One of the state's most dominant programs in any sport will take aim at a third consecutive state title when Catholic Memorial's girls volleyball team returns to the Resch Center in Green Bay, beginning Friday.
The Crusaders will meet Merrill in the WIAA Division 2 state semifinal at 4 p.m., and with a win, will face either Notre Dame or Lakeside Lutheran in the D2 title game at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Memorial defeated Notre Dame in last year's semifinal and returns numerous players from the roster that secured the program's sixth state title since the WIAA-WISAA merger in 2000.
CMH also won titles in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015.
Senior Lexi Alden leads the team with 380 kills, followed by Northwestern recruit Ivey Whalen (204) and Maddy Rondeau (203), who once again doubles as the team's top setter (601 assists). Emily Mirsberger also has 349 assists this year, with Kaitlyn Zingsheim contributing 167 kills and 20 solo blocks and sophomore Jenna Weinfurt adding 135 kills.
Senior Kathryn Christian leads the back row with 510 digs, and Rondeau has 337. Six different players have at least 27 aces, including Christian (48) and senior Grace Sheetz (42).
The heavily favored Crusaders barely broke a sweat in the sectional, downing Kettle Moraine Lutheran by a 25-19, 25-18, 25-19 score in the final after a 25-20, 25-7, 25-19 win over Shorewood in the semifinal. Memorial has not lost a set in the playoffs thus far. KML was ranked No. 4 in the state in the final coaches poll, with CMH (1), Notre Dame (2) and Lakeside (3) all reaching state. Merrill was not ranked.
CMH soccer falls
Catholic Memorial fell to Delavan-Darien in the WIAA Division 3 sectional final in boys soccer, 4-1. The Crusaders were looking for their first state berth since 2011.
Tigrio Huerta had a goal and three assists for the Comets (24-1-1), the No. 1-ranked team in the state in the final coaches poll, one spot ahead of CMH.
Crusaders to host sectional
CMH boys volleyball will also look for a spot in the state field when it hosts a sectional final Thursday. The top seed was slated to host Madison LaFollette on Tuesday, and with a win, would face either Kettle Moraine or Madison West for the right to appear at state.
LaFollette upset Waukesha West in the Oct. 28 regional final, with a 15-13 outcome in the fifth set. Waukesha North and Waukesha South also lost that night.
CMH has been to 11 state tournaments since 2000, winning titles in 2010 and 2000.