Monday, October 31, 2016

State Girls Volleyball Tournament Preview

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 44th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Volleyball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 3-5, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $8 per session with school ticket packages available. To order tickets online, go to the WIAA website at:

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: The single-elimination tournament features matches with a best-of-five-sets, rally-scoring format. Eight teams will play for the State title in Division 1, with four teams still in contention for the State crown in Divisions 2, 3 and 4. Below is the schedule and match-ups for the tournament. 

Division 1
Quarterfinals - Thursday, Nov. 3
Menomonee Falls (36-8) vs. Greendale (19-21) - 4:30 p.m.
Burlington (37-9) vs. Divine Savior Holy Angels (34-11) - 4:30 p.m.

Appleton North (36-4) vs. Neenah (42-4) - 7:30 p.m.
River Falls (35-4) vs. Sun Prairie (38-11) - 7:30 p.m.

Semifinals - Friday, Nov. 4
Thursday's 4:30 p.m. winners - 7 p.m.
Thursday's 7:30 p.m. winners - 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
4:30 p.m.   Championship Match

Division 2
Semifinals - Friday, Nov. 4
Merrill (28-9) vs. Catholic Memorial (40-7) - 4 p.m.
Notre Dame (39-6) vs.  Lakeside Lutheran (38-4) - 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
2 p.m.   Championship Match

Division 3
Semifinals - Friday, Nov. 4
Aquinas (31-4) vs. Howards Grove (40-4) - 1 p.m.
Athens (22-19) vs. Lourdes Academy (36-10) - 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
11:30 a.m. Championship Match

Division 4
Semifinals - Friday, Nov. 4
Clayton (27-5) vs. Randolph (32-6) - 10 a.m.
Newman Catholic (32-7) vs. Seneca (26-9) 10 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
9 a.m.  Championship Match

FINALS ON FS WISCONSIN ALTERNATE:  Watch the broadcast of the WIAA State Girls Volleyball finals  Saturday on FS Wisconsin Alternate channel. The Division  4 and the Division 3 finals will be aired live at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively. The Division 2 and Division 1 championships finals will be aired at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively. Check local cable listings for the FS Wisconsin Alternate channel in your area.

PRE-FINAL MATCHES LIVE ON THE WEB:  The Division 1 quarterfinals and semifinals of all four divisions of the WIAA State Girls Volleyball Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, log-on to and click on the “JOIN NOW” button in the upper right corner of the page. Archived streams of the games will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription. The finals will be streamed on Fox Sports Go with cable system authentication.

