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Hornets end Platteville run in regional final
pla vb lawinger
Platteville senior Julia Lawinger had a match-high 23 kills and three blocks in her final prep volleyball match Saturday, a 31 regional final loss to Richland Center.

     It happened in what seemed like a blink of an eye.
     Platteville had built a 14–6 lead in the third set and appeared on the verge of taking a two games to one lead. Then, even more quickly than it was built, the Hillmen lead was gone and Platteville’s season was over.
     Third-seeded Richland Center took advantage of a string of Hillmen mental errors to steal that third set, then jumped out to a huge lead in the next before holding off a late Platteville rally to claim the WIAA Division 2 Platteville Regional title with a 25–6, 21–25, 25–23, 25–22 victory Saturday night.
     “It is pretty disappointing,” said Hillmen head coach Yvette Statz. “After losing the third set, the momentum was on Richland Center’s side. We dug ourselves an early hole again in the fourth set. After going back and forth, we put ourselves back on defense rather than offense.”
     Richland Center (21–5–1) jumped out to a 13–5 lead in the fourth set, but Platteville came roaring back to tie the set at 14–14 and again at 16–16. But once again the Hornets pulled away behind the hitting of senior Mikayla Nigl outscoring Platteville 9–6 to close out the set and match.
     Nigl finished the night with a team-high 20 kills and six blocks.
     Platteville senior Julia Lawinger was brilliant in defeat posting a match-high 23 kills and 12 blocks. Fellow senior Mackenzie Bartels added eight kills and nine blocks.
     The Hillmen finished the season 30–8–3, reaching the 30-win plateau for a second consecutive year.
     “It was a good season and I am proud of the team for what they achieved,” added Statz. “It is a hard one to see come to a closure because we will be losing four very special seniors in Julia, Mackenzie, Aly [Reeves] and Taylor [Pagliaro].”
     Platteville advanced to Saturday’s regional championship with a 25–21, 25–11, 25–14 sweep of number seven seed Wisconsin Dells on Thursday night.
     Lawinger (14 kills, nine blocks) and Bartels (13, 2) combined for 27 kills and 11 blocks in the victory. Morgan Stecklein added five kills and nine digs.
     “Finally we had other people step up their play and that has been something I have been stressing to the team all season long,” said Statz of Thursday’s regional semifinal win. “To go the distance we needed to be tough in all positions and this match against the Dells would be the first match we achieved that.”
     Platteville opened the playoffs with an easy 25–5, 25–2, 25–14 sweep of 15th-seeded Westfield last Tuesday.
Bartels floored a team-high 13 kills in the win, while Phillips passed out 16 assists.

WIAA Division 2 Regional Final
Richland Center 3, Platteville 1
(from Saturday, Oct. 20 @ Platteville)
3) Richland Center        25    21    25    25
2) Platteville                    6    25    23    22
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Julia Lawinger 23, Mackenzie Bartels 8, Taylor Pagliaro 4. Blocks: Lawinger 12, Bartels 9. Assists: Jenna Phillips 23, Rachel Emendorfer 9. Aces: Briette Updike 1, Taylor Pagliaro 1, Lawinger 1. Digs:  Updike 29.

WIAA Division 2 Regional Semifinal
Platteville 3, Wisc. Dells 0
(from Thursday, Oct. 18 @ Platteville)
7) Wisconsin Dells            21    11    14
2) Platteville                      25    25    25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Julia Lawinger 14, Mackenzie Bartels 12, Morgan Stecklein 5. Blocks: Lawinger 9, Bartels 2. Assists: Jenna Phillips 20, Rachel Emendorfer 9. Aces: Phillips 2, Briette Updike 2, Claire Tashner 2. Digs:  Briette Updike 11, Morgan Stecklein 9.

WIAA Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal
Platteville 3, Westfield 0
(from Tuesday, Oct. 16 @ Platteville)
15) Westfield             5      2    14
2) Platteville            25    25    25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Mackenzie Bartels 13, Julia Lawinger 8, Ashley Budden 4, Morgan Stecklein 4. Blocks: Julia Lawinger 3. Assists: Jenna Phillips 16, Rachel Emendorfer 10. Aces: Phillips 3, Briette Updike 3. Digs:  Briette Updike 9.