WIAA State Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournament Preview

State Boys & Girls Volleyball Tournament Preview

WIAA Girls Volleyball STATE Quarterfinal and Semifinal SCOREBOARD Th/Fri Nov 3, 4

THE TOURNAMENTS:  The 59th State Boys Volleyball Tournament and the 50th State Girls Volleyball Tournament will be held Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 3-5, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

TICKETS AVAILABLE:  Ticket prices for the tourney are $11 per session at the gate or $13 if purchased online. To order tickets online, go to:  https://www.wiaawi.org/Tickets#4269711-volleyball.

BOYS TOURNAMENT INFORMATION:  The single-elimination tournament features matches with a best-of-five-sets, rally-scoring format. Of the 58 schools that offer a boys volleyball program, eight remain to play for the single-division State title. Match-ups for the tournament are determined by seeding each of the teams.

Boys Quarterfinals – Thursday, Nov. 3
#1 Marquette (34-2) vs. #8 Franklin (20-5) – 4 p.m.
#4 Catholic Memorial (30-10) vs. #5 Middleton (25-9) – 4 p.m.
#3 Wauwatosa East (30-7) vs. #6 Appleton North (28-5) – 10 a.m.
#2 Arrowhead (32-9) vs. #7 Union Grove (25-6) – 10 a.m.

Boys Semifinals – Friday, Nov. 4
Semifinal (Thursday’s 10 a.m. winners) – 5 p.m.
Semifinal (Thursday’s 4 p.m. winners) – 5 p.m.

Boys Championship Match – Saturday, Nov. 5
Championship Match – 5 p.m.

GIRLS TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: The single-elimination tournament features matches with a best-of-five-sets, rally-scoring format. Of the 471 programs that offer girls volleyball, eight teams will play for the State title in Division 1, with four teams still in contention for the State crown in Divisions 2, 3 and 4. Match-ups for the tournament are determined by seeding each of the teams in all divisions.

Girls Division 1

Thursday, Nov. 3
#1 Oconomowoc (36-1) vs. #8 Wauwatosa East (22-17) – 7 p.m.
#4 Burlington (37-4) vs. #5 Chippewa Falls (41-2) – 7 p.m.
#3 Appleton North (32-4) vs. # 6 Kettle Moraine (23-10) – 1 p.m.
#2 Divine Savior Holy Angels (40-6) vs. #7 Middleton (27-2) – 1 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Semifinal (Thursday’s 1 p.m. winners)
Semifinal (Thursday’s 7 p.m. winners)

Saturday, Nov. 5 – 7:30 p.m.
Championship Match

Girls Division 2

Friday, Nov. 4 – 2 p.m.
#1 Xavier (37-7) vs #4 Bloomer (33-8)
#2 Sauk Prairie (46-3) vs #3 Wisconsin Lutheran (35-16)

Saturday, Nov. 5 – 2:30 p.m.
Championship Match

Girls Division 3

Friday, Nov. 4 – 11:30 a.m.
#1 Howards Grove (35-4) vs. #4 Wittenberg-Birnamwood (28-8)
#2 St. Croix Falls (34-4) vs. #3 Randolph (37-6)

Saturday, Nov. 5 – 11: 30 a.m.
Championship Match

Girls Division 4

Friday, Nov. 4 – 9 a.m.
#1 McDonell Catholic (39-12) vs. #4 Wonewoc-Center (25-4)
#2 Athens (37-7) vs. #3 Monticello (30-1)

Saturday, Nov. 5 – 9 a.m.
Championship Match

 FINALS ON BALLY SPORTS WISCONSIN PLUS:  Watch the airing of the WIAA State Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournament finals Saturday on Bally Sports  Wisconsin Extra. Check local cable listings for the Bally Sports Wisconsin Extra channel in your area. The finals will also be streamed live on Bally Sports app with registration and cable system authentication and digitally on Bally Sports Wisconsin Plus through subscription to the service. To subscribe, visit ballysportsplus.com.

PRE-FINAL MATCHES LIVE ON WIAA.TV:  The quarterfinals and semifinals of the WIAA State Boys & Girls Volleyball Tournaments will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis for $11.99 per month or $79.99 per year. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, visit https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/subscribe/retail. Archived Streams of the games will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament with a subscription.

LAST YEAR-GIRLS:  Oconomowoc won the Division 1 title with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-21 sweep over Appleton North in the championship match. In Division 2, Luxemburg-Casco won its second straight championship with a 25-17, 25-15, 27-29, 25-15 victory over second-seeded McFarland in the title match. Howards Grove won its second State championship in a row by downing Lake Country Lutheran 25-23, 25-15, 25-17 in the Division 3 title game. McDonell Catholic won the Division 4 crown by defeating Wabeno/Laona 25-13, 25-15, 25-13 in the championship game.

