Sports

Thu
04
Nov
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Girls spikers fall in sectional finals

BARABOO — The promise of victory, but the sudden reality of defeat played out for the Middleton’s girls volleyball team in a pressure-packed Baraboo gym last Saturday night.

When junior middle Sierra Pertzborn recorded one of her team-high three blocks to secure a victory in the third set of its sectional championship match with Holmen, Middleton appeared poised to earn its first trip to the WIAA Division 1 state volleyball tournament since 2009.

Top-seeded Holmen, though, had other ideas and used a strong serve-receive game to rally for a 3-2 victory over the second-seeded Cardinals in the Baraboo Sectional.

The Vikings (29-2) used seven aces in the fifth set to earn their first-ever trip to state with the 23-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-20, 15-11 victory.

Thu
04
Nov
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Girls spikers one step from state

DEFOREST – ‘Just take a deep breath and relax.’

That mantra proved to be just what Middleton’s girls volleyball team needed to move one step closer to securing their first WIAA Division 1 state tournament berth since 2009.

Junior outside hitter Jordan LaScala led the way with a team-high 16 kills as second-seeded Middleton defeated third-seeded Waunakee, 3-1, in a sectional semifinal match in DeForest on Oct. 28.

“We like to take deep breaths together and it helps,” said junior setter Evin Jordee, who closed out the first two sets with kills. “We just need to remain calm, and then we play extremely well.”

The Cardinals (37-4), who defeated the Warriors 25-14, 25-21, 24-26, 25-21 in the sectional semifinals, advanced to meet top-seeded Holmen (28-2) in the sectional championship match.

Thu
04
Nov
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Middleton swimmers win Big Eight title

Middleton’s girls swimming and diving won the Big Eight Conference meet held last Saturday at Verona High School.

The Cardinals won the meet with 628 points, while Madison West (573), Madison Memorial (377), Verona-Mount Horeb (323) and Sun Prairie (236) rounded out the top five.

Middleton had three of the top eight finishers in the diving competition. Avery Potrzbowski was third, Claire Jarugumilli was sixth and Megg Weiler was seventh.

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of Lily Mair, Hannah Machleidt, Eva Anagnostopoulos and Ryanne Woodall was first, while the quartet of Ella Needham, Natalie Charles, Isabell Frommelt and Piper Garcia-Hall was fourth.

Middleton’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Woodall, Garcia-Hall, Emma Chandler and  Anagnostopoulos was first, while the foursome of Abby Ensenberger, Audrey Alexander, Abby Utter and Molly Haag was fourth.

Fri
29
Oct
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Middleton routs Memorial in playoff opener

Senior running back Elijah Gray and several of his Middleton teammates weren’t in a rush to head home following the Cardinals’ 33-3 victory over visiting Madison Memorial in a WIAA Division 1 first-round playoff game last Friday night.

The Cardinals lingered at midfield, hanging out on the team logo, taking pictures and relishing the win following what was likely Middleton’s final home game of the year.

“It was big because it’s my last year of playing high school football, and I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish after this year,” said Gray who rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown along with a two-point conversion. “To go out with a bang feels good. I’m proud of my team. We grinded hard, so I’m really thankful for this win.”

Third-seeded Middleton (7-3) advanced to play at second-seeded Wisconsin Rapids (7-3) — which defeated seventh-seeded Oshkosh West 35-0 — on Friday at 7 p.m. Sixth-seeded Memorial finished 5-5.

Fri
29
Oct
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Middleton set to face Rapids in Level 2

Middleton’s football team hasn't been to Level 3 of the WIAA Division 1 playoffs since 2016. And the Cardinals have only reached that impressive point twice since 2009.

But Middleton has a chance to reach the third round — which, in essence, is the Elite 8 — with a win at Wisconsin Rapids Friday at 7 p.m. in a Level 2 playoff game.

The Red Raiders, who are the No. 2 seed in their bracket, are 7-3 overall this season. Rapids is coming off a 35-0 win over seventh-seeded Oshkosh West in the first round of the playoffs.

Middleton, the No. 3 seed, is also 7-3 and coming off a 33-3 dismantling of Madison Memorial in a Level 1 game.

