Sports

Wed
02
Oct
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Girls spikers picking up steam

 

Win the Big Eight Conference.

That’s always the first goal for Middleton’s girls volleyball team. And the Cardinals took a big step toward that objective last Thursday.

Middleton won a thrilling five-set match against visiting Verona, 25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 23-25, 15-9, and stayed unbeaten in the league. The Cardinals also defeated Madison West, 25-13, 25-18, 25-15, last Tuesday.

Those wins set up a Big Eight showdown that was held Tuesday night between Middleton and Sun Prairie that will determine the league champion.

“Beating Verona meant that we are one step closer to repeating as Big Eight champions,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said. “They have a great setter and we were able to keep them out of system most of the match.”

Middleton raced to a 2-0 lead over Verona, only to see the Wildcats storm back. In the decisive fifth game, though, the Cardinals prevailed.

Wed
02
Oct
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Boys spikers shine at Kaukauna

 

Middleton’s boys volleyball team had a myriad of goals at last Saturday’s Kaukauna Invite.

• Stick around for most of the day. Check.

• Play at a high level against some of the state’s elite. Check.

• Prove that they can be a force come the postseason. Check.

The Cardinals played extremely well all day, reached the tournament semifinals, and fell to eventual champion New Berlin United.

“Here’s what I keep telling my team – take care of the ball, play defense and win the long rally and not a lot of teams in state can beat you,” Middleton coach Ben White said. “Saturday was the first day where we truly played defense. 

“Our blockers did a great job funneling the opponents’ hits. If we can do that and keep in system, we’re going to be a tough out once we get to the postseason.”

Middleton opened with a 21-6, 21-8 win over Appleton West.

Wed
02
Oct
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MHS runners hang tough

 

Middleton’s girls cross country team won’t relax. They can’t.

And if there was ever a desire to do so, last Saturday told the Cardinals there can’t be an slippage. Only improvement.

Middleton finished fourth at the star-studded 33-team Midwest Invite held last Saturday in Janesville.

Defending state champion Arrowhead won the event with 90 points, while Neenah (92), Sun Prairie (123), Middleton (165) and Madison West (188) rounded out the top five.

While the Cardinals were relatively pleased with their showing, they fully understand the perils that lie ahead. Both Sun Prairie and Madison West are in Middleton’s sectional later this month, and only two of those three teams will advance to state.

“We need to stay focused on improving,” Middleton co-coach Isaac Mezera said. “We aren't that far from Sun Prairie and West isn't too far behind us.  

Sat
28
Sep
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Middleton goes old school, KOs Verona

Middleton’s football team knows all about the high-flying, basketball-on-grass offense being played in certain parts of the state. And the Cardinals certainly have the ability and personnel to unleash their own aerial circus when necessary.

But late Friday night, Middleton went old school before a packed house at Breitenbach Stadium. And it paid off in spades as the Cardinals toppled arch-rival Verona, 35-28.

With the score tied at 28 midway through the fourth quarter, Middleton handed the ball to senior standout running back Charles Braxton seven straight times. Braxton, operating behind a dominant offensive line, ran for 65 yards, including the game-winning 1-yard touchdown with 4 minutes, 21 seconds left.

That capped a glorious night for Braxton, who ran for a season-high 222 yards on 29 carries.

“The guys up front blocked so well,” Braxton said. “It didn’t even matter if Verona knew what was coming. We wanted to run it every play.”

Fri
27
Sep
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Acker, MHS golfers win Big Eight

 

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

And from all spots in the lineup.

Middleton senior golfer Meggie Acker is proof of that.

Acker, the Cardinals’ No. 5 golfer, was the No. 1 player at the Big Eight Conference meet Thursday at Evansville Country Club. And that helped the Cardinals win the league title for the first time since 2009.

Acker shot a 2-over-par 74 to share the day’s low score with Verona’s Jessica Reinecke, the defending WIAA Division 1 state champion. Then on the first playoff hole, Acker drilled a 15-foot birdie putt to capture medalist honors.

Acker’s memorable performance helped Middleton — the state’s No. 1 ranked team — shoot a 323 team score and win the league title. Verona was second at 326, while Madison Memorial was a distant third at 348.

“To be honest, I didn't think that I would be able to shoot under 75,” said Acker, whose previous low was 79. “Anytime I shot 81 or lower, I was thrilled.

