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Platteville volleyball team finishes second at Sparta Invite
Hillmen improve to 1123 overall
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     SPARTA — The Platteville volleyball team’s fast start to the 2012 season continued last week with a SWC victory over visiting Dodgeville and a second-place finish at Saturday’s Sparta Invitational.
     On Thursday, senior Julia Lawinger had 11 kills, eight digs and four blocks, while fellow senior middle hitter Mackenzie Bartels added six kills and eight blocks in a 25–21, 25–21, 25–19 sweep of the Dodgers.
     Freshman Morgan Stecklein added eight kills and nine digs as the Hillmen improved to 2-0 in conference play.
     “We passed well which allowed us to execute our offense,” said Platteville coach Yvette Statz. “Our front line blocked well with a total of 16 block kills on the night.”
     Saturday the Hillmen went 4–0–1 and finished first in pool play at the six-team Sparta Invitational, but Fall Creek defeated Platteville 25–23, 25–23 in the championship match to claim the tournament title.
     The teams split their two-game match 25–23, 15–25 in pool play with Platteville winning the first set.
     “Fall Creek attacked very strong against us,” said Statz. “Unfortunately, we were unable to maintain our attacking game. I was proud of the team fighting hard to the end.”
     Platteville trailed the second set 18–22, but rallied to force a 23–23 tie. But the Hillmen missed a defensive dig that gave the Crickets a one-point lead at 24-23.
     After extended back and forth volley, Platteville ended the game with a hitting error that allowed Fall Creek to win the match and tournament.
     “Of course, we were aiming for a repeat of last year, but I was pleased with the team’s performance,” added Statz.
Platteville defeated the host Spartans 25–11, 25–9 in the semifinals to reach the championship.
     During pool play the Hillmen swept Wonewoc–Center, Black River Falls, North Crawford and Sparta, before the split with Fall Creek.
     In seven matches during the tournament Lawinger posted a team-high 64 kills and 26 blocks and also made 18 digs.
Bartels tallied 42 kills and 19 blocks.
     Sophomore libero Briette Updike led the team with 50 digs and 17 aces. Freshmen setter Rachel Emendorfer and Jenna Phillips passed out 53 and 49 assists respectively.
     Stecklein slammed 120 kills and Maddie Carroll added 25 digs and six blocks.

Platteville 3, Dodgeville 0
(from Thursday, Aug. 30 @ Lancaster)
Dodgeville            21    21    19
Platteville            25    25    25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Julia Lawinger 11, Morgan Stecklein 8, Mackenzie Bartels 6. Blocks: Bartels 8, Lawinger 4, Maddie Carroll 2, Rachel Emendorfer 2. Assists: Jenna Phillips 14, Rachel Emendorfer 13. Aces: Emendorfer 3, Stecklein 3 Digs:  Briette Updike 10, Stecklein 9, Lawinger 8.

Sparta Invitational
(from Saturday, Sept. 8 @ Sparta)
Championship: Fall Creek def. Platteville 25–23, 25–23.
Semifinals: Fall Creek def. Black River Falls; Platteville def. Sparta 25–11, 25–9
Pool Play Standings: 1.Platteville 9–1, 2.Fall Creek 8–2, 3.Black River Falls, 4.Sparta, 5.Wonewoc Center, 6.North Crawford.

Platteville match scores
Platteville def. Wonewoc–Center 25-17, 25-11
Platteville def. Black River Falls 25-14, 25-21
Platteville def. North Crawford 25-7, 25-15
Platteville def. Sparta 25-18, 25-22
Platteville split with Fall Creek 25-23, 15-25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Julia Lawinger 64, Mackenzie Bartels 42, Morgan Stecklein 20. Blocks: Lawinger 26, Bartels 19, Maddie Carroll 6. Assists: Rachel Emendorfer 53, Jenna Phillips 49. Aces: Briette Updike 17, Claire Tashner 10, Lawinger 7, Emendorfer 7. Digs:  Briette Updike 50, Carroll 25, Emendorfer 19, Lawinger 18.