LAST YEAR-BOYS:  Marquette won the championship with a hard-fought, five-game set against Westosha Central in the title match by scores of 14-25, 25-12, 19-25, 25-20, 15-10.

ABOUT THE GIRLS DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Defending champion Oconomowoc is the top seed in the bracket. The Raccoons return to the State Tournament for the sixth time in the past eight years, which accounts for the Raccoons overall number of experiences at State. They also advanced to the championship match in 2015 and in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019, finishing runner-up on all three occasions. This season, the Raccoons defeated Manitowoc Lincoln 25-18, 25-15, 25-16 in the sectional final held at Oconomowoc to continue their quest for back-to-back titles. They are the champions in the Classic Eight Conference this season. This will be the 11th appearance overall for second-seeded Divine Savior Holy Angels and the program’s first since 2017. The Dashers captured the crown in 2001 and added back-to-back titles in 2014-15. In addition, they finished runner-up in 2012. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Dashers won WISAA titles in 1972 and 1985. This season, they defeated Hamilton 25-22, 25-18, 25-21 in the Germantown Sectional final to earn their return to the State quarterfinals. The Dashers were crowned champions in the Greater Metro Conference this fall. Last year’s runner-up Appleton North is the #3 seed in the bracket. The Lightning will be appearing in their eighth State Tournament overall and essentially their fourth in a row, including the alternate season when they won the championship. They qualify this season after downing Kimberly  25-16, 25-18, 25-19 in the sectional final played at Green Bay Preble. The Lightning finished second behind Kimberly in the Fox Valley Association standings this fall. Perennial qualifier Burlington, the fourth seed, advances for the ninth straight season and for the 14th time overall. The Demons have won four State championships with a pair of back-to-back titles. The first two came in 2011-12 and the most recent in 2017-18. They have also had a pair of runner-up finishes, coming in 2016 and 2020. The Demons return to the tourney field by virtue of a 25-22, 25-21, 25-21 victory over Muskego in the sectional final held at Burlington. They finished first in the Southern Lakes Conference standings this season. Fifth-seeded Chippewa Falls qualifies for the first time in the program’s history after outlasting River Falls 25-19, 23-25, 10-25, 25-20, 17-15 in the final of the Eau Claire North Sectional final. The Cardinals are the champions in the Big Rivers Conference this fall. Sixth-seeded Kettle Moraine advances to the State Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons since making its first appearance in 2019. The Lasers furthest advance toward a title game came last year when they advanced to the semifinals. They return to the tournament field following a 25-21, 25-12, 14-25, 25-15 win over Mukwonago in the Burlington Sectional final. They finished runner-up to top-seeded Oconomowoc in the Classic Eight Conference standings this fall.  Middleton is the seventh seed in the bracket. The Cardinals qualify for the State Tournament for the sixth time and for the first time since 2009. Their furthest advance in the tournament was to the semifinals in 2001, 2002 and 2009. This year, they defeated Waunakee 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18 in the Monona Grove Sectional final. The Cardinals finished atop the standings in the Big Eight Conference this year. Wauwatosa East is the eighth seed in the bracket this season. They are back in the State Tournament for the 17th time and for the first time since 1999. All but one of their previous 16 State experiences came during the pool-play format from 1980-95 and all of them came in Class A and Division 1. The Red Raiders have won four State championships. They won Class A titles in 1974, 1975, 1980 and 1985. In addition, they have four runner-up finishes coming in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997. The Red Raiders downed Waukesha West 25-9, 25-20, 25-22 in the Greendale Sectional final to return to State for the first time in 23 years. They placed sixth in the Greater Metro Conference this fall, which was won by Divine Savior Holy Angels.

