Platteville’s conference championship dreams nearly ended a week before the much-anticipated rematch with unbeaten league front-runner River Valley.
Coach Yvette Updike’s Hillmen survived a five-set scare to fifth-place Richland Center last Thursday night.
The Hornets took the first two sets and forced the host Hillmen to stage a furious comeback against one of the SWC’s worst teams.
Center (15–20–2, 1–8 SWC) stole the back-and-forth first game 31–29, then jumped out to an early lead in game two and held on for a 25–20 lead.
With their backs to the wall, and needed a monsterous comeback to stay within striking distance of River Valley, Platteville finally put it all together and won the finally three games in dominating fashion 25–11, 25–16, 15–6.
“The team displayed perseverance,” said Updike. "Being down the first two sets and coming back to win the next three says a lot about this team.”
After a slow start sophomore middle hitter Morgan Stecklein heated up in a big way and finished the night with a match-high 24 kills and four blocks.
Fellow sophomores Claire Tashner and Maddie Carroll had 11 and seven kills respectively. Junior middle hitter Ashley Budden led the team with six blocks and made 11 digs, while fellow junior Briette Updike posted team-highs in digs (12) and aces (4). The sophomore setting tandem of Rachel Emendofer (26) and Jenna Phillips (17) combined for 43 assists.
With the comeback win, Platteville improved to 28–7–1 overall and 8–1 in the SWC. The Hillmen will host River Valley (33–6, 9–0) Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in the regular season conference finale for both teams and with a win can claim a share of a second straight SWC title.
“We have played River Valley three times this year and they are up 2–1 on us,” said Updike. “We would really like to even that off on Thursday night. Thursday night will be a huge match for us. We know River Valley will be fighting hard to have the conference title all to themselves.”
Platteville also earned the number three seed in the WIAA Division 2 River Valley Regional and will host #14 Mauston Tuesday at 7 p.m.
With a win the Hillmen would then host either #11 Mount Horeb or #6 Reedsburg on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Platteville 3, Rich. Center 2
(from Thursday, Oct. 10 @ Platteville)
Richland Center 31 25 11 16 6
Platteville 29 20 25 25 15
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Morgan Stecklein 24, Claire Tashner 11, Maddie Carroll 7. Blocks: Ashley Budden 6, Stecklein 4, Allison Woodworth 3, Marissa Marino 2. Assists: Rachel Emendorfer 26, Jenna Phillips 17. Aces: Briette Updike 4, Emendorfer 3, Budden 2. Digs: Updike 12, Budden 11, Emendorfer 5.