Boys spikers get a lift from JV team

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton boys volleyball coach Rob Kleinschmidt (right) had to call on his JV team last week when the Cardinals’ varsity was forced to quarantine./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Rob Kleinschmidt knew he had talent and depth inside his Middleton boys volleyball program this season.

Last week, he found out just how much.

The Cardinals were placed in contact tracing quarantine on March 17. That meant Middleton’s JV Red team was called into action last Saturday against Appleton North and Kimberly — two state powers.

Appleton North defeated Middleton, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20 and Kimberly toppled the Cardinals, 25-16, 25-20, 25-19. Both matches were extremely competitive and the Cardinals discovered how strong their program is from top to bottom.

“We learned a lot about what it takes to compete at the highest varsity level,” Middleton JV coach Josh McCall said. “Every player showed me something special throughout the day.”

Before the Cardinals’ varsity team was put into quarantine, they rolled by Fort Atkinson, 25-7, 25-12, 26-24 on March 15.

Cole Sweitzer led Middleton with 11 kills, while Calvin Gassen had nine kills, seven aces and five digs. Ruben Emmerich added eight kills and two blocks, while Nick Stott had 24 assists.

“We came out with a lot of confidence and took control of the match immediately,” Kleinschmidt said. “Nick Stott ran a good offense and we got some great hitting matchups. The hitters took advantage with some big kills early on. 

“Ruben, Ryane Frank, and Kaden Fosdick ran a great offense out of the middle tonight and held blockers to help get some good outside swings. Calvin Gassen got the start for us and had a very good match. It was great to see us play relaxed, but focused. The guys looked good.”

Two nights later, though, the Cardinals headed to quarantine and called on the JV team to step in. Amazingly, Middleton’s JV squad played extremely competitive matches against both Appleton North and Kimberly.

In the Cardinals’ loss to North, Mike Roach had 10 kills, while Haven Wankerl had nine kills and 2.5 blocks. Brody Stuttgen had 20 assists and Jacob Tubbs added five digs.

In the loss to Kimberly, Ambrose Engling had six kills and Wankerl added five. Stuttgen had 16 assists and four aces, while Avery Smith had five digs.

“Saturday was a great chance for our JV Red team to compete against some of the top varsity teams in the state,” McCall said. “Once they got used to the speed of play, they did a very good job. I was really pleased with the effectiveness of our two middles, Mike Roach and Haven Wankerl.”

Kleinschmidt was also extremely impressed with Middleton’s JV team.

“They did a great job,” Kleinschmidt said.  “We on varsity were bummed we couldn't play but I really learned a lot about the JV guys and it was great seeing them compete at that level.”

As well as the JV team performed, Middleton is excited to get its varsity lineup back on the court this week. The Cardinals played Beloit Memorial Tuesday with its JV lineup, then the varsity can return to practice on Thursday.

“We can’t wait,” Kleinschmidt said.



March 15


Middleton …………….. 25 25 26     

Fort Atkinson …………. 7 12 24     

MIDDLETON (leaders) — Kills: Sweitzer 11; Emmerich 8. Assists: Stott 19. Blocks: Emmerich 2. Aces: Gassen 8.

FORT ATKINSON — Kills: Klingbeil 9; Sykes 3. Assists: McDonough 14. Blocks: Klingbeil 2. Aces: Fenner 1; McDonough 1.


March 20


Middleton…………….. 25 11 25 17 13     

Kimberly …………….. 20 25 20 25 15     

MIDDLETON (leaders) — Kills: Sweitzer 9, McCall 8, Emmerich 7. Assists: Stott 29. Blocks: Emmerich 4, Stott 2, Sweitzer 1. Aces: Emmerich 2, McCall 2. Digs: Sweitzer 3, McCall 3.

KIMBERLY — Kills: Karpinski 18, Polczinski 14, Hussey 7. Assists: Hussey 51. Aces: Polczinski 3..



Middleton split a pair of matches last week.

The Cardinals defeated Janesville Parker, 25-10, 23-25, 15-25, 25-23, 15-10, on March 16. Sun Prairie then downed Middleton, 25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, on March 17.

In Middleton’s win over Parker, Jordan LaScala led the Cardinals with eight kills, while Evin Jordee had 20 assists and four aces. Sierra Pertzborn also added four blocks.

In the Cardinals’ loss to Sun Prairie, LaScala had 16 kills, Jordee had 25 assists and four aces and Pertzborn added two blocks.

• On deck: Middleton has a busy week ahead.

The Cardinals were at Jefferson Monday, then host DeForest Wednesday ay 7 p.m. Middleton is at Janesville Craig Thursday at 7 p.m., then hosts Racine Park Saturday at noon.


March 16


Janesville Parker ………….. 10 25 25 23 10

Middleton …………………… 25 23 15 25 15     

JANESVILLE PARKER (leaders) — Kills: Skrzypchak 14. Assists: Gackstatter 23. Blocks: Skrzypchak 2. Aces: Schober 5. Digs: Perry 14.

MIDDLETON — Kills: LaScala 16. Assists: Jordee 20. Blocks: Pertzborn 4. Aces: Jordee 4.


March 17


Middleton …………… 17 21 25 24     

Sun Prairie ………….. 25 25 19 26     

MIDDLETON (leaders) — Kills: LaScala 16. Assists: Jordee 25. Blocks: Pertzborn 2. Aces: Jordee 4.

SUN PRAIRIE — Kills: Addink 14. Assists: Schellpfeffer 41. Blocks: Addink 1.5. Aces: Addink 4. Digs: Lubahn 18, Winter 18.



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