By Dan Truttschel/Sports Correspondent
For the first time in six seasons, the Westosha Central girls volleyball team is headed to the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament.
But the Falcons are from strangers from the big stage – in fact, no program has been there more in the state’s history.
Central earned its record-setting 19th trip with a four-set win over two-time defending champion Burlington in a sectional final Saturday night.
The win improved the Falcons to 42-8 overall and sends them to a first-round matchup Thursday night against Muskego (31-10) at the Resch Center, Green Bay, at 7:30 p.m. A victory Thursday would send Central to a semifinal Friday at 7:30 against either Wausau East (33-8) or Neenah (41-4).
Central, which has five state titles on its resume, defeated Muskego in three sets back at the Brookfield Tournament in September, but veteran head coach Charlie Berg knows his squad better be ready for the Warriors this week.
“Muskego poses huge problems for us,” he said. “They have size at the net that will create attacking problems for us. They have a tall front line, so we will have to rely on quickness and smart angle attacks to offset their size.”
Berg added that Muskego leans on its libero and setter to get things running right, so it will be important for his team to stick to its offensive game plan.
“We need to be smart and try and create one-on-one attacking for us,” Berg said. “If we can do that and have an effective serve-receive, it will be a very exciting match.
Statistical leaders for Central include:
• Kills: Rampart (471), junior Maddie Brown (246), Rasch (215), Megan Jehlicka (173) and Ashley Jehlicka (137).
• Aces: Brown (58), Rampart (48), Ashley Jehlicka (46), Danielle Stachura (40) and Hart (34).
• Blocks: Rasch (101), Megan Jehlicka (58), Ziesmann (46), Rampart (43) and Ashley Jehlicka (34).
• Digs: Hart (530), Rampart (413), Ashley Jehlicka (286), Brown (228) and Stachura (158).
• Assists: Ashley Jehlicka (738), Stachura (357) and Hart (96).