LAST YEAR:  Divine Savior Holy Angels won the Division 1 title for the second consecutive season with a 25-20, 23-25, 25-27, 25-15, 15-12  victory over Oconomowoc in the championship final. Catholic Memorial won its second straight title in Division 2 with a 21-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-18 win over East Troy in the championship match. Waterloo captured the Division 3 crown for the second straight year by downing Lake Country Lutheran 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 15-10 in the title match. Newman Catholic won its third straight Division 4 title with a 23-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-20 triumph over Southwestern in the final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  This will be the ninth appearance for two-time defending champion Divine Savior Holy Angels. In addition to winning the last two titles, the Dashers captured the crown in 2001 and finished runner-up in 2012. This season, they defeated Brookfield East in three sets in the sectional final hosted by the Dashers to gain their berth in the State quarterfinals. The Dashers finished second to Brookfield East in the Greater Metro Conference this fall. Neenah returns to the State Tournament field for the fourth time in the past five seasons and for the 14th time overall. The Rockets have won one title, which came in 1978. They have finished runner-up on four occasions (1977, 1979, 1980 and 1992). They advance to the State quarterfinals this season by defeating last year’s runner-up Oconomowoc in three sets in the final of the Oconomowoc Sectional. The Rockets placed runner-up to Appleton North in the Fox Valley Association standings during the regular season. Burlington qualifies for the State Tournament for the third straight season and for the eighth time overall. The Demons have won two State championships, those came back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. Their return to the quarterfinals comes by virtue of a three-set sweep over Fort Atkinson in the Badger Sectional final. They tied for the Southern Lakes Conference championship this season with Westosha Central. Appleton North will be making its third appearance in the last four seasons and its fourth overall. The Lightning’s first experience in the State Tournament occurred in 1998, and their appearance last year was their furthest advance, falling in the semifinals. They qualify this season following a three-set win over De Pere in the sectional played at Kimberly. The Lightning finished first in   the Fox Valley Association standings this season. Greendale returns to the State Tournament for the second straight season and for the fifth time overall. The Panthers’ most notable outcome of their four previous experiences was a runner-up finish in Class A in 1974. They advance to the quarterfinals this year following a three-set victory over West Allis Hale in the sectional final played at Hale. The Panthers won the Woodland Conference championship this season. Menomonee Falls is making its 11th State appearance and its first since 2013 when the Indians won the Division 1 championship. The Indians also advanced to the title match in 2000 and finished runner-up. They remain in contention for the State title this season by defeating Arrowhead in three sets in the final of the Germantown Sectional. The Indians finished third in the Greater Metro Conference standings this season. Sun Prairie makes its third appearance at State after qualifying for the first time in 2012 and then again in 2013. They fell in the quarterfinals in 2012 and in the semifinals in 2013. The Cardinals defeated Waunakee in three sets in the sectional final played at Verona to earn another trip to Green Bay. They are the champions of the Big Eight Conference in 2016. River Falls qualifies for the first time in school history. The Wildcats’ celebration began following its hard-fought, five-set victory over D.C. Everest in the Chippewa Falls Sectional final. They won the Big Rivers Conference title this fall.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Two-time defending champion Catholic Memorial makes its third straight appearance and its ninth overall. The Crusaders have won six championships, among them were three consecutive titles from 2009-2011. They also won the championship in 2006, 2014 and again last year. They also advanced to the final and finished runner-up in 2008. The Crusaders defeated Kettle Moraine Lutheran in three sets in the final of the Whitnall Sectional to earn the chance at another title. They are the champions in the Classic Eight Conference this season. Merrill will make its eighth appearance at State and its second in the last three years. The Blue Jays’ won the Class A championship in 1981. The furthest advance since that time was to the semifinals in Division 1 in 2012. Their first five experiences came in the 1970s and early 1980s with the pool play format. The Blue Jays’ State berth comes virtue of their five-set win over Bloomer in the Rice Lake Sectional final. They placed second in the Wisconsin Valley Conference this year. Notre Dame has qualified for the State Tournament for the second time after making its first-ever appearance last season, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The Tritons return to the State semifinals follows a four-set victory over Little Chute in the Seymour Sectional final. They are the champions in the Fox River Classic Conference this season. Lakeside Lutheran will experience the State Tournament for the first time since its only other appearance in 2000, the year the Spartans joined the membership. They placed runner-up in Division 3 that season. The Warriors defeated Mount Horeb in four sets in the final of the McFarland Sectional. During the regular season, they placed first in the North Division of the Capitol Conference.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  The qualifying teams in the bracket are relatively inexperienced in relation to qualifying for State Tournament play. Howards Grove has the most State experience, having qualified on two other occasions. The Tigers are making their second appearance in the last three seasons. They lost in the semifinals in 2014 and won the Class C Championship in 1976 during the pool play era. The Tigers outlasted Lake Country Lutheran in five sets in the final of the Racine St. Catherine’s Sectional to advance to the State semifinals. They are the champions of the Big East Conference this fall. Lourdes Academy returns to the field for the second straight season after making the program’s first appearance last season, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The Knights downed Wisconsin Heights in four sets in the New Glarus Sectional final to earn their return to the Resch Center. They are the champions in the North Division of the Trailways Conference this year. Athens returns to the tournament for the first time since its only other appearance in 1976, which was during the era of pool play. The Fighting Bluejays finished runner-up in Class C that season. They advance to the State semifinals this year following a four-set win over Wittenberg-Birnamwood in the final of the Auburndale Sectional. They were runners-up in the North Division of the Marawood Conference. Aquinas will be making their first appearances in the State Tournament. The Blugolds’ path to State came through the Durand Sectional and culminated with a five-set victory over Grantsburg in the final. They finished atop the standings in the Mississippi Valley Conference in 2016. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD: Three-time defending champion Newman Catholic is back attempting to continue its control of the gold ball. The Fighting Cardinals are making their ninth overall appearance and their eighth in the last nine seasons. They are attempting to become the first program in Division 4 to win four consecutive championships. The Fighting Cardinals’ have had two runner-up finishes, those came in 2009 and 2012. They are the representatives out of the Stevens Point Sectional, defeating Bowler in the final with relative ease in three sets. They finished first in the South Division of the Marawood Conference this fall. Clayton makes its fourth straight appearance and its eighth overall. The Bears have won two State titles, those coming in 1990 and 1996.  In addition, they have finished runner-up twice, once in 2008 and the other in 2013. They return to the Resch Center this season as a result of a three-set sweep over Mercer in the Hayward Sectional final. They are the champions in the Central Lakeland Conference this season. Seneca is making its seventh appearance at State, but only its second since the pool-play format era. Five of the former experiences came during the 1980s, which produced back-to-back runner-up finishes in Class C in 1981 and 1982. The Indians added a runner-up finish in Division 4 in 1998. Their return to State comes virtue of a four-set win over Bangor in the Richland Center Sectional final. They are the champions of the Ridge & Valley Conference this fall. Randolph celebrates qualifying for the State Tournament for the first time since the 1990s and for the third time overall. The Rockets’ most recent and most notable experience resulted in a runner-up finish in 1999. They placed second in the North Division of the Trailways Conference behind Division 3 qualifier Lourdes Academy this season, and their road to State was paved through the Beaver Dam Sectional with a three-set victory over Hilbert in the final.

WIAA OFFICIAL VOLLEYBALL:  Molten is the official ball of the WIAA State Girls and Boys Volleyball Tournament Series. To learn more about Molten products, access the website at 

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State Girls Volleyball Tournament are available on the WIAA website at by accessing the girls volleyball page at

STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MESSAGING: Receive updates of the State Girls Volleyball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaagvb. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

BELLIN ATHLETIC TRAINING:  Bellin Health Sports Medicine is the exclusive provider of licensed athletic training services for the State Girls Volleyball Tournament.


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