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Ellsworth faces Durand for third time this season in regionals

sports Ellsworth,Wisconsin 54011
Pierce County Herald
Ellsworth faces Durand for third time this season in regionals
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

How hard is it to beat a team three times in one season? The Ellsworth High School volleyball team will soon find out Tuesday evening as they host Durand at 7 p.m. at Ellsworth High School in a WIAA Division 2 regional tournament first round match.

Ellsworth beat Durand in two close games at the Middle Border Conference quadrangular in early September and last week came-from-behind down 2-0 to beat their Highway 10 rivals 3-2 in Durand. Ellsworth has been off since then while Durand lost 3-1 to Big Rivers champ Eau Claire North.

If EHS, a No. 3 seed wins they'll more than likely face No. 2 seed Somerset Friday in Somerset. The Spartans, 14-7 overall, beat Ellsworth 3-1 when two teams squared off back on Sept. 21. Ellsworth is 16-5 overall. The No. 1 seed in the regional is Rice Lake.

Other regional first round matches involving Pierce County teams include Prescott, a No. 5 seed in its Division 3 regional tournament at No. 4 seed Clear Lake and No. 6 seed Spring Valley at No. 3 seeded and Lakeland Conference squad Unity in Balsam Lake.

The Eagles have roughly the same record as Spring Valley, which is 19-24 overall, but it is a testament to how tough the Lakeland is perceived that both Unity and Clear Lake had higher seeds. Both teams finished 4-6 in the Lakeland West Conference. After all, the league champ is the state's top-ranked team, Grantsburg. They're also the No. 1 seed in the regional and one of three top 10 teams in a loaded sectional which also includes No. 4 ranked Eau Claire Regis, No. 7 ranked Washburn and conference champs like Colfax. Prescott would presumably take on Grantsburg if they win and Spring Valley would face No. 2 seed Webster, who was a runner-up to Grantsburg in the Lakeland West.

The Division 4 sectional both Plum City and Elmwood find themselves in is also top-heavy with ranked teams, including No. 1 ranked Highland, No. 5 Southwestern, No. 7 Royall, and No. 8 Hillsboro. None of these teams are in the regional PC and Elmwood are in but two conference champions are. No.1 seed Alma and No. 2 seed Cochrane-Fountain City both shared the Dairyland Conference title with 8-1 records. Elmwood is at C-FC while Plum City, the No. 3 seed, hosts Independence, who they faced last year in the first round of the regionals.

PC has faced all of these teams, beating both Elmwood and Independence, while losing 3-2 to Alma and 2-1 to Cochrane-Fountain City at a quad meet in Durand. Alma is 16-5 overall, while C-FC has won over 30 games this season including wins over Mondovi, Royall and Durand. Plum City is 19-21 but 7-2 in the Dunn-St. Croix.