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Retooled Hillmen are on fire
Platteville improves to 30 in SWC with sweep of Lancaster; wins Wisconsin Dells Invite
pla vb team champs
The Platteville volleyball team improved to 183 on the season by winning the Wisconsin Dells Invitational on Saturday. Members of the team are (front, from left) Rachel Emendorfer, Jenna Phillips, Briette Updike, Ashley Budden and Faye Bailie, (back) coach Yvette Updikes, Claire Tashner, Marissa Marino, Morgan Stecklein, Allison Woodworth and Maddie Carroll.

A few minor changes and a year of maturity may have made Platteville an even better volleyball team than a year ago, when the Hillmen went 31–9–1 and advanced to the sectionals for the first time in more than a decade.

With the emergence of juniors Allison Woodworth and Faye Bailie as middle hitters, fellow junior Morgan Stecklein was able to transition to outside this year, making Platteville’s offense more diverse.

Stecklein, Platteville’s top hitting threat this year, was a first-team All-SWC selection last year while playing middle hitter.

Senior Ashley Budden, a second-team All-SWC choice a year ago, has also moved to the outside, to compliment other starting outside hitters Claire Tashner and Maddie Carroll. Both Tashner and Carroll are juniors.

Senior four-year starter Briette Updike —Coach Yvette Updike’s daughter — is back to lead the defense, while juniors Rachel Emendorfer and Jenna Phillips share the setting responsibilities in Platteville’s 6–2 attack.

So far, so good.

The retooled Hillmen look better than ever.

Last week, Platteville improved to 3–0 in the SWC with easy victories over Dodgeville (25–12, 25–12, 25–10) on Tuesday and Lancaster (25–15, 25–16, 25–21) on Thursday.

On Saturday the Hillmen improved to 18–3 on the year by winning five straight matches to win the title of the eight-team Wisconsin Dells Invitational for the second straight year.

Platteville has now won eight straight matches and 14 of its past 15. And everyone is playing a part.

“We have four individuals that can play a solid middle position for us (Woodworth, Bailie, Budden and Stecklein),” said coach Updike. “We can have multiple hitters who can attack out of several positions this year. We feel this can be very advantageous for us this season.”

“With everyone coming back this team knows the offensive and defensive schemes so that makes it nice,” added Updike. “We are focusing on defining each individual’s strengths to better the team as a whole. We know the outside expectations are high so our goal is to stay focus, disciplined, and control the things we can control.”

Platteville faced its first big test of the conference season when it traveled to defending SWC champion River Valley on Tuesday. The Hillmen will now host Richland Center Thursday before particiating in the Madison Edgewood Invitational on Saturday.

Platteville 3, Dodgeville 0
(from Tuesday, Sept. 9 @ Dodgeville)
Platteville            25    25    25
Dodgeville            12    12    10
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Morgan Stecklein 10, Allison Woodworth 8, Ashley Budden 7, Maddie Carroll 6. Blocks: Woodworth 2. Assists: Rachel Emendorfer 20, Jenna Phillips 10. Aces: Briette Updike 4, Claire Tashner 2. Digs: Briette Updike 20, Stecklein 9, Emendorfer 7, Tashner 6.

Platteville 3, Lancaster 0
(from Thursday, Sept. 11 @ Platteville)
Lancaster            15    16    21
Platteville            25    25    25
Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Morgan Stecklein 12, Maddie Carroll 5, Claire Tashner 5. Blocks: Faye Bailie 5, Allison Woodworth 2. Assists: Jenna Phillips 12, Rachel Emendorfer 10. Aces: Tashner 5, Stecklein 4, Budden 2. Digs: Briette Updike 16, Stecklein 10, Tashner 7.

Wisconsin Dells Invitational
(from Saturday, Sept. 13 @ Wisc. Dells)
Championship: Platteville def. Cambellsport 25–12, 25–12
Third-place game: Wisconsin Dells def. Portage
Semifinals: Platteville def. Portage25–20, 25–12; Campbellsport def. Wisconsin Dells.

Pool A: Platteville 3–0, Wisconsin Dells 2–1, Reedsburg 1–2, Neillsville 0–3.
Pool B: Campbellsport 3–0, Portage 2–1, Adams–Friendship 1–2, Laona/Wabeno 0–3.

Platteville Pool Scores
Platteville def. Neillsville 25–13, 25–9
Platteville def. Wisconsin Dells 20–25, 25–12, 15-8
Platteville def. Reedsburg 25–12, 25–20

Platteville stat leaders
Kills: Morgan Stecklein 45, Claire Tashner 24, Maddie Carroll 19, Ashley Budden 14, Allison Woodworth 13. Blocks: Faye Bailie 9, Woodworth 6, Carroll 4, Stecklein 4, Tashner 3, Budden 3. Assists: Jenna Phillips 51, Rachel Emendorfer 49. Aces: Emendorfer 6, Tashner 5, Briette Updike 3, Phillips 3. Digs: Briette Updike 89, Tashner 23, Stecklein 22.