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State Champions Crowned at 2023 State Tournament

By WVCA, 11/05/23, 10:00PM CST


DSHA, Xavier, SCF, Wonewoc survive thrilling tourney series

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GREEN BAY, Wis. –  Champions in four girls’ divisions were crowned State champions at the 2023 State Girls Volleyball Championships Saturday at the Resch Center.

Top-seeded Divine Savior Holy Angels (Caitie Ratkowski) successfully defended its title in Division 1, winning its second straight crown by defeating Oconomowoc (Michelle Bruss) in the championship game 25-14, 25-20, 27-25, 22-25, 15-8.

Madison Quest and Sophia Wendlick accounted for 46 of the Dashers 52 kills in the match with 24 and 22, respectively, contributing to a .182 hitting percentage for the match. Jordan Czajkowski dished out 40 assist to lead the team. Quest also tallied a game-high five service aces. Defensively, the Dashers were formidable at the net with 16 blocks, which limited the Raccoons to a .102 hitting percentage. The blocks total fell one short of the Division 1 State Tournament record for five sets. Lilly Cesarz had nine blocks and Caroline Harris added eight. Olivia Durst led four players with double figures in digs with 16.

Anna Bjork and Olivia Kwiatkowski led the Oconomowoc hitting attack with 18 and 17 kills, respectively, and Marlee Sivak contributed 11. Lilly Wagner handed out a game-high 48 assists. Kwiatkowski and Bjork led the defensive effort for the Raccoons with 20 digs and eight blocks, respectively.

Divine Savior Holy Angels wins its fifth State Championship in the program’s 12th tournament appearance. Oconomowoc finishes runner-up In its 10th State appearance.

In semifinal action, Divine Savior Holy Angels defeated Greater Metro rival Hamilton (Traci Buhr) 25-16, 25-20, 25-7 and Oconmowoc knocked off Appleton North (Steve Scheuerell) 27-29, 25-16, 25-10, 25-21.

Division 1 quarterfinalists included Burlington (Teri Little & Dan Lynch), Franklin (Eric Brandenberg), River Falls (Sara Kealy), and Waunakee (Anne Denkert).

Defending champion Xavier (Luke Herriges), the #1 seed in the bracket, won its second straight Division 2 crown by downing third-seeded McFarland (Tommy Moriarty) 25-17, 25-13, 25-10.

The Hawks' lethal hitting attack posted a .341 hitting percentage for the match. A balanced arsenal was led by Madison Daley with nine kills; Annika Kowalski added eight; and Halle Vande Hey chipped in with eight to lead the Hawks. Mariah Potter distributed a game-high 29 assists. Belle Shea led the defensive effort for Xavier with a game-high 16 digs, and Daley recorded five block assists.

The Spartans were held to a .074 hitting percentage. Julie Ackley led the hitting attack with eight kills. Ava Dean was the team leader in assists with 20. She also paced the defense with eight digs.

Xavier’s back-to-back titles represent their total number of championships won in its six State appearances. McFarland finished runner-up in its fifth experience in the State Tournament.

Division 2 semifinals featured Xavier handling Rice Lake (Kristen Lehman) 25-15, 25-11, 25-19, and McFarland eking out a tight one over Pewaukee (Tommy Jonas), 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 16-25, 18-16.

Second-seeded St. Croix Falls (Stacie Hoff) dethroned top-seeded and four-time defending champion Howards Grove (Brett Damrow) 17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 in the championship game in Division 3.

The Saints clawed back from an 11-8 deficit in the fifth match to capture the title. Kelsey Cooper led the team in kills with 28, and Lucy Belisle and Lydia Petersen each chipped in with 16 and 14 kills to fuel the Saints attack. St. Croix Falls posted a .201 hitting percentage. Catherine Williams distributed 50 assists, and Britta Olson served a game-high five aces. Ayla Schmidt led the team in digs with 30 in the match.

The Tigers  compiled a .191 hitting percentage in the match. Olivia Baierl led Howards Grove with 28 kills, and Mallory Gozdzeiwski chipped in with 17. Kamryn Kaminski led the team in assists with 49. Defensively, Elle Kennedy recorded the team high in digs with 25, and Gozdziewski and Ashlyn Graf contributed with five blocks.

St. Croix Falls wins the program’s first State championship in its third State appearance. Howards Grove finished runner-up in its eighth State appearance.

Division 3 semifinal results featured Howards Grove beating St. Mary Catholic (Mike Mauritz) 25-23, 25-17, 25-19, with the Saints knocking off Cuba City (Keri Lawson) 23-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-10.

Top-seeded Wonewoc-Center (Nikki Justman) overcame a two-set deficit to defeat second-seeded Newman Catholic (Betty Lange) 21-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 15-8 in the Division 4 championship match.

Kelsey Justman led the Wolves with 34 kills and set a Division 4 record for the most kills in a State Tournament with 69, eclipsing the old mark of 67. Bryn Ertel also recorded double figures in kills with 17. Jaelyn Stowe led all setters with 52 assists, which ranks third on the all-time list in Division 4. Defensively, Estanna Graewin recorded a game-high 37 digs, which set a Division 4 record for five sets.

Callie Sobolewski led three Fighting Cardinal hitters in double figures with 19 kills. Ashley Jankowski and Lily Shields added 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Paige Guld dealt out a team-high 34 assists, and Shields contributed with a game-high 25 digs on the defensive side of the net.

Wonewoc-Center recorded a .204 hitting percentage in the match, compared to a .102 percentage for Newman Catholic.

The Wolves win the program’s first State title in their third State Tournament appearance, and the Fighting Cardinals finished runner-up in their 13th State experience.

Wonewoc-Center completed two reverse sweeps in its tournament run, battling past Fall River (Laura Trautmann) 23-25, 17-25, 25-23, 29-27, 15- 7 in the semifinal round. Newman Catholic matched up against Prentice (Mike Murphy), sweeping the Bucs 25-21, 25-10, 25-15.