Sports

Fri
18
Oct
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Boys spikers 8-0 in Big 8

 

Middleton’s boys volleyball team is two steps closer to winning the Big Eight Conference title.

The Cardinals rolled past Madison Memorial 25-10, 25-17, 25-17 last Tuesday. Middleton then defeated Madison East, 25-4, 25-14, 25-12 last Thursday.

The Cardinals improved to 8-0 in the Big Eight, and can wrap up an undisputed league title this week.

“Last week was about getting better each day,” Middleton coach Ben White said. “How do we improve in practice and in a match that will help us this week and in the postseason?

“As I told the players, we are awesome against teams outside of the top 10, but winless against ranked opponents. And we won't see another ranked opponent until state, if we are fortunate enough to make it that far.  

Fri
18
Oct
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Girls spikers seeded third

 

Franco Marcos is the eternal optimist.

But after Marcos — Middleton’s girls volleyball coach — saw the postseason seeds, he was rosier than ever.

The Cardinals earned the No. 3 seed in their 15-team sectional. And Marcos believes his team has a great chance to make a deep playoff run.

Middleton opens the postseason by hosting 14th-seeded Holmen in a regional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m.

“I am happy with the seed and believe that we could get to state if we take care of the ball and finish plays,” Marcos said. “I think that we are so much better than we were at this time last year and it is going to be fun.”

Sun Prairie is the No. 1 seed, while Waunakee, Middleton, DeForest and Verona round out the top five. La Crosse Central is the No. 6 seed, followed by Madison La Follette, Tomah, Monona Grove, Baraboo, Madison Memorial, Madison West, La Crosse Logan, Holmen and Madison East.

Wed
16
Oct
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Girls golfers third at state

VERONA — Eventually, perspective will rule the day.

Middleton’s girls golf team will look back on the season that was, celebrate their numerous accomplishments, and appreciate just how terrific their run was.

But late Tuesday afternoon, the Cardinals weren’t ready for that.

Middleton, one of the favorites to bring home the WIAA Division 1 state title, finished third at the two-day event held at University Ridge Golf Course.

Arrowhead shot a two-day total of 638, the second-lowest score in Division 1 history, to win the title. Verona was second at 648, while Middleton was third at 655.

The Cardinals, ranked No. 1 in the final state poll, fully expected to bring home a trophy that goes to the first and second place teams. And when that didn’t happen, the tears flowed like Niagara Falls.

“I’m upset,” said Cardinals sophomore standout Loren Skibba. “We were just all hoping for better.”

Senior Sheenagh Cleary agreed.

Tue
15
Oct
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Tennis Cardinals excited for state

 

The next two weeks are why Bridget Bellissimo came back to high school tennis.

The chance for individual success. The opportunity for team triumphs.

And memories that will last a lifetime.

It all starts Thursday, when the WIAA Division 1 girls state tennis meet begins at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The event runs for three days, with the championship matches taking place Saturday.

Bellissimo, the Cardinals’ standout senior, played on the USTA circuit last year. But Bellissimo returned to the Middleton program for her senior year, and earned the No. 4 seed at this year’s individual state tournament.

“Even though the big goal would be to win state, there are a ton of outstanding players I have to overcome to reach the finals,” Bellissimo said. “With my placement in the draw, I have matches that will challenge me, and will help me prove how far I can go. 

Tue
15
Oct
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Football Cards hammer Craig

 

What a difference a week makes.

Coming off an uneven performance the previous week and facing a dangerous team with everything to play for, Middleton’s football team put together perhaps its most complete performance of the season in a 31-7 Big Eight Conference rout over Janesville Craig last Friday at Breitenbach Stadium.

Janesville Craig entered Friday’s contest against Middleton needing to win its final two games to make the playoffs. Instead, it was the Cardinals that looked like they had everything to play for.

“We’re really proud of the way our guys played,” Middleton coach Tim Simon said. “Craig just beat Memorial last week, they were rolling, and they had to win these last two games to make the playoffs.

“So we knew that we were going to get their best game and our guys stepped up. Our defense played phenomenal. We bent at times, but we didn’t break. We kept them out of the end zone.”

Mon
14
Oct
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Middleton swimmers second at Homestead

 

There were no surprises.

