By Jennifer Eisenbart
At the start of the season, Catholic Central High School girls volleyball coach Mae Mae Oberhofer got a lot of questions from her team.
“They kept asking, ‘Are we gonna be all right?’” said Oberhofer, who lost four senior starters to graduation. “I kept telling them to trust in the plan.”
The Lady Toppers battled through any insecurities first to reach the WIAA Division 4 state meet, and then to win it Saturday morning, defeating Newman Catholic of Wausau 25-15, 25-18, 25-22.
Catholic Central won its fifth title in the last seven years, and its second straight. Junior Megan Wadsworth finished with a team-best 13 kills, including the kill that won the match for the Lady Toppers. She also had 11 digs, while senior Maggie Smith had 11 kills, nine digs and three services aces.
Please see below for the live blog from the championship match:
11:20 a.m. – CCHS wins the Division 4 state title on a 4-0 run to end the set, 25-22.
11:11 a.m. – Remember what I was saying about momentum earlier? Or maybe Newman saw the blog and felt slighted. In any case, we’re tied 18-18 in set three, as CCHS calls timeout to try and get this back on track.
11:07 a.m. – Of course, as soon as I update that, Newman’s Shaefer Rupar gets four straight kills and pulls Newman within 14-10. CCHS calls timeout to settle down.
11:05 a.m. – CCHS leads 14-6 in set three. CCHS has found a rhythm and Newman is out of theirs. Updates if CCHS wins this set will be slow due to the awards ceremony.
10:58 a.m. – Catholic Central seems in control now, and Newman seems more than a little bit frazzled. Newman timeout with CCHS leading 7-2.
10:52 a.m. – CCHS is now within a set of their second straight state title, taking set two 25-18 on a hard spike from Maggie Smith.
10:48 – Newman’s second timeout, with CCHS leading 21-15. Martin has re-entered the match in her normal rotation position, and the Lady Toppers seem to have settled down with her back it. It looked a little dicey there as players adjusted.
10:39 a.m. – We have a Newman timeout with Catholic Central ahead 10-4. Quick update on Martin – it looks like nothing more than a bloody nose.
10:35 a.m. – Unsure of the injury, but CCHS’s Brittany Martin is on the sideline as we have a blood timeout. CCHS leads 7-3.
10:25 – More often than not, volleyball is a game of momentum, and as sudden as that, CCHS got on a run on senior Maggie Smith’s serve. The Lady Toppers won nine of the last 10 points to win set one, 25-15.
10:22 a.m. – And as quick as that, it’s a second timeout for Newman, as CCHS is on a very small run. The Lady Toppers have inched out in front, and Newman is suddenly having trouble passing.
Also, the Burlington High School girls are now here to watch.
10:20 a.m. – Catholic Central continues to lead, but only 17-14. Newman calls a timeout, and CCHS’s Brittany Martin is back to serve.
10:14 a.m. – We’re tied at 11-all as CCHS calls a timeout. The two teams are very evenly matched so far, and neither team is really getting a long run on anyone’s serve.
9:55 p.m. – Fashion update: CCHS is in its white uniforms today, while Newman is in red. With both liberos in blue, it’s a very patriotic look today.
Good morning, everyone. We are live for the first of two WIAA girls state volleyball championship matches today. At 10 a.m., Catholic Central will face off against Wausau Newman for the Division 4 crown.
Please refresh often for updates.