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Top-seeded Vikings bounce Platteville in D2 regional final
pla Nies
Sophomore Josie Nies had five kills in Thursdays five-set WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal victory over Richland Center.

MOUNT HOREB — Platteville’s successful 2017 volleyball season came to an end Saturday night with a heart-breaking five-set loss at Mount Horeb in a WIAA Division 2 regional final.

After surviving a nail-biting five-set marathon with Southwest Wisconsin Conference rival Richland Center two nights earlier, the Hillmen again went the distance, but this time came up on the short end of the stick in a 29–27, 23–25, 18–25, 25–21, 15–9 loss.

The Hillmen (29–10) won sets two and three after a narrow two-point loss in the opening set, but couldn’t put the match away in the fourth set.

Platteville jumped out to a quick 3–0 lead in the fifth and final set, but the host and top-seeded Vikings (32–5) closed the set and match on a 15–6 run to clinch the regional championship on their home court.

“Mount Horeb is big,” said Platteville head coach Danielle Duerst. “With three girls over six foot tall, they put up a big block and had big swings. It was nothing that we could not handle, but we made to many mistakes at the wrong time.

“In practice we talked about getting a hand in Mount Horeb’s face. We need to double or even triple block on their middles. We knew that the majority of the balls were going to middle.  Our net play was very strong in games one, two and three. In games four and five our blocks were not as strong and they were tipping more, and our reaction time was too slow.”

Senior Skye Digman floored a team-high 19 kills and led the Hillmen with four blocks and 21 digs in her final match. Fellow senior Britney Baker added 44 assists, six tip kills and three blocks and senior Emilie Busch had 19 digs. Sophomore Izzy Carroll added eight kills and 19 digs.

Six-foot-4 sophomore Elies Goetzinger had 23 kills and seven blocks to lead the Vikings, who advance to face Reedsburg (20–12) in a D2 sectional semifinal Thursday night at Lodi.     

Platteville finishes it season at 29–10 overall after going perfect 10–0 in the SWC.

“It was a great season. Finishing 29–10 overall, 10–0 conference champs, winning two tournaments and finishing in the top half of all the tournaments we were in, is incredible,” said Duerst. “We can’t hang our heads because it didn’t end the way we wanted but we need to take that and build on it.” 

Platteville’s regional final appearance was almost spoiled Thursday night by third-seeded Richland Center.

The visiting Hornets (32–9) took the first two sets and led 17–15 in the third, before Platteville rallied to beat their conference rivals for the fourth time this season.

Digman floored a match-high 26 kills, including seven in the decisive fifth set.

Carroll had a season-high 19 kills and served up seven straight points in the fifth set that turned a 5–6 deficit into a 12–6 Platteville lead.

Senior Madision Rizner was exceptional for the visitors with 26 kills, six blocks and 27 digs to lead Richland Center’s upset bid.

“I knew that Thursday’s game was going to be a good one,” said Duerst. “The first two sets we had a hard time getting anything past their defense. They were digging up everything. Going into that third set, I changed up my lineup. I flipped my front and back players and after that change it was a different game.”

  WIAA Division 2 regional quarterfinal

Platteville 3, Dodgeville 0

(from Tuesday, Oct. 17 @ Platteville)

Dodgeville 10 15 14

Platteville 25 25 25

Platteville stat leaders 

Kills: Skye Digman 20, Izzy Carroll 6. Blocks: Digman 3, Carroll 3. Assists: Britney Baker 29. Aces: MJ Stephens 3, Carroll 2, Digman 2. Digs: Carroll 11, Kylie Rohrbach 10.


WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal

Platteville 3, 

Richland Center 2

(from Thursday, Oct. 19 @ Platteville)

Richland Center 25 25 20 20 9

Platteville 19 19 25 25 15

Platteville stat leaders 

Kills: Skye Digman 26, Izzy Carroll 19, Josie Nies 5, Becca Hoyer 4. Blocks: Digman 4, Carroll 2. Assists: Britney Baker 57. Aces: Carroll 3, M.J. Stephens 2. Digs: Carroll 33, Emilie Busch 22, Baker 21, Kylie Rohrbach 17, Digman 16, Hoyer 15.


WIAA Division 2 regional final

Mount Horeb 3, 

Platteville 2

(from Saturday, Oct. 21 @ Mount Horeb)

Platteville 27 25 25 21 9

Mount Horeb 29 23 18 25 15

Platteville stat leaders 

Kills: Skye Digman 19, Izzy Carroll 8, Britney Baker 6. Blocks: Digman 4, Baker 3. Assists: Britney Baker 44. Aces: Carroll 2. Digs: Digman 21, Emilie Busch 19, Carroll 19, Baker 8, Becca Hoyer 7.