KAUKAUNA, Wis. - Appleton North and Washburn claimed WIAA State Girls Volleyball Alt-Fall Championships Saturday at Kaukauna High School. The Lightning swept Manitowoc Lincoln in the Division 1 final, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19; while the Castle Guards knocked off Brodhead in Division 2, 25-22, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21.
Top-seeded Appleton North (15-0), also ranked No. 1 in the WVCA Division 1 Alt-Fall Coaches Poll, was dominant throughout the spring season. The Lightning certainly looked the part in Saturday’s finale, outhitting the Ships .219 to .173, including a blistering .343 in the third and match-clinching set.
Junior Brianna Cantrell led the Lightning with 15 kills, while freshman Ella Demetrician added 10 of her own. Senior Brooke Bolwerk tallied 36 assists and 12 digs, with junior Madisen Miller registering a match-high 18 digs.
Manitowoc junior Mary Satori led the Ships with 14 kills with senior Lauren Borchardt adding eight.
Both Division 1 finalists earned their championship bout berths in sweeping fashion at Kettle Moraine High School Thursday evening. The Lightning swept McFarland 25-19, 25-15, 25-19, while the Ships handled Sun Prairie 25-17, 25-22, 25-23.
Whereas the Division 1 championship featured teams fewer than 50 miles apart, the Division 2 final pitted two teams from literally across the state.
Washburn (18-0), which earned the #2-seed, was ranked No. 4 in the final WVCA Alt-Fall Coaches Poll entering the tournament series. Their unblemished season mark remained intact, surprising the top-seeded and No. 2 Cardinals with a gritty four set win.
The trio of senior Caitlin Wheeler, senior Lily Wheeler, and senior Meghan Dougherty all recorded double-digit kills (18, 15, and 15, respectively) to spearhead a balanced offensive attack. Senior Riley Johnson notched 48 assists while C. Wheeler, Johnson, and senior AnnaMarie Wright each picked up 12 digs apiece.
Sophomore Abbie Dix led the Cardinals and matched C. Wheeler with a match-high 18 kills, adding 10 digs and seven blocks.
Washburn came from behind to eke out a thrilling State Semifinal victory Thursday at Beaver Dam High School, defeating Saint Mary’s Springs 14-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-21, 16-14. Brodhead also overcame an early deficit in its semifinal against Royall, eventually pulling away with a 31-33, 25-16, 25-20, 25-18 victory.
Kimberly claimed the Boys Alt-Fall Championship Saturday afternoon, defeating Middleton, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23.