“We're right where we thought we would be,” Middleton coach Jason Pertzborn said. “I like where we are right now and how we're playing.”

He should.

Fri
29
Oct
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Boys XC team wins sectional title

Few expected this.

Then again, not everyone fully understands how well Middleton boys cross country coach Brian Finnel prepares a team for their biggest moments.

One week after a mediocre showing at the Big Eight Conference meet, Middleton produced its finest showing of the year. And now, the Cardinals are headed to the WIAA Division 1 state meet for a ninth straight year.

Middleton won the DeForest Sectional with 61 points last Saturday, easily outdistancing second-place Madison West (82). One week earlier, West had defeated the Cardinals by 29 points at the conference meet.

Middleton senior standout Griffin Ward captured the individual championship at sectionals, completing the 5,000-meter race in 15 minutes, 44.76 seconds. That was nearly 20 seconds faster than runner-up Jack Boerger of Sauk Prairie.

Fri
29
Oct
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Girls XC team talking title

Alexa Richardson wasn’t shy.

Richardson, Middleton’s girls cross country coach, was talking about the upcoming WIAA Division 1 state meet. And Richardson didn't hold back when discussing how these Cardinals could be remembered.

“This is arguably the best girls team Wisconsin has ever seen when looking at depth,” Richardson said. “And they're excited to be a part of it and contribute to the school's and team’s success.”

While Richardson’s statement was bold, it’s certainly not hyperbole.

Middleton cruised to the alternate-fall state championship in May. The 2021 Cardinals have been even better and deeper, and will look to make history when the state meet begins at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday at 2:25 p.m.

Since the WIAA went to a 20-team field at state in 2005, the best team performance came from Arrowhead in 2012. Those Rockets dominated the meet and finished with a stunning 41 points.

Fri
29
Oct
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Girls spikers two steps from state

Nothing comes easy at this time of the year.

If Middleton’s girls volleyball team needed a reminder, it came Saturday night. Good thing for the Cardinals that lesson was reinforced during a Middleton win.

In a WIAA Division 1 regional final, second-seeded Middleton rallied for a 3-2 win over seventh-seeded Onalaska. The Cardinals were pushed to the brink, but pulled out a 25-20, 14-25, 14-25, 25-21, 16-14 win.

Middleton and third-seeded Waunakee now meet in a sectional semifinal Thursday in DeForest at 7 p.m. The sectional final is Saturday in Baraboo at 7 p.m. and would be against either top-seeded Holmen or fourth-seeded Verona.

“Onalaska gave us a run for our money,” Middleton coach Maddie Vogel said. “We had played them early on this season, and they showed a ton of improvement from that first time we saw them to (Saturday) night.”

Fri
29
Oct
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Boys spikers close in on state berth

One down.

Two to go.

Middleton’s boys volleyball team won its regional opener last Friday, rolling past Madison East 25-17, 25-12, 25-19.

The Cardinals advanced to a regional final against Madison Memorial that was held Tuesday. If Middleton prevailed there, it would advance to a sectional final Saturday against either Waukesha West or Kettle Moraine at 7 p.m. in McFarland.

The winner of Saturday’s sectional final advances to the state tournament, which will be held Nov. 4-6 at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

“It was a good overall effort for us,” Middleton coach Rob Kleinschmidt said of the Cardinals’ win over the Purgolders. “Our blocking was very good, with 17 total block points on the night. 

“Madison East's coach felt that was the best East played all season, so it was good to see our effort up as well to keep them to the same number of points scored as in our dual match.”

Fri
29
Oct
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Tennis Cards finish 4th at state

The final results won’t show it.

But Middleton girls tennis coach Mat Given believes his team rivaled any in the state this season.

The Cardinals reached the WIAA Division 1 state semifinals of the tennis team championships last weekend. There, Middleton lost to Neenah, 5-2.

When Neenah won the state championship a couple hours later, Given was convinced his Cardinals were as good as anybody other than perhaps the Rockets.

“I can honestly say that I feel we were a top-2 team in the state,” Given said.

It’s easy to see why Given felt that way.

Middleton, the No. 4 seed at team state, rolled past fifth-seeded Ashwaubenon, 6-1, last Friday. The Cardinals won all three doubles matches and three of four singles flights.

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