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Vanguards sweep IowaGrant to take regional crown
Panthers finish season 2110 overall
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Senior Kristin Bingham hits against a double block during IowaGrant's regional final loss to Wisconsin Heights last Saturday night.

MAZOMANIE — Iowa–Grant pushed top-seeded Wisconsin Heights to the limits in game one of Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 regional final.

The Vanguards fought off three game points and rallied for a 31–29 victory in the opener that set the tone for the rest of the match.

Heights ultimately prevailed in straight sets, 31–29, 25–18, 25–12, to win the regional title.

The Vanguards (27–8) advanced to face SWAL champion Cuba City (29–6–3) in a sectional semifinal match at New Glarus High School Thursday at 7 p.m.

Coach Marla Simon’s Panthers finished the season 21–10 overall after going 6–6 and finishing fourth in the Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League.

“I was very happy to see we went to play and think that is shown by the 31–29 battle in the first set,” said Simon. “We were keeping things clean and passing and serving well, they were making some hitting errors.  Maranda McCarthy and Taylor Liddicoat were leading us with their kills. Kristin Bingham got us to a 23–19 score with her serve and then from there they tied us again.

“We had three more chances to serve for set, but they came out on top with that. We battled really well with them most of the match, with what we could do against their big hits and quick offense.”

Senior Macenzie Kraemer had 12 kills to lead Wisconsin Heights.

McCarthy had six kills to lead Iowa–Grant, and senior Mariah Ginter added five kills and six blocks. Liddicoat finished with 24 assists and four kills.

Iowa–Grant opened the D3 playoffs last Tuesday with an easy 25–13, 25–14, 25–16 sweep of Lancaster (4–31).

Thursday night, junior Emma Liddicoat had 16 kills, 17 digs and three aces to lead the Panthers to a 25–17, 27–29, 24–26, 25–15, 15–4 victory over third-seeded Riverdale (11–18).


WIAA Division 3 Regional Quarterfinal
Iowa–Grant 3, Lancaster 0
(from Tuesday, Oct. 20 @ Livingston)

Lancaster            13     14     16
Iowa–Grant         25     25     25
Iowa–Grant stat leaders
Kills: Emma Liddicoat 7, Jessica Pluemer 5, Mariah Ginter 5. Blocks: Ginter 6, Pluemer 3. Aces: Taylor Liddicoat 5, Maranda McCarthy 3. Assists: Taylor Liddicoat 28. Digs: Haley Yelinek 7, E. Liddiocat 6.

WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinal
Iowa–Grant 3, Riverdale 2
(from Thursday, Oct. 22 @ Livingston)

Riverdale       17    29    26    15     4
Iowa–Grant    25    27    24    25     15
Iowa–Grant stat leaders
Kills: Emma Liddicoat 15, Taylor Liddicoat 9, Maranda McCarthy 9, Jessica Pluemer 8, Mariah Ginter 7, Kristin Bingham 6. Blocks: T. Liddicoat 9, Ginter 7, Pluemer 7. Aces: E. Liddicoat 3, Pluemer 3. Assists: T. Liddicoat 56. Digs: Haley Yelinek 18, E. Liddicoat 17.

WIAA Division 3 Regional Final
Wisconsin Heights 3, Iowa–Grant 0
(from Saturday, Oct. 24 @ Mazomanie)

Iowa–Grant               29    18     12
Wisconsin Heights    31    25     25
Iowa–Grant stat leaders
Kills: Maranda McCarthy 6, Mariah Ginter 5, Emma Liddicoat 4, Jessica Pluemer 4, Taylor Liddicoat 4. Blocks: Ginter 6, Pluemer 5. Aces: T. Liddicoat 1, McCarthy 1. Assists: T. Liddicoat 24. Digs: Haley Yelinek 5, E. Liddicoat 5.