The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association hosted its annual Girls Volleyball State Tournament series this past weekend. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the WIAA moved from an all-in-one weekend at the Resch Center to a decentralized model in which four teams in all four divisions advanced to its own single-day State Tournament sites.
The Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association congratulates all of this year’s Fall 2020 State Tournament participants!
Division 1 - WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis.
Hamilton won its first WIAA Girls Volleyball State Championship Saturday, defeating perennial powerhouse Burlington 25-18, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20 at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School.
Head Coach Traci Buhr (eighth season) finished the 2020 season with an overall record of 18-1 that includes a Greater Metro Conference championship. The Chargers made the State Tournament once before, back in 1986, when they finished 3-5 in pool play.
Southern Lakes champion Burlington, led by head coaches Teri Little (19th season) and Dan Lynch (32nd season), have qualified for 11 of the past 12 State Tournaments, earning titles in 2011, 2012, 2017, and 2018. The Demons take home their second silver ball—the other coming in 2016—and finish the season with a matching 18-1 mark.
Hamilton defeated upset-minded Sauk Prairie in the opening semifinal round, 25-13, 25-11, 25-23. Head Coach Amy Schlimgen (26th season, second at Sauk Prairie) led the Eagles to a 23-6 overall record with statement wins over Oconomowoc and Arrowhead en route to the school’s second ever State Tournament berth.
Burlington knocked off Big Rivers champion River Falls in the second semifinal, 25-16, 28-26, 25-21. Head Coach Sara Kealy (11th season) led her Wildcats to a 12-1 overall record and their fifth straight State Tournament appearance and third straight semifinal, having finished runner up in 2017.
Division 2 - KAUKAUNA, Wis.
Luxemburg-Casco surged to its second straight WIAA State Championship with a gritty 25-22, 25-21, 25-17 win over Lakeside Lutheran at Kaukauna High School Saturday.
The Northeastern Conference champions, coached by Jeff Frey (ninth season), finished a dominating year with a perfect 15-0 match record and an unblemished 45-0 mark in set play. The Spartans reclaimed their Division 2 title from 2019, earning a State Tournament berth three times in the past four seasons.
Runner-up Lakeside Lutheran and head coach Jenny Krauklis (ninth season) qualified for the State Tournament for the fourth time in school history after winning the Division 2 title in 2017 and a runner-up finish in 2000. Though without a formal Capitol Conference slate, the Warriors’ rigorous schedule included knocking off top-ranked Catholic Memorial in a Sectional Final.
Luxemburg-Casco knocked off State Tournament newcomer Saint Croix Falls 25-13, 25-22, 27-25 in the first semifinal. The Saints were a perfect 13-0 entering Saturday, running the table in their inaugural season of Heart O’North play.
Lakeside Lutheran defeated Platteville 25-10, 25-11, 25-10 in the second semifinal Saturday, as the Hillmen were a late addition to the State Tournament field. Head Coach Denise Berntgen led Platteville to a 13-2 record and a Southwest Wisconsin title in her first season at the helm.
Edgewood, who swept Platteville in the Sectional Final round, withdrew due to COVID concerns prior to the State Tournament series.
Division 3 - WAUSAU, Wis.
In yet another chapter of a budding rivalry between two prolific small school programs, Howards Grove defended its WIAA Division 3 State Championship with a 23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22 victory over Waterloo Saturday evening at Wausau West High School.
Head Coach Brett Damrow (15th season) led Howards Grove to back-to-back Division 3 State Championships after sweeping their way to the title in 2019. The Tigers were untouchable in Big East Conference play, dropping five total sets en route to a 21-1 overall record. Howards Grove has won four championships in its five trips to state, including 1976, 2016, and 2019.
Waterloo responded to its 2019 upset loss in the Division 3 State semifinals by claiming a spot in the final Saturday night. Head Coach Christy Mosher (third season) compiled an impressive season mark of 26-5 overall with a loaded, fully independent schedule. The Pirates earned their fifth trip to the State Tournament after winning titles in 2014 and 2015.
Howards Grove defeated Division 3 Cinderella Osseo-Fairchild 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 in the first semifinal Saturday. Head Coach Sharon Steinke (second season) had the Thunder playing their best volleyball late in the season, finishing with an 8-6 overall record in its first State Tournament berth.
Waterloo beat Fall Creek 25-17, 25-17, 25-22 in the second semifinal Saturday. The Crickets, led by Matt Prissel (seventh season), qualified for their second State Tournament after falling to top-seeded and eventual champion Howards Grove in 2019. Fall Creek finished 16-3 overall with a runner-up placing in the battle-tested Cloverbelt West.
Division 4 - LITTLE CHUTE, Wis.
Catholic Central swept its way to the WIAA Division 4 State Championship, defeating McDonell Central 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 in a hard-fought title bout at Little Chute High School Saturday.
With the victory, Catholic Central won its seventh State title, and has taken home hardware in each of its nine trips to the State Tournament. Runner-up in 2019, Head Coach Wayne Schultz (19th season, third at Catholic Central) led his Hilltoppers to a perfect 22-0 overall record that included a Metro Classic championship.
McDonell Central and Head Coach Kat Hanson (ninth season) returned to the State Tournament for the third time overall and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. The Macks finished with an overall record of 21-2 that included a Cloverbelt West championship.
McDonell defeated Prentice in Saturday’s first semifinal, 25-15, 25-16, 25-17. The Buccaneers and Head Coach Mike Murphy (ninth season) qualified for their first ever State Tournament berth, posting a season record of 10-5 and sharing the merged Marawood title with Stratford and Phillips.
In the second semifinal, Catholic Central handed Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran its first loss of the season, 25-19, 25-20, 25-17. The Lancers, also State Tournament newcomers in 2020, were champions of the Dairyland Conference.