ABOUT THE GIRLS DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Top-seeded Xavier is making its fifth State appearance and its first since 2009 when the Hawks finished runner-up. They were also runners-up in 2006. They swept Tomahawk 25-15, 25-15, 25-13 in the Waupaca Sectional final to earn their return to the tourney field. They are the champions in the Bay Conference this season. Second-seeded Sauk Prairie earns a berth in the State Tournament for the second time in the last three seasons and the third time overall. Their previous two appearances at State resulted in a loss in the Division 2 semifinals in 2009 and the Division 1 semifinals in 2020, when only four teams qualified in the division because of COVID accommodations. Their return to the tourney field comes virtue of a 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 win over Edgewood in the sectional final played at McFarland. They finished runner-up in the West Division of the  Badger Conference this season. Wisconsin Lutheran is the #3 seed in the bracket. The Vikings make their fourth appearance in the State Tournament and their first since 2019. Their other two experiences came back-to-back in Division 1 in 2001-02. The Vikings seek to advance past the semifinal round for the first time. They completed the regular season in a tie for second place in the West Division of the Woodland Conference. They are the representatives out of the Port Washington Sectional following their 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Port Washington in the final. Fourth-seeded Bloomer will experience the State Tournament for the second time. The Blackhawks’ only other appearance came in 2019, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. They downed West Salem 24-26, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 in the Arcadia Sectional final to advance to the State semifinals. The Blackhawks finished in a three-way tie for the title in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this season with Stanley-Boyd and Division 4 qualifier McDonell Catholic.

ABOUT THE GIRLS DIVISION 3 FIELD: Three-time defending champion Howards Grove was issued the top seed in the bracket. The Tigers are making their seventh appearance at State overall. They have won championships in all but one of their previous experiences. In addition to the titles the past three seasons, the Tigers captured the Division 3 crown in 2016 and the Class C championship in 1976 during the pool-play era. The Tigers rolled past Shoreland Lutheran 25-6, 25-12, 25-13 in the final of the Oostburg Sectional to continue their pursuit of their fourth straight championship. They are the champions of the Big East Conference this fall. St. Croix Falls, the second seed, is making its second appearance in the last three seasons, also qualifying in Division 2 in 2020. The Saints attempt to advance beyond the semifinal round at State for the first time. They captured the Heart O’North Conference crown this fall, and then secured their berth in the final four with a 25-12, 25-22, 25-15 sweep over Westby in the sectional final played at St. Croix Falls. Third-seeded Randolph is back at State for the first time since 2016 and for the fourth time overall. The Rockets’ most notable experience resulted in a runner-up finish in 1999. They are the champions in the West Division of the Trailways Conference this year. The Rockets represent the New Glarus Sectional in the tournament field following a hard-fought, five-set game versus Brodhead by scores of 16-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17, 15-12. Fourth-seeded Wittenberg-Birnamwood advances to the State Tournament for the first time in the program’s history with its 25-20, 19-25, 12-25, 25-19,15-13 victory over Edgar in the Auburndale Sectional final. They won the title in the East Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference in 2022.

ABOUT THE GIRLS DIVISION 4 FIELD:  Last year’s champion McDonell Catholic is the #1 seed. The Macks are making their third consecutive appearance at State and their fifth appearance overall. They also won the championship in their first-ever appearance in 2009 and were runners-up in 2020. This season, the Macks defeated Mercer 25-10, 25-11, 25-14 in the Merrill Sectional final to advance to the State semifinals after finishing atop the standings in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference during the regular season. Second-seeded Athens will experience the State Tournament for the third time, and for the first time since 2016. The Fighting Bluejays’ fell in their Division 3 semifinal match that season. Their only other appearance resulted in a runner-up finish in Class C during the pool-play era in 1976. This season, they earned a trip to the Resch Center with a  25-17, 25-17, 25-17 sweep over last year’s runner-up Wabeno-Laona in the final of the Oconto Falls Sectional. The Fighting Bluejays were champions in the North Division of the Marawood Conference this season. Monticello was issued the #3 seed in the bracket. The Ponies are making their second appearance in the State Tournament after their first appearance last season resulted in a loss in the semifinals.  Their return to the tourney is the result of a 23-25, 25-12, 27-25, 25-12 triumph over Green Bay N.E.W Lutheran/Chesterton in the final of the sectional played at Lourdes Academy. They are the champions in the East Division of the Six Rivers Conference this fall. Fourth-seeded Wonewoc-Center returns to State after making its first appearance in 2021, which resulted in a semifinal loss. The Wolves earn their second straight appearance with a 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18 win over Highland in the sectional final hosted by Richland Center. They are the champions in the Scenic Bluffs Conference this season.

