GREEN BAY, Wis. – Lakeside Lutheran needed all five sets Saturday afternoon at the Resch Center, answering an 0-2 deficit with three straight nail-biters to surge past Luxemburg-Casco 19-25, 13-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-10 for the WIAA Division 2 state championship.
Head coach Jenny Krauklis and Lakeside Lutheran (39-5) avenged last season’s semifinal defeat to Notre Dame, dramatically claiming their school’s first state volleyball title. Lakeside earned a second-place finish in its first year as a WIAA member, losing to Washburn in the Division 3 title match in 2000.
Spartans’ head coach Jeff Frey took home the silver ball in the program’s first trip to the state tournament.
Senior Amber Rowoldt led the Warriors’ comeback charge with 29 kills on a whopping 68 attempts en route to WVCA All-State First Team honors. Senior Sophia Collins added 15 kills while senior Ellie Westrate dished out 43 assists and 10 digs for the team’s only double-double. Senior Kaitlyn Gehler tied a match-high with 27 digs and served up a match-high five aces and senior Kelsey Birschbach recorded a team-high six blocks.
Luxemburg-Casco (41-9) was actually the better team statistically, outhitting, out-digging, and out-blocking the Warriors. Three Spartans tallied double-digit kills, led by junior Cassie Schlitz’s team-high 16. Senior Alexis Dorner and junior Peyton VandenBush added 13 and 12 putaways, respectively, while senior Molly Wotruba scooped up 27 digs. Senior Megan Cannon doled out a match-high 49 assists and sophomore Holly Baierl and VandenBush tallied six blocks apiece.
Lakeside Lutheran swept perennial powerhouse Catholic Memorial 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 in the semifinal round, halting Crusader coach Ted Schulte’s pursuit for four straight Division 2 titles. It was also the first time CMH failed to reach the title match upon reaching the state tournament. Luxemburg-Casco blew past Merrill in the other semifinal, 17-25, 25-10, 25-23, 25-20, dropping head coach Kris Krug and the Blue Jays from the state semifinal round for the second straight season.
Kaitlyn Gehler, Sr., L, Lakeside Lutheran
Amber Rowoldt, Sr., OH, Lakeside Lutheran
Ellie Westrate, Sr., S, Lakeside Lutheran
Megan Cannon, Sr., S, Luxemburg-Casco
Alexis Dorner, Sr., MH, Luxemburg-Casco
Tatum Brim, Sr., MH, Catholic Memorial
Morgan Wardall, Sr., MH, Merrill