Wed
25
Sep
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Middleton rolls past Madison West

Kasey Miller usually makes all of his big plays at quarterback for the Middleton football team.

However, Miller made his biggest play as a punter for the Cardinals last Friday.

The senior made perhaps the biggest play of the game when he completed a pass off a fake punt that kept a drive alive and led to the decisive score as the Cardinals pulled away from Madison West for a 28-14 Big Eight Conference victory at Mansfield Stadium.

With the game tied at 14 late in the third quarter, and Middleton facing a fourth-and-10 from its own 38-yard line, the Cardinals lined up in punt formation. Miller, who is also Middleton’s punter, took the snap and tossed a pass to a wide-open Alex Wood, who scooted down the sideline for a 27-yard gain. 

The Cardinals eventually scored and never looked back.

“It’s a play we just put in this week,” Middleton coach Tim Simon said. “It’s something we’ve done in the past and it’s really just a read that the punter has.

Wed
25
Sep
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Soccer Cards keep rolling

 

The defense is already in postseason form.

If and when the offense gets there, look out.

Middleton’s boys soccer team had a thrilling week, going 2-0-1 overall and pitching three straight shutouts.

The Cardinals defeated Madison West, 1-0, in overtime last Tuesday.

Middleton then edged Mukwonago, 1-0, at the Muskego Invite last Friday. The Cardinals also played Muskego to a scoreless tie last Saturday, but lost a shootout, 3-2.

“This team has a camaraderie that is rarely seen and that can be the first step towards a great team if they use that to hold each other accountable on the field,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “I am optimistic that, especially with the quality of the senior class this year, they will find that groove when it counts.”

Middleton notched a huge Big Eight Conference win against the Regents.

Wed
25
Sep
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Middleton swimmers shine

 

The competition was cranked up.

And Middleton’s girls swimming team was certainly up to the challenge.

The Cardinals faced some of their toughest tests of the year last week and came through with flying colors.

Middleton defeated Madison West, 103-67, last Friday and improved to 5-0 in the Big Eight Conference. The Cardinals then finished in third place at the star-studded Waukesha South Invite last Saturday, an event that featured the top five teams from last year’s WIAA Division 1 state meet.

“All in all, the girls swam well,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said.  

The Cardinals certainly swam well against the Regents in their toughest conference meet of the season.

Middleton’s 200 yard medley relay team of sophomore Victoria Lin, senior Ashley Aegerter, senior Sam Andryk and senior Olivia Kossel was first.

Wed
25
Sep
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MHS runners fare well

Now we know what’s coming.

And it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Middleton’s girls cross country team went to the Big Eight Grade Level Challenge last Tuesday and took part in a barn burner. Madison West won the 10-team event with 28 points, while Middleton and Sun Prairie tied for second at 29.

Middleton was awarded second place, though, because its seventh runner beat Sun Prairie’s seventh runner.

“The Big Eight Grade Level Challenge was a snapshot of what’s to come with the girls teams,” Middleton co-coach Cindy Bremser said. “In previous meets Madison West beat Sun Prairie, then Middleton beat West. One week later, Sun Prairie beat Middleton. 

“This shows how close each team is and will make everything interesting for the Big Eight Conference meet and sectionals. All three teams are in the same sectional, with only two teams advancing.”

Sam Valentine was Middleton's top finisher, placing second in the freshman/sophomore race.

Wed
25
Sep
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Boys spikers shine at 'Tosa Invite

The start wasn’t what Middleton’s boys volleyball team was looking for.

But the rest of the Cardinals’ Saturday went just as planned.

Middleton dropped its first match of the day to Racine Horlick at the power-packed Wauwatosa East Invite. But the Cardinals came back to win their final three matches and captured first place in the Silver Bracket.

Waukesha West won the nine-team tournament, defeating Wauwatosa East and Racine Horlick to capture the gold bracket.

“After Horlick sent us a little wake-up call, we responded and played probably our best volleyball of the year,” Middleton coach Ben White said.

Horlick opened the day by toppling the Cardinals, 25-16, 19-25, 19-17. Middleton went to bigger lineup with Noah Wong in the middle and Jason Arora on the outside, and it helped the Cardinals hang tough throughout.

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