EDGERTON - Three wins in a five-day span, including a come-from-behind upset of top-seeded Edgerton gave the Platteville volleyball team its first regional title since 1998.
After falling behind the host Crimson Tide two-games-to-one coach Yvette Statz’s Hillmen rallied for a 25-23, 22-25, 17-25, 25-16, 15-5 victory in Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 regional final at Edgerton High School.
“It is exciting and rewarding. The girls played so well,” explained Statz.
The Hillmen have now the right to settle which Southwest Wisconsin Conference team is really the best. Platteville (31-9) will travel to Richland Center (30-7) this Thursday night to face the Hornets in a D2 sectional semifinal. The Hillmen and Hornets split their regular season and shared the SWC conference title with Lancaster.
“We know what we have to do against Richland Center and the location is irrelevant,” said coach Statz. “We have to attack the ball aggressively and control the ball on our side of the net. The team that makes the fewest errors will win.”
After splitting a pair of close games to open the match Platteville fell behind when senior Tessa Snell, who slammed a match-high 31 kills, led Edgerton (25-14) to an eight-point victory in the third game.
“We just needed to get back to what had made us successful this season which was controlling the net and attacking the ball aggressively,” explained Statz of her team’s two-game lull in the middle of the match. “We stopped swinging at the ball in games two and three. After that we stayed focused and played one point at a time.”
In game four Platteville junior middle hitter Julia Lawinger came alive and started pounding the ball down which quickly took the momentum from Edgerton with a 25-16 win.
“As a team, we passed better which allowed us to attack the ball more effectively,” said Statz.
In Game 5 Platteville senior Katie Lucas served seven straight points that gave the Hillmen a 7-0 lead and junior Mackenzie Bartels drilled three straight hits to the floor, which deflated Edgerton. Platteville also forced Edgerton into several hitting errors in the decisive fifth game.
Lawinger finished the night with a team-high 21 kills and three blocks. Taylor Pagliaro added 14 kills and Tess Stecklein contributed 13 kills, 13 digs and two aces.
WIAA Division 2 Regional Quarterfinal
Platteville 3, Beloit Turner 0
(from Tuesday, Oct. 18 @ Platteville)
Beloit Turner 9 5 15
Platteville 25 25 25
Platteville stat leaders: Kills - Julia Lawinger 18, Mackenzie Bartels 8, Tess Stecklein 7. Blocks - Lawinger 3. Assists - Katie Lucas 23, Stephanie Phillips 13. Aces - Stecklein 3. Digs - Stecklein 7, Briette Updike 4, Megan Moss 4. 100 percent serving - Philipps 10-10, Ashley Budden 2-2, Katie Lucas 2-2.
WIAA Division 2 Regional Semifinal
Platteville 3, Mt. Horeb 0
(from Thursday, Oct. 20 @ Platteville)
Mt. Horeb 10 14 13
Platteville 25 25 25
Platteville stat leaders: Kills - Julia Lawinger 10, Taylor Pagliaro 8, Tess Stecklein 6. Blocks - Mackenzie Bartels 3. Assists - Katie Lucas 18. Aces - Tess Stecklein 2, Briette Updike 2. Digs - Briette Updike 9, Lucas 4. 100 percent serving - Updike 13-13, Stecklein 11-11, Philipps 3-3.
WIAA Division 2 Regional Final
Platteville 3, Edgerton 2
(from Saturday, Oct. 22 @ Edgerton)
Platteville 25 22 17 25 15
Edgerton 23 25 25 16 5
Platteville stat leaders: Kills - Julia Lawinger 21, Taylor Pagliaro 14, Tess Stecklein 13. Blocks - Mackenzie Bartels 6, Lawinger 3, Megan Moss 2, Stecklein 2. Assists - Katie Lucas 51. Aces - Katie Lucas 3, Stecklein 2, Pagliaro 2. Digs - Briette Updike 14, Stecklein 13. 100 percent serving - Stecklein 21-21, Lucas 17-17, Pagliaro 15-15, Lawinger 11-11, Updike 6-6.