Quick Analysis Of WIAA Regional and Sectional Assignments – Division 1
The tournament assignments are out for the WIAA Girls Volleyball 2018 season. From who will be in the section and where the sectional semifinals and finals will be played, the season will be soon approaching and chatter will start on…
The tournament assignments are out for the WIAA Girls Volleyball 2018 season. From who will be in the section and where the sectional semifinals and finals will be played, the season will be soon approaching and chatter will start on favorites, dark horses, and potential matchups for those late October Thursday and Saturday nights. We will be taking a closer look at some of the groupings, changes in sectionals, and some favorites. I’m personally not a huge believer in doing predictions right now (although it is fun to think about), but here are some of the initial thoughts when taking a look at the Division 1 assignments. Division 2, Division 3, and Division 4 breakdown will come later in the week and next!
Division 1 At A Glance
*The section is named based off of who is hosting the Sectional Final
Section 1 – Eau Claire Memorial Sectional
Relatively no changes to this sectional, but still a large geographical section of Northern Wisconsin from Wausau and Stevens Point all the way to Superior. Last year River Falls was the winner in this sectional and will return a solid crew again with a talented incoming Junior class with Emily Banitt and Halle Olson, and soon to be Sophomore Anna Wolf who has committed to Minnesota. The cupboard is far from bare with other talent ready to step in. The Wausau area with DC Everest and Wausau West has talent to compete with plenty of their players competing for Wisconsin Ice in the offseason.
Section 2 – De Pere Sectional
In the past five years the winner of this sectional has been Kimberly or Appleton North. These two FVA conference rivals are in this sectional again, but overall there is plenty of balance here. North and Kimberly will still be favorites, but Ashwaubenon behind Maddie Koch (Purdue commit) will be a much improved team with De Pere always being a competitive team from the Fox River Conference. Last season, Bay Port was able to win their Regional to make it to sectionals to give Kimberly a scare in the sectional semifinals.
Section 3 – Waunakee Sectional
A combination of the Big 8 Conference and the Badger Conference, this section covers the Madison area West to the Mississippi River in La Crosse. Waunakee was the winner of this sectional last year with a five set win over Sun Prairie in the Sectional Final. Those two teams will be favorites again with Waunakee’s Kiana Schmitt (Creighton commit), Mila Mallik, and Sarah Malone returning from the state tournament team and Sun Prairie full of new talent. DeForest with have Sopheea Mink (High Point commit) and Middleton will have offensive threat Lily Welti (St. Louis commit) back for her Senior season.
Section 4 – Manitowoc Lincoln Sectional
This sectional is deep. The matchups and the final four of the sectional semifinals will be interesting. Last year, Oconomowoc was the champion with Neenah, West Bend West, and Sheboygan North in the final four. These four teams will in contention to make it back to the sectional semifinal this year returning multiple players who have committed to Division 1 schools. Fond du Lac will have a strong team returning as well as Watertown. Oshkosh West has an extremely talented Sophomore class and Manitowoc Lincoln will have a solid team as well. There could be some interesting match ups and even some surprises in the regionals for this section as well.
Section 5 – DSHA Sectional
Many of these players out of this section have spent their off season playing club against each other. This section also runs deep with teams playing each other at the state tournament. Menomonee Falls, DSHA, and Germantown have all made the state tournament in the last four years. Arrowhead, Brookfield Central, and Brookfield East have all been oh so close to being able to make it to the Resch as has West Allis Hale. Sussex Hamilton has a strong crew of younger players gaining valuable experience this club season and will be a team to keep an eye on all season. One major change is Pewaukee moving up from Division 2 which will add to the already strong depth of this section.
Section 6 – Westosha Central Sectional
I’m not even going to put a number on this, but how many times has this sectional come down to Burlington vs. Westosha Central. Both of these teams will be in this section once again as will Union Grove and Wilmot which has some players who have had some success for Wisconsin Juniors this past winter. Burlington is the defending state champions, but will have to replace their pins with Brooklyn VandeHei and Abby Koenen moving onto to start their college careers. They will have setter, Kaley Blake returning as well as defensive players Maddie Berezowitz (Kentucky commit) and Samantha Naber (Marquette commit). Westosha Central has a strong Senior class coming back, led by Oral Roberts recruit Laura Shoopman.
Section 7 – Racine Case Sectional
This section has had a bit of a makeover with teams between section six and seven switching. However the two teams that stand out right away are Greendale and Franklin. Greendale will be looking to make their fourth straight state tournament appearance, with Kayce Litzau (Wichita State commit) and Nicole Martin being starters on this team since they were Freshmen. Franklin has Breanna Merkel (Western Illinois commit) and Kaylee Kuecker (UW-Parkside commit), the 2017 offensive and defensive players of the year in the Southeast Conference.
Section 8 – Kettle Moraine Sectional
Section 8 is a little bit of a hybrid between all of the Milwaukee sections from years past. Mukwonago and Kettle Moraine are out of the section with Menomonee Falls and Arrowhead and are now with the schools out of Waukesha as well as many of the Milwaukee schools. Mukwonago will be one of the favorites in this section having been to the state tournament last year and returning Western Illinois recruit Alayna Jansky. Kettle Moraine has solid group of players this upcoming season and will be very competitive in the area. Don’t sleep on Waukesha West. They have a roster full of athletes who have had a really solid club season.
Full List Of Teams Found Here: https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Results/Volleyball_Girls/2018/d1bracket.pdf