PLATTEVILLE — It was a memorable Homecoming week for the Platteville volleyball team.
The Hillmen easily swept visiting Prairie du Chien 25–15, 25–21, 25–12 Thursday on their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Night to remain unbeaten in Southwest Wisconsin Conference play and claim at least a share of the SWC title. They can clinch it outright with a win in either of their final two regular season matches, against Dodgeville on Tuesday or Lancaster on Thursday night.
Two days later, the Hillmen went 4–1 and defeated Cuba City in the championship game of the eight-team Lodi Invitational to avenge a pool play loss earlier in the day to the SWAL-leading Cubans (26–6), who are currently ranked third in Division 3.
“Getting the win over Prairie on Thursday was great,” said Platteville head coach Danielle Duerst. “Coming into the season one of our goals was that we wanted to be in the running for the conference title and with only two games left and a two game lead we are right where we want to be. Winning the Lodi tournament was a great way to end Homecoming week. I was afraid that our heads wouldn’t be where they needed to be but we came to play and played well.”
Senior Skye Digman was a force at the net in Thursday’s win over Prairie du Chien with 14 kills, three blocks and three aces. She had three kills and three blocks early on as the Hillmen opened up a 13–3 lead and cruised in the first set. Digman and sophomore Becca Hoyer had back-to-back kills to close out the opening win.
Platteville (25–9, 8–0 SWC) struggled early in second set and trailed 14–12 before finding a rhythm to close the game on a 13–7 run. Sophomore Izzy Carroll served up five straight points and Digman slammed three straight kills to swing the momentum and push the Hillmen to an 18–14 lead.
Platteville raced out to a 7–1 lead in the third set and never trailed.
Carroll finished with seven kills and eight digs. Senior Britney Baker added 31 assists. Senior libero made 15 digs.
Saturday at Lodi, Platteville opened with a sweep of Madison La Follete, 25–21, 25–20, but dropped it second pool play match of the day to Cuba City, 25–23, 25–17. The Hillmen bounced back with a 25–23, 25–21 victory over Kewauskum to finish second in their pool.
They then swept Pool B winner McFarland 25–23, 25–21 in the semifinals to earn a rematch with Cuba City.
In the finals, Digman and Caroll each slammed eight kills, and Digman added eight blocks to lead Platteville to a 25–16, 25–22 sweep of the Cubans.
“In pool play against Cuba City, we didn’t play our game,” said Duerst. “Our defense was not where it needed to be. We had too many serving and mental errors. In the championship game, we played our game. We played the net much better which help our back row pass the ball and our errors were minimal.”
Digman finished the tournament with a team-high 41 kills, 16 blocks and 38 digs in five matches. Carroll finished with 23 kills, 10 blocks and 38 digs and Baker added 105 assists, 16 kills and nine blocks.
Platteville will open the WIAA Division 2 playoffs Tuesday night. The seeding meeting won’t be held until tonight, but the Hillmen appear to be in line for the number two seed and a first-round home game in their seven-team regional behind 10th-ranked Mount Horeb (29–5) and ahead of SWC rival Richland Center (29–8), which Platteville has beaten three times this year.
The WIAA regional semifinals will be Thursday, followed by the regional final on Saturday night.
“We need to keep our pushing ourselves in practice and finish the regular season strong,” added Duerst. “We will be working moving the ball around a little more so maybe we can catch them off guard and get more of an open net. We also are going to be working on hitting different angles.”
Platteville 3, Prairie du Chien 0
(from Thursday, Oct. 5 @ Platteville)
Prairie du Chien 15 21 12
Platteville 25 25 25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Skye Digman 14, Izzy Carroll 7. Blocks: Digman 3, Caroll 1, Baker 1. Assists: Britney Baker 31. Aces: Digman 3, M.J. Stephens 2, Becca Hoyer 2. Digs: Emilie Busch 15, Baker 8, Carroll 8.
(from Saturday, Oct. 7 @ Lodi)
Championship: Platteville def. Cuba City 25–16, 25–22
Semifinals: Platteville def. McFarland 25–23, 25–21. Cuba City def. Wisconsin Heights 25–15, 25–23.
Pool A: Cuba City 3–0, Platteville 2–1, Madison La Follette 1–2, Kewauskum 0–3.
Pool B: McFarland 3–0, Wisconsin Heights 2–1, Richland Center 1–2, Lodi 0–3.
Platteville pool play match scores
Platteville def. Madison La Follette 25–21, 25–20
Cuba City def. Platteville 25–23, 25–17
Platteville def. Kewauskum 25–23, 25–21
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Skye Digman 41, Izzy Carroll 23, Britney Baker 16, Becca Hoyer 13. Blocks: Digman 16, Carroll 10, Baker 9, Hoyer 6. Assists: Britney Baker 105. Aces: Digman 5. Digs: Emilie Busch 55, Carroll 38, Digman 38, Baker 30, Kylie Rohrbach 27.