Middleton girls swimming coach Lauren Cabalka knows she has a terrific team. And her Cardinals went and showed it again last Saturday.

Middleton finished in second place at the 16-team Homestead Invite. Waukesha South/Mukwonago, the defending state champion, won the event with 400 points, while the Cardinals were second at 268.5.

Verona (259), Cedarburg (207) and Madison Memorial (197.5) rounded out the top five.

“To come out of this meet in second to the defending state champs was a big accomplishment and a good indicator of where we stack up against some of the state's top teams,” Cabalka said.

Middleton senior Ashley Aegerter won the 100 yard breaststroke, while sophomore Emma Karbusicky was sixth and senior Maddy Mack was seventh.

Aegerter was third in the 200 IM and senior Karley Licking was sixth. Cardinals senior Sam Andryk was fourth in the 100 yard fly, while sophomore Victoria Lin was seventh.

Mon
14
Oct
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Soccer Cards win playoff opener

 

Middleton’s boys soccer team opened the postseason in style Tuesday night.

The Cardinals rolled past Janesville Craig, 4-1, in a regional semifinal. Cardinals senior Jack Hagstrom had a pair of goals, while Trent McKinnon and Alban     Jonuzi also scored.

Middleton the No. 2 seed, now hosts third-seeded Madison West Thursday at 7 p.m. in a regional final. The Regents defeated Badger, 6-0.

Middleton and West met on Sept. 17, and the Cardinals prevailed, 1-0.

If the Cardinals defeat West again, they’ll advance to a sectional semifinal on Oct. 24. The sectional finals are Oct. 26.

Middleton also split its final two regular season games last week.

The Cardinals toppled Madison La Follette, 1-0, in overtime last Tuesday. Middleton then fell to Verona, 1-0, last Thursday.

Middleton and the Lancers were scoreless for 80 minutes of regulation. Then Hagstrom, the Cardinals senior standout, got the game-winner in overtime.

Mon
14
Oct
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Girls spikers set for Big 8 tourney

 

Middleton’s girls volleyball team couldn't get the Big Eight Conference regular season championship it coveted.

But the Cardinals will take aim at the league’s postseason title Saturday. Matches begin at 9 a.m. in Beloit.

Sun Prairie is the top seed and Middleton is seeded second.

“The conference tournament is important for determining the overall points for the Big Eight, so we will also work towards that,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said. “Most of the top teams in the Big Eight will be playing in (our) sectionals, so we need to stay sharp and build confidence. 

“We beat Sun Prairie once and they returned the favor.  We beat Verona once and we do not want them to gain any type of confidence that they have a chance. 

Mon
14
Oct
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Boys spikers fare well at Whitefish Bay

 

They’ve rolled past everyone they’re supposed to beat.

But upending teams ranked ahead of them has been a problem for Middleton’s boys volleyball team.

The Cardinals went to the star-studded Whitefish Bay Invite last Saturday and reached the quarterfinals of Championship Tournament.

But what has Middleton coach Ben White puzzled is this: His team improved to 17-0-1 this season against teams that haven’t been ranked in the top-12 this season, while they fell to 0-6-2 versus teams in the top-12.

“We can compete with the top teams, but right now we have been unable to finish off the match with a win,” White said. “As a coach it makes me sit back and re-evaluate where we are and the line-up we are using.  

“We have the depth and talent to beat any team outside the top 12. We have to figure out how to beat the top teams, because the next time we would see one would hopefully be state.”

Tue
08
Oct
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Girls golfers headed back to state

 

MADISON — Everything has been directed towards this moment since they first gathered at Pleasant View nine weeks ago.

A state title. A gold ball.

Really, that’s all Middleton’s girls golf team has had its collective eyes on since practice began in early August.

Now, the moment of truth has finally arrived. And the Cardinals seem ready to make their dreams a reality.

Middleton continued its magical season by winning the Madison West Sectional held at Odana Hills Golf Course Monday. The Cardinals shot a 329 to win the eight-team sectional, while Verona (337) was second.

Middleton qualified for the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course. And the Cardinals, ranked No. 1 in the latest state poll, certainly figure to be in the hunt for the second state title in school history.

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