Sports

Mon
20
Nov
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Hockey Cards hoping for big year

The drought is now at 13 years.

None of Middleton’s current hockey players were in school the last time the Cardinals reached the WIAA state tournament. And that’s something MHS would like to change this winter.

Middleton, which has been ascending since naming Dan Truehl as its coach in May, 2020, hopes to take another step this winter.

The Cardinals went 16-8 last year, finished second in the Big Eight and reached the sectional semifinals before losing to Madison Edgewood. With a solid nucleus back, Middleton is hoping to challenge for its first state tournament appearance since 2011.

“Of course, our goals are always going to be win the conference and play at state,” said Truehl, whose team begins its season against Madison Memorial at Madison Ice Arena on Tuesday at 7 p.m. “But those are results that we can’t control today or tomorrow.

Thu
16
Nov
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MHS swimmers capture gold

Tait Haag resisted the temptation to become a scoreboard watcher.

But Middleton’s standout senior had a hunch the WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving meet was playing out just like the Cardinals hoped.

“I saw the team was swimming well,” Haag said. “We had so many girls move up from where they were seeded and that's crucial for us to win.”

It sure was.

It’s also exactly what happened as the Cardinals bucked the odds and captured the fourth state title in school history, all since 2016.

Verona entered the state meet seeded 21 points ahead of the Cardinals and the frontrunner to claim gold. But Middleton exceeded expectations at several spots and finished with 212.5 points to edge the runner-up Wildcats (202). Arrowhead (198), Brookfield East (196) and the Badger co-op (163) rounded out the top five at a meet held at Waukesha South High School.

Thu
16
Nov
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Girls basketball team hopes to make gains

Mackenzie Zimmerman and her Middleton teammates are eager to tip off the girls basketball season on Thursday at Big Eight Conference rival Madison Memorial.

With eight returning letter winners — including four starters — having a full season under second-year head coach Rashard Griffith, Zimmerman said the Cardinals are poised to contend not only for a conference championship but for a long playoff run, as well.

“I’m really looking forward to our team chemistry,” said Zimmerman, a two-time team co-captain, who is entering her third varsity season. “Having eight players back is quite a bit. We’ve played with each other a lot. But mixing in a few of the younger girls’ personalities will be great.” 

The Cardinals will be without a large piece of their offense from a year ago with Audrey Deptula, who earned honorable mention all-state honors, now playing at Loyola University.

Thu
16
Nov
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Four MHS spikers named all-Big 8

Middleton’s girls volleyball team had four players earn all-Big Eight Conference honors.

Senior libero Amber Wahlgren was named first-team all-league, while junior middle blocker/outside hitter Keaten Davis was named second-team all-conference.

Sophomore outside hitter Sadie Newcomb and senior defensive specialist Abby Tubbs were both named honorable-mention all-conference.

Wahlgren, a three-year varsity player, led the Cardinals with 389 digs and finished second with 62 aces.

“I'd consider her the glue of the back row and a quiet leader on the court,” Middleton first-year coach Ben White said of Wahlgren. “There were many matches where the defense of Amber and Abby (Tubbs) kept us in the match and gave our setters and hitters the opportunities to deliver when needed.

Thu
16
Nov
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MHS golfers land five on all-Big 8 team

Three decades ago, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson led Michigan’s men’s basketball team to great things and were called the ‘Fab Five.’

If they were giving that nickname out today in the high school golf community, Middleton’s Vivian Cressman, Ellen Close, Sydney Weiss, Maddy Wilcox and Annika Jafferis would certainly be worthy.

That’s because the Cardinals’ quintet was certainly fabulous in 2023.

Middleton’s ‘Fab Five’ led the Cardinals to Big Eight Conference regular season and conference titles, top-three finishes at several invites, and a third place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state meet.

So it was no surprise all five Cardinals were recognized when it came to postseason awards.

Cressman, a senior, was named first-team all-Big Eight Conference and first-team all-state by the Wisconsin Golf Coaches Association. 

Thu
16
Nov
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Tennis Cards dominate all-Big 8 team

Middleton’s girls tennis team had three singles players and three doubles teams earn all-Big Eight Conference honors.

