Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Will the Falcons Ever Not Go to State: A Preview of Division One Sectional Six

Over the past few years, this sectional has been Westosha's to lose. And more often than not, they haven't lost. Heck, they haven't even lost state most years. Sectional shake-ups this year, however, will bring new faces into the mix and some might give the Falcons a run for their money. Kenosha Tremper, for example, went to state themselves last year, losing to West Bend East in five incredibly hard-fought and enormously entertaining sets.

Contenders: Badger, Beloit Memorial, Burlington, Elkhorn Area, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Kenosha Bradford, Kenosha Tremper, Milton, Oregon, Stoughton, Verona Area, Westosha Central and Wilmot Union.

Top Finishers Last Year: Westosha Central reached the state semifinals. Kenosha Tremper went to the state quarterfinals. Burlington and Oregon reached sectional semifinals.

Random Notes: If you're only paying attention to last names, much of Westosha's roster might sound familiar: Neave, Niles, Schumaker, Visk. In many instances, however, the first names have changed as younger sisters or cousins replace graduates. Returnees include, among others, senior setter Emily Neave (1,117 assists), senior outside Sam Rampart (220 kills) and senior outside Christina Brinkman (278 kills). Joining them will likely be a talented group of sophomores: middles Carley Niles and Chelsea Visk, plus libero Sara Schumaker.

Kenosha Tremper loses last year's setter, UMBC freshman Allie Spaay, but returns plenty of senior leadership in middle Rebecca Kelly (135 kills), outside Abby Padlock (267 kills), middle Mariska Van Den Bergh (124 kills) and defensive specialist Amanda Spaay (625 digs).

Oregon has an NCAA D1 recruit in senior outside Emily Franklin (she'll take the court for Stephen F. Austin University in the fall of '09). Also look for key contributions from sophomore middle Brianna Wethal.

Stoughton will be another team that's new to this sectional and they'll likely turn to junior setter Mereta Monsen to run their offense. Senior outside Caitlin McCaughn and senior middle Ali Wahlin could be getting plenty of swings.

Janesville Parker will turn to senior middle Shelby Demos. Milton could look to junior right side Gretchen Natter, junior middle Erin Stalker and sophomore middle Emilee Walters.

Burlington always fields a strong team. Since last year's team had nine '08s, however, there are plenty of unknowns going into this season. Potential returnees include junior middle Taylor Tuinstra, senior defensive specialist Kailee Longoria, junior middle Kayla Uhlenhake, senior defensive standout Anna Bartz, junior defensive specialist Quinn Imrie and junior outside Mandi Baumeister.

Our Prediction: Westosha Central over Oregon in four.

Next Up: Girls Division One Sectional Seven


Anonymous said...

Just one correction, Shelby Demos plays for Janesville Parker, not Craig.

VBuberalles said...

We've corrected it. Thanks.