PC spikers try to dethrone defending sectional champs tonightHaving knocking down one defending champion Plum City High School's volleyball team will try to do the same to another Thursday in the semifinals of the WIAA Division 4 North Crawford Sectional Tournament.
Having knocking down one defending champion Plum City High School's volleyball team will try to do the same to another Thursday in the semifinals of the WIAA Division 4 North Crawford Sectional Tournament.
The No. 4 seeded Blue Devils, 25-12 overall, beat the three-time defending regional champion Cochrane-Fountain City Pirates last weekend and now have their sights set on taking down the reigning sectional champions, Hillsboro, as well.
The match is set for 7 p.m. at Brookwood High School in Ontario,
The Tigers come in as the No. 7 ranked team in the state in Division 4 with a 35-11 record. Their losses have been to bigger schools like Wausau East, Onalaska, Medford and Grafton or to fellow volleyball powers like Richland Center and Eau Claire Regis. Their lone win against a ranked opponent was vs. No. 9 Weyauwega-Fremont out of Division 3, but the Tigers' schedule shows they don't shy away from tough competition.
No. 1 seeded Hillsboro is led on offense by senior Hilary Stanek, a 5-5 middle blocker. She leads the team in kills with 287 to go with 255 digs and 61 aces. Senior captain Ali Brey is the team leader in digs with 344. Senior, 6-0 right hitter Sami Levy has 271 kills to go with 58 aces and is the team leader in blocks with 63. Senior outside hitter, 5-3 Kelli Janecek has 218 kills and 67 aces. The Tigers top setter is freshman Mackenzie Sullivan with 516 assists and a team leading 82 aces. Junior Kelsey Skala has 442 assists and another freshman who plays a big role with the Hillsboro varsity is Tasha Mitchell, who has 150 kills and 41 blocks.
Plum City last tangled with Hillsboro in the sectional semifinals in 2006, losing 3-0. Back then the Blue Devils, facing the state's No. 1 ranked team at the time, were just happy to be there in Cashton that evening after winning the school's first-ever regional title in the sport. Plum City coaches say that back then PC had maybe had two hitters who could match-up with Hillsboro, now they have four. And having downed C-FC, they now have the confidence to compete with the traditional top teams of the sectional like Hillsboro, Highland and Potosi. These three schools alone have won all the D-4 west-southwest sectional titles combined in the last 10 years. Hillsboro has won six, including stretch of five in-a-row from 2003-'07.
Another factor to keep in mind is Hillsboro has not played in a five-game, one-night match this season, although they do play in multiple match game tournaments on the weekends. The longest such one-night match the Tigers have had in 2012 was four games and the last such match the Tigers played in took place on Sept. 27 in a 3-1 win over Brookwood.
Speaking of Potosi, the No. 2 Chieftains face No. 9 seeded North Crawford in Richland Center in the other semifinal Thursday. The semifinal winners meet in Saturday's championship match at North Crawford High School, which is located in Soldier's Grove.