WIAA Division 2: Analysis of 2018 Tournament Assignments
Catholic Memorial was dethroned in 2017 after three consecutive state titles by eventual champion Lakeside Lutheran who took home their first title. There was also a new name at the state tournament in Luxemburg-Casco, just outside of Green Bay, the…
Catholic Memorial was dethroned in 2017 after three consecutive state titles by eventual champion Lakeside Lutheran who took home their first title. There was also a new name at the state tournament in Luxemburg-Casco, just outside of Green Bay, the gateway to Door County. With some teams moving up to Division 1, and some minimal changes to the sectionals, there will be a familiar “Road to the Resch”. There are plenty of high caliber players who have already committed to NCAA Division 1 schools, but there is also a lot of parody across the state in this division. Of course there are always favorites, but as always, everything is up for grabs at this point. Here is a quick glance at the Division 2 tournament assignments for 2018.
*Sections and Sectional Semifinals named after the host.
Section 1 – Altoona
Sectional Semifinal – Osceola
St. Croix Central was the champion of this section which also has the likes of Altoona, Barron, and Rice Lake. This sectional semifinal is relatively the same as last year with most of these teams being all too familiar with each other come tournament time (not sure if that is a blessing or a curse). Last season Bloomer was upset by Rice Lake in the semifinals before falling to St. Croix Central in four sets.
Sectional Semifinal – Antigo
This section in general is a rather large geographical area, all of Northern Wisconsin. Merril is a traditional powerhouse in this section, making it to the state tournament last year, but lost Morgan Wardall (UW Whitewater commit) who was a point scoring machine. Northland Pines was a four seed last year in this section, but has Jacqueline Smith returning for her Junior year. She was an All State Outside/Utility player last year and will be looking to lead her team for a chance to play for the Resch. La Crosse Logan has Marissa Kleman who is a Class of 2020 recruit on the rise and with some support could take over a game. Overall, this section is wide open for who could be making the trip to the Resch Center come early November.
Section 2 – Wrightstown
Sectional Semifinal – Seymour
Luxemburg-Casco had a major breakthrough last year making it past Notre Dame and Little Chute on the way to the state tournament for an eventual runner up finish. They will be looking to replace All State players, Alexis Dorner (Green Bay commit) and Megan Cannon (Robert Morris commit), but will be returning Cassie Schlitz on the outside, Peyton Vandenbush, and Holly Baierl. Shawano Community was 29-10 last year and will be returning Junior outside hitter, Julia Klement who had 220 kills last season.
Sectional Semifinal – Chilton
Little Chute has 1st Team All State, Marquette commit Hannah Vanden Berg who had over 700 kills last year (yes, you read that correctly. That’s 7.2 kills per set). Fox Valley Lutheran, Chilton, and Xavier will also be contenders. FVL will have Jenna Charron returning for her Senior season, Chilton has Alysha Brickl setting to Jenna Chaussee on the outside, and Xavier will have middle blocker Gabby Murray back for her Senior year. Liz Gregorski, a Wisconsin commit, will be a Senior at Xavier, but suffered a knee injury this January playing club. Wautoma is a newcomer to this section and will have Sophomore Hattie Bray in the middle.
Section 3 – East Troy
Sectional Semifinal – River Valley
Mount Horeb will be a clear favorite in this group with the return of Elise Goetzinger, a 6’3 middle blocker that is committed to Kentucky. Mount Horeb was champion of this section edging out Platteville in five sets to advance to the sectional final. Some changes in this group is Reedsburg is now a Division 1 school while Wautoma has moved to section two.
Sectional Semifinal – Whitewater
Lakeside Lutheran has been the winner coming out of this section the past two years, but will have to reload after losing Amber Rowoldt, Elle Westrate, and Kaitlyn Gehler who were all key players in their state championship run last season. East Troy is traditionally always strong, but Lakeside Lutheran has been a thorn in their side the past couple seasons. Brianna Scuric, the Northern Illinois recruit, is back for her season season along with soon to be Sophomore Katie Winkler on the right side. With the possibility to host the sectional final in East Troy and being absent from the state tournament the past couple years will give extra motivation for the Trojans. Don’t forget about Big Foot, who had over 25 wins last year and returns three players who had over 100 kills last year in Abby Peterson, Reagan Courier, and Kampbell Hehr. Hehr also had over 500 assists for Big Foot as well in 2017.
Section 4 – Catholic Memorial
Sectional Semifinal – Kettle Moraine Lutheran
In 2017, Kettle Moraine Lutheran was one of the top ranked teams in Division 2, but was upset by Pewaukee (now in Division 1) in the sectional semifinals dropping set five 17-15. With some key players lost to graduation, they will still be returning All State middle in Ari Miller (UW Milwaukee commit). KML is a consistent program that will be reloading. Plymouth could be a contender as well with Cece Huhn back for her Senior year. Huhn is a physical and aggressive middle that has committed to Northern Colorado.
Sectional Semifinal – Wisconsin Lutheran
There are two teams that standout right away in this sectional semifinal. Not only will they be favorites in is group, but will also be in contention to win a state title. Catholic Memorial has been coming out of this section for years (East Troy was previously in this section in 2013). They will be returning a solid group from their state semifinal team from last year in setter/right side Caroline Dragani (Portland commit), Jenna Weinfurt who led the team with 370 kills, and libero Bella Holcomb. Wisconsin Lutheran has a power packed lineup back with Julia Treichel, a six rotation outside with over 300 kills last year, Carissa Sundholm, and Riyan Clement. Grace Beyer are returning as well as a setter with over 700 assists in 2017 while Morgan Dunn had over 500 digs.