Athens and Witt-Birn volleyball, Rhinelander soccer punch tickets to state

Published: Oct. 29, 2022 at 11:05 PM CDT
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AUBURNDALE, Wis. (WSAW) - Seven area teams in volleyball and boys soccer had the ultimate goal of state in mind Saturday, playing in sectional finals. At day’s end, three teams would be celebrating a state berth.

In volleyball, Wittenberg-Birnamwood faced off against Edgar, playing in Auburndale. A back-and-forth five-set match went the distance, but in the end, the Chargers edged out the victory, It’s the first-ever trip to the state tournament for Witt-Birn.

“We had a lot of close sets this year so we’re very mentally tough, we worked on that a lot, so that helped us pull through,” said senior Reese Rogowski. “We just need to continue working hard in practice on all the little things. Hopefully, that’ll get us prepared.”

“We had to act like it was any other game, not just the game to go to state, but just any other game to stay calm,” said senior Lily Betry. “Just focus on the next steps.”

Elsewhere, Athens and Laona/Wabeno were in the same boat, facing off against one another in Oconto Falls for a state spot. This one didn’t have as much drama as the Bluejays dominated on their way to a sweep, taking down the Rebels 3-0. Athens is back at state for the third time, their first trip since 2016.

In D-2, Tomahawk was looking for their first trip since 2014. They had Xavier in their way, squaring off in Waupaca. It wasn’t the day for the Hatchets, as they fell in straight sets to the Hawks 3-0, ending the season for Tomahawk.

In soccer, a match that had all the drama in the world, Rhinelander visited Rice Lake. The game went to penalty kicks tied 0-0. After several rounds, the Hodags won 4-3, earning their first-ever trip to the state tournament.

Elsewhere, seven-seed Northland Pines looked to take their miracle run one step further, facing Aquinas in Marshfield. Despite a good effort, the Eagles’ incredible postseason came to a close, falling 2-0.