ABOUT THE BOYS FIELD:  Last season’s champion Marquette is the top seed. The perennial State qualifier is back for the 21st straight year, which also accounts for the Hilltoppers overall total. They have won 10 State titles, capturing the gold in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and again in 2021. In addition, they advanced to the championship match and finished runner-up in 2010 and again in 2016. The Hilltoppers return to the tournament field this year by defeating Whitefish Bay 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 in the sectional final hosted at Marquette. They are the champions of the Greater Metro Conference this fall.  Arrowhead has been issued the second seed in the bracket. The Warhawks return to the tournament field for the third straight season and for the ninth time overall. Their most notable outcome at the State Tournament was a runner-up finish in 2001. They defeated Germantown 19-25, 27-25, 25-14, 25-14 in the final of the sectional held at Germantown to earn another berth in the State bracket. The Warhawks captured the Classic Eight Conference championship this season. Wauwatosa East, the #3 seed, makes its 12th overall appearance at State and its second in a row. The Red Raiders have captured one gold trophy; that came in 2006. They earned the opportunity to continue their quest for a second State title by defeating Brookfield East in three sets 225-17, 25-16, 25-19 in the sectional final played at Wauwatosa East. The Red Raiders finished second in the Greater Metro Conference behind top-seeded Marquette. Catholic Memorial is the fourth seed in the bracket. The Crusaders qualify for the 15th time and for the second consecutive season. The Crusaders’ three State championships came in 2000, 2010 and 2016. In addition, they have finished runner-up four times (2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007). They return to the State bracket this season after defeating Waukesha South/North 25-19, 25-27, 25-14, 25-15 in the sectional final held at Kettle Moraine. The Crusaders placed fourth in the Classic Eight Conference this season, which was won by Arrowhead. Fifth-seeded Middleton will be appearing in the State Tournament for the 13th time and for the first time since finishing runner-up in the alternate season in 2020-21. The Cardinals furthest advance toward a title prior to that was to the semifinals in 2007 and 2008. This season, they advance to the quarterfinals with a 25-14, 25-14, 20-25, 25-13 win over Madison Memorial in the sectional final held at Middleton. The Cardinals were the champions of the Big Eight Conference this season. Sixth-seeded Appleton North is making its eighth overall trip to State and its first since 2014. The Lightning hoisted the State championship trophy in 2012 in their only appearance in the championship match. Their return to State this season comes by virtue of outdueling Kimberly in five sets in the Green Bay Preble Sectional final by scores of 25-15, 21-25, 24-26, 25-23, 15-12. The Lightning are the champions in the Fox Valley Association this season. Union Grove, the seventh seed, is a first-time qualifier for the State Tournament. The celebration accompanying the Broncos’ initial berth at State came following a 25-10, 25-22, 27-25 sweep of Burlington on the Demons’ home court in the sectional final. The Broncos were crowned champions of the Southern Lakes Conference this fall. Eighth-seeded Franklin is participating in the State Tournament for the fourth time overall and for the first time since 2019. The Sabers are attempting to advance out of the quarterfinal round in the bracket for the first time. They won the Racine Horlick Sectional with a 27-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Racine Case in the final. The Sabers  were runners-up in the Southeast Conference during the regular season.

TITLE IX 50TH ANNIVERSARY RECOGNITION: The WIAA launched a year-long celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX legislation at the first-ever State Girls Individual Wrestling Tournament in January. A complimentary commemorative program will be available at all State Tournaments throughout the year. Participants in all girls’ State Tournaments this year will receive a commemorative bag tag, and recognition of the campaign will be promoted on tournament signage, t-shirt giveaways, stories and facts on the WIAA website and social media platforms.

RUSH TO THE RESCH:  One school qualifying for the State Girls and Boys Volleyball Tournaments in each of the four girls’ divisions and the boys’ division will receive $1000 from the Greater Green Bay Community by selling the most pre-sale tickets for the quarterfinals (Division 1 & Boys) or semifinals (Divisions 2, 3 and 4) in their respective division.

WIAAOFFICIAL VOLLEYBALL:  Molten is the official ball of the WIAA State Girls and Boys Volleyball Tournament Series. To learn more about Molten products, access the website at www.moltenusa.com.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournaments are available on the WIAA website (www.wiaawi.org) by accessing the boys or girls volleyball tournament page.

STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MESSAGING: Receive updates of the State Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaavb. Also like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

LICENSED STATE MERCHANDISE: Apparel sales for the 2022 WIAA Girls and Boys State Volleyball Tournaments will be available online and at the Resch Center through SportsWorld. The link to the online store is: https://sportsworld.chipply.com/wiaastatevb22/?apid=2849743&acid=269714. The store is open for pre-tournament orders until Oct. 31 to be picked-up upon arrival at the Resch Center. The store will remain open for post-tournament orders until Nov. 13. Custom State championship team apparel will also be available for purchase online.

BELLIN ATHLETIC TRAINING:  Bellin Health Sports Medicine is the exclusive provider of licensed athletic training services for the State Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournament.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]