its best until deeper into the season.

But it appears that time is arriving.

Middleton went to Janesville Parker last Friday and rolled past the host Vikings, 28-7.

The Cardinals, who lost their season opener but have won two straight since, improved to 2-1 in the Big Eight Conference and overall. Parker fell to 0-3, 0-3.

“We have a lot of new players and a lot of new starters,” Simon said. “So we knew it might take some time.

“But we’re starting to play pretty well … and we did against Parker. Don’t look at Parker’s record. Obviously they lost those three games, but they’re a talented team. It was a good win.”

On both sides of the ball.

Middleton’s defense limited Parker to just 168 yards, only 47 yards through the air and 10 total first downs.

Wed
11
Sep
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Middleton golfers on the right track

A shot here. A putt there.

Middleton’s girls golfers are close to doing great things. The good news for the Cardinals is they have another month to get where they want to be.

Middleton finished second at the star-studded, 22-team Cardinal Invite Saturday. The Cardinals also won the Madison La Follette Triangular last Tuesday and finished second at the 18-team Morgan Stanley Shootout last Wednesday.

“We are getting there, but we still have some work to do,” Middleton first-year coach Becky Halverson said. 

The Cardinal Invite — which Middleton hosts at Pleasant View — is almost like a mini-state tournament. Eight of the state’s top-10 teams were on hand, and five other schools receiving top-10 votes competed.

Verona won the tournament with a 324 team score, while Middleton and Hartland Arrowhead tied for second (328). Madison Memorial was fourth (335) and Madison Edgewood was fifth (337).

Wed
11
Sep
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Tennis Cards win Nicolet Invite

GLENDALE — The girls state tennis tournament remains more than a month away.

But Middleton competed in what was, in essence, a mini-state meet last weekend. And the Cardinals showed they’ll be tough to slow down this postseason.

Middleton won the star-studded Nicolet Invite with 97.5 points, edging runner-up Eau Claire Memorial (97). Host Nicolet was third (87), while DSHA (77) and University School (70) rounded out the top five at the 16-school invite.

“I think it was a big deal for our team that everyone did so well in the tournament,” said senior Madison Krigbaum, who won the title at No. 4 singles. “There was some really strong competition there and I’m glad that we were able to rise to the occasion and win some tough matches. It was such a great experience to have with my teammates. We’re all such close friends that the whole thing was just a blast.”

Junior Emily Oberwetter, who won the championship at No. 3 singles, agreed with Krigbaum.

Wed
11
Sep
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Soccer Cards gain footing

There has been improvement, development and advancement.

And at this point of the season, Middleton’s boys soccer team will take it.

The Cardinals won two of three games last week and improved to 3-4 overall on the young season.

Middleton defeated Beloit Memorial, 2-1, in overtime last Tuesday to notch its first Big Eight Conference win of the year.

The Cardinals then dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Menomonee Falls at the Kettle Moraine Tournament Friday. Middleton bounced back, though, with a 3-0 blanking of Racine St. Catherine’s at the Kettle Moraine Tournament Saturday.

“We have suddenly had a quantum leap in the level of our play and we are finding our game,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said.

Middleton senior forward Devin Ketelboeter was the hero of the Beloit win. Ketelboeter scored just more than two minutes into overtime on an assist from senior forward Trent McKinnon.

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