The Cardinals’ top doubles team of Ashley Adler and Keena Cheng were named first-team all-conference. Middleton’s No. 3 singles player Sophie Shi and No. 4 singles player Rishika Kommuri also earned first-team all-conference honors, as did its No. 3 doubles team of Mia Balistreri and Hannah Lister.

Lydia Sabat, Middleton’s No. 2 singles player, earned second-team all-conference honors, while the Cardinals’ No. 2 doubles team of Sarah Li and Sophia Pientka also earned second-team all-conference recognition.

All of Middleton’s first-team selections won conference championships, while those earning second-team honors were second at the conference meet.

Here’s how Middleton’s all-conference selections performed at the conference meet:

 

FIRST PLACE

Wed
08
Nov
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Middleton's boys spikers make history

GREEN BAY — Brody Stuttgen hammered home the biggest point of his life, and pandemonium quickly ensued.

Ambrose Engling pulled a Forrest Gump and started running to nowhere in particular. Caden Van Buren and Stuttgen collapsed to the ground, and a horde of Middleton boys volleyball players quickly engulfed them. And over on the sideline, the calm, steady coaching staff embraced, knowing this remarkable journey was now complete.

Middleton’s boys volleyball team made history last Saturday — coming to what’s affectionately known as Titletown and bringing home the first state championship in school history.

Middleton, the No. 1 seed at the state tournament, outlasted second-seeded Hartland Arrowhead in a memorable championship match that took 2 hours, 15 minutes to decide.

Wed
08
Nov
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Soccer Cardinals hoist gold ball

MILWAUKEE — One way or another, a drought was going to end on Saturday evening.

The Middleton boys soccer team was making its first appearance in a WIAA Division 1 state championship match since 2004 when the Cardinals brought home their first — and only — state title. Brookfield East meanwhile — after being ranked first in the state and at one point ranked fifth nationally this season — was making its return to the championship game after falling to crosstown rival Brookfield Central in 2019. The Spartans last won it all in 2014.

Both teams were long overdue for a title — and one of them finally brought home the gold ball.

The state championship was ultimately decided on penalty kicks, as Middleton sophomore Brennan Mauer sent the winning goal sailing past the outstretched arms of East sophomore goalkeeper Will Slawinski to give the Cardinals a 1-1 (4-2) victory in the final game of the season.

Wed
08
Nov
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MHS cruises into state finals

GREEN BAY — Middleton’s boys volleyball got what it wanted.

Then the Cardinals made the most of it.

During Middleton’s brilliant season, it lost just three matches — including one to Kimberly. So as the Cardinals watched the Papermakers and the Waukesha Fusion battle in a state quarterfinal match last Thursday — knowing they’d play the winner in the semifinals — they quietly pulled for Kimberly.

Middleton got the matchup it desired, as Kimberly edged the Fusion in five sets. Then the Cardinals got a measure of revenge, cruising past Kimberly, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18, at the Resch Center last Friday.

Middleton, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, improved to 32-3 and reached the state championship match for the first time in school history. Kimberly, the No. 4 seed, finished its season 34-8.

Wed
08
Nov
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Middleton rolls by Union Grove

GREEN BAY — In the classic 1980s video game ‘Donkey Kong’, the character Mario must climb a series of ladders to rescue his girlfriend Pauline as a giant Gorilla throws barrels at him.

When it comes to the state tournament, Middleton’s boys volleyball program has felt like Mario for years now. Only the Cardinals have had no luck dodging Donkey Kong’s barrels.

Last Thursday, the Cardinals finally got that pesky Gorilla off their backs.

Middleton, the No. 1 seed at state, cruised to a 25-11, 25-17, 25-12 win over eighth-seeded Union Grove in a quarterfinal match held at the Resch Center. The Cardinals improved to 30-3 on the season and won their first match at state since 2008.

“It’s really surreal,” said senior opposite Ambrose Engling, a Princeton recruit. “It’s really cool that we get to make this story our own and prove what we’re capable of.”

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