PLATTEVILLE — It was a workman-like performance, but dominant nonetheless.
Third-ranked Platteville led throughout the majority of all three sets in a Southwest Wisconsin Conference-title clinching sweep of visiting Dodgeville last Thursday night.
Platteville improved to 32–6 on the season and 9–0 in SWC play to clinch a third straight outright conference title with the Senior Night victory. Dodgeville fell to 22–9 and 5–5 in SWC play.
Platteville honored its five seniors prior to the match, Izzy Carroll, Becca Hoyer, Josie Nies, MJ Stephens and Allie Cooley.
Sophomore setter Emily Fields served up three straight points as Platteville jumped out to a 7–2 lead in the opening set.
Nies floored a kill, Caroll had a block and Hoyer had a block and a kill on back-to-back points as the Hillmen used a 6–1 run to build a 12–5 advantage.
Nies, Carroll and Stephens patrolled the back row with efficiency, digging up 80 percent of Dodgeville’s attacks when they were actually able to get a clean look around Platteville’s double block of Fields and either middle hitter Carroll or junior
“Playing Dodgeville the first time, we had trouble defending their tips, so we focused on reading the hitters quicker and reacting faster,” said Duerst. “In our defense, we talk about freezing in transition once the hitter contacts the ball and then reacting to the hit. We did that well against Dodgeville.”
The Dodgers made a slight run to pull within five at 17–12, but the Hillmen closed the set on an 8–5 run, scoring the final three points on a Dodgeville hitting error, a kill by Digman and a block by fields on set point.
Dodgeville actually grabbed an early 5–2 lead in the second set, but Platteville quickly evened the match and pulled ahead 11–5 on seven-point service run by Nies. Nies later had a pair of kills in a 5–2 run that extended the Hillmen lead to 18–10.
Fields served up an ace to make it 22–12, then Carroll had a block and a kill on back-to-back points to make it a 12-point game. After a Dodgeville block, junior Maddie Cooley put away a kill on game-point to make it 2–0.
Platteville scored the first three points in the third set and never trailed the entire game.
After back-to-back sideouts, Fields served five straight points to give the Hillmen an 8–1 lead.
Becca Hoyer had a pair of kills around a Digman block and Platteville pushed the lead to 15–6. From there the two teams traded points until the Hillmen closed out the match with a nine-point victory that clinched the outright conference title.
Second-place River Valley (22–12, 7–3 SWC) suffered a five-set loss to Richland Center (23–18, 5–4 SWC) Thursday night.
“Getting another conference title is nice as we are wrapping up the season and start to heading into post season,” said Duerst. “That is just one of the goals we have this season.”
Platteville will travel to Prairie du Chien (10–19, 2–7) Thursday night to close out the regular season.
The WIAA Division 2 playoffs begin Tuesday night. Platteville’s regional seeding meeting was Wednesday night. The Hillmen are expected to earn a high seed and will likely have a first-round bye on Tuesday before hosting a regional semifinal match at PHS next Thursday night.
Platteville 3, Dodgeville 0
(from Thursday, Oct. 10 @ Platteville)
Dodgeville 17 13 16
Platteville 25 25 25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Izzy Carroll 9, Alyana Digman 7, Becca Hoyer 7. Blocks: Carroll 5, Digman 2, Emily Fields 2. Assists: Fields 34. Aces: Fields 3. Digs: Hoyer 17, Josie Nies 15, Stephens 12, Carroll 11.