Sports

Thu
15
Apr
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Boys spikers win regional title

There were just 15 boys volleyball teams competing in the alternate-fall postseason being held this spring.

Middleton wasn't overly worried about that. The Cardinals were simply focused on being the final team standing.
And Middleton took a huge step in that direction last Saturday, downing visiting Madison Edgewood/Country Day in an exciting WIAA regional final. The top-seeded Cardinals defeated second-seeded Edgewood/Country Day, 25-15, 29-27, 26-28, 25-18.

“Playoff time is always the best time of the season,” Middleton coach Rob Kleinschmidt said. “We came out strong and took control early, then Edgewood responded and played the best I have seen them play all season. 

“We had a big lead slip away in set three and lost a close battle there, but the guys came back steady and strong in the final set for the win.”

Thu
15
Apr
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Golfers second at Middleton Triangular

Middleton’s girls golf team opened its season by finishing second at the Middleton Triangular on April 7.

Bay Port won the meet held at Pleasant View Golf Course with a 330. Middleton and Sheboygan North both tied for second with 334s.

It was Middleton’s first girls golf meet since Oct., 15, 2019, when it won the WIAA Division 1 state championship. The Cardinals elected to push fall sports in 2020 to this spring due to COVID.

It was great for the girls to get out and compete, all the anticipation and hoping is gone and we are back to working to get better,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “To be able to play quality teams such as Bay Port and Sheboygan in our first match is terrific. It was close the entire round and it really forced all the girls to get back into the mindset needed for competitive golf.”

Thu
15
Apr
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Soccer Cardinals start strong

Middleton’s boys soccer team is off to a strong start.

The Cardinals cruised to a 6-1 win over Beloit Memorial in their season-opener on April 6. Middleton and host DePere then played to a 2-2 draw on April 11.

In the Cardinals’ win over Beloit, Ezra Joseph had two goals and two assists, while Chris Vanden Boom added two goals. Ben Tutewohl and Oliver Vasquez both added goals and Finn Patenaude had an assist.

“Tough schedule with just one practice before playing a conference opponent,” Middleton coach Kevin Pauls said. “We started a little shaky, but got our feet underneath us pretty quickly. After the first 15 minutes we controlled most of the game and we were able to get all of our field players some time.”

Six different Cardinals were getting their first varsity start. But if nerves were an issue, Middleton quickly brushed those aside.

Joseph had a pair of first half goals and Tutewohl had a goal and an assist.

Thu
15
Apr
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Girls XC team putting on a show

It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in the lineup.

And the opponents have been largely irrelevant, too.

Middleton’s girls cross country team is making the most of its alternate-fall season, rolling past anyone and everyone they’re encountering.

Last week, the Cardinals won a pair of meets — winning their own quad on April 7, then capturing the Janesville Triangular on April 10. 

Middleton head coach Alexa Richardson is currently on maternity leave. But the Cardinals appear to be in good hands with assistant coaches Kelly Kallien, Rebecca Harris and Lauren Dilley leading the way.

“We have a really strong lower varsity and upper level JV group because they have really run with a ‘team’ mentality all season,” Kallien said. “They generