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FOUNTAIN CITY -- The errors piled up and the Plum City volleyball team dug too big of a hole to climb out of against Cochrane-Fountain City in the WIAA regional final. The Blue Devils made many mistakes that cost them at critical junctures and allowed the Pirates to escape with a 25-2, 17-25, 25-16, 30-28 victory to advance to sectionals and end their season. Early on it had the looks of a blowout, but Plum City showed some resiliency to grab a second-set victory and nearly push the match to a fifth set. Heather Von Holtum led the Blue Devils with 16 kills and Marah Boyer added 13.
It's been a roller-coaster ride of a season for the Ellsworth volleyball, but the Panthers have enjoyed the ends of those rides just like they did Tuesday against Somerset.
The Ellsworth volleyball team picked up three victories at a quad Tuesday in New Richmond. The Panthers won each match 2-1 beginning with a 25-13, 30-28, 16-18 marathon match against Durand. Ellsworth (4-1) followed that with a 25-19, 25-16, 14-16 win over Prescott and a 25-18, 25-17, 17-19 win over New Richmond. Senior Abbey Ristow finished with 46 kills for the evening for the Panthers. Senior Jessy Tingelstad had 40 assists and sophomore Olivia Helmer added 21 assists. "When we got the pass up it was a pretty game," Panthers head coach Tanya Powers said.
ELLSWORTH - It seems purple and white always look good on Clair Austin. Austin, the first-year coach at Ellsworth, has sported the colors as a player in high school where he won a state championship at Brandon, S.D., at Goodhue, where he led the team to two state championships and eight state tournament appearances in 13 years, and now with the Panthers, who made him a winner Friday in his first game with a 22-7 victory over Elk Mound. "I think it's big to start out the way we did," Austin said. Big because winning football games hasn't come easily for Ellsworth in the past three years.
Ellsworth led by a run after six complete, but the Panthers committed two errors and allowed three runs in the top of the seventh to lose Tuesday's home game in the Division 2 regional tournament. Ellsworth finished the game with six errors. "If we play better defense we win the game," Panthers coach Ryan Casper said. "Defensively we didn't get it done. We gave them too many outs." Ellsworth loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but it only managed one run that frame. It left the tying run stranded at third. Halle Hatch suffered the loss.
Ellsworth senior Joey Henning's prep career came to an end Tuesday as he shot an 89 and finished in a five-way tie for 39th place at the Division 2 Hayward sectional. The meet was played at Hayward Golf Club.
The Panthers committed five errors in the second round of the Division 2 regional tournament Tuesday night in Somerset, falling in extra innings. Somerset had zero errors. James Georgakas started for Ellsworth and didn't allow a single earned run over his seven innings of work. He struck out eight and walked three while giving up eight hits. Ellsworth was forced to go up against Jared Dettman, who has committed to play baseball at the University of Connecticut next year. "I thought (Georgakas) pitched better than (Dettman)," Ellsworth coach Steve Block said.
All season Ellsworth strove to be more consistent on defense and at the plate. In the final game of the regular season Tuesday, the Panthers didn't commit an error and they collected 10 hits as they won in Osceola. "I think we accomplished what we set out to," Panthers coach Ryan Capser said. Neither team started its top pitcher and several Ellsworth players found themselves in different roles or positions. The player shuffling took place because the two teams are expected to meet in the second-round of the Division 2 regionals. Ellsworth is the No. 2 seed and Osceola is the No.
Ellsworth's Joe Henning fired an 81 Tuesday at the Division 2 Osceola regional and qualified for the sectional tournament as an individual. Henning, a senior, tied for 11th place at the regional. Ellsworth finished sixth in the 11-team field at Krooked Kreek Golf Club with a 361. The top four teams advanced to the sectional. Chrystian Kulow finished with the Panthers' second best score, an 87.
The Ellsworth boys and girls both placed third out of nine teams at the Division 2 regional meet Monday in Somerset.