Lady Falcons soar to regional title

Falls topples Kiel, Plymouth to secure sectional berth
by Steve Ottman Falls News Correspondent

MEMBERS OF THE Sheboygan Falls High School volleyball team celebrate after defeating Plymouth to capture a WIAA Division 2 regional championship Saturday, Oct. 26, in Sheboygan Falls. - Falls News photo by Steve Ottman MEMBERS OF THE Sheboygan Falls High School volleyball team celebrate after defeating Plymouth to capture a WIAA Division 2 regional championship Saturday, Oct. 26, in Sheboygan Falls. - Falls News photo by Steve Ottman The Sheboygan Falls High School volleyball team wrapped up a WIAA Division 2 regional championship with a tough 3-1 victory over arch-rival Plymouth in a regional title contest Saturday, Oct. 26 in Sheboygan Falls.

The victory secured the Falcons’ first regional title under the direction of first-year head coach Christy Kohlhagen and the program’s first regional crown since 2010.

Falls and Plymouth have met seven times in the last eight regional playoffs with the Falcons winning six of the seven matches, including five straight times between 2006-10. The Panthers earned their sole victory in 2011.

The No. 2 seeded Falls squad won the match on game scores of 25-14, 25-20, 21-25 and 25-22 against No. 3 seeded Plymouth.

With the loss, Plymouth finished its season at 29-9 overall.

The Falcons (26-14 overall) will face No. 1 seed Kettle Moraine Lutheran in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semi-final playoff matchup at Plymouth Thursday, Oct. 31.

“We came out hot and shut down their hitters,” said Falcons’ head coach Christy Kohlhagen. “It was important to have a good start. The last game was a classic battle.”

“This was a good matchup of two even teams,” said Plymouth head coach Peggy Huhn. “Falls was stronger in games one and two. However, we played better in games three and four with a fight to the end.”

In the fourth game, the Falcons and Panthers tied 12 times, with Plymouth surging to a 22-20 lead late in the game.

However, Falls rallied to score the last five points to pull out a 25- 22 victory on Kimberly Schwobe’s match ending kill.

“We came out focused tonight,” said Falls senior Jessy Liebelt. “In warm-ups we were better than the other night. We played well as a team.”

The Falcons gained the advantage with a commanding 25-14 game win on the strength of a late 8-point run.

In the second game, Falls jumped out to an 18-10 lead only to see Plymouth tie them at 18-18. The Falcons then went on to win the game 25-20.

The Panthers refocused in game three with a comeback midway through the match.

Falls led early 9-6, but Plymouth’s Mia Voland served them into an 11-10 lead. The Falcons came back to tie the match twice at 14-14 and 16-16.

Amber Kimme and Tasha Rabe turned in strong serving efforts to vault the Falcons to a 25-21 game victory.

Falls senior Maria Mueller finished with 18 assists and 10 kills. Schwobe added 17 assists and three service aces, while junior Rachel Gremminger had 16 digs

Falls rallied from a 21-8 deficit in game four to defeat the No. 7 seeded Kiel Raiders 3-1 in WIAA Division 2 regional semi-final playoff action on Thursday, Oct. 24, in Sheboygan Falls.

Maria Mueller of Falls served 16 straight times to bring the score to 24-21 in game four. The Falcons then held on to complete a remarkable comeback with a 25-22 game victory.

“It was freaking crazy,” said Mueller. “We knew we had to do it right now and our team played great and pulled it out.”

Kiel came out hot and pounded the Falcons 25-15 in the first game.

The Falcons grabbed an early 8-4 lead and Mueller then had three aces to put her team up 16- 12 in game two. The Raiders rallied from a 22-17 deficit to take a 23-22 lead.

With the game tied at 24-24, Grace Krueger of Falls served an ace to lift the Falcons to a 26-24 win.

After Kiel led early in game three at 7-2, Falls came back with strong serving from sophomores Erika Van Engen and Schwobe to tie the score at 17-17 before streaking ahead 21-17.

The Raiders tied it back up at 23-23. However, the Falcons came out on top in the end by a score of 25-23.

“That was one of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen,” stated Kohlhagen. “We started cold and finished strong. Kiel fought us for everything.”

Mueller totaled six service aces while serving 30-for-32. Schwobe had 19 assists and 10 kills. Gremminger made 25 digs, while Natalie DePagter had five blocks and Liebelt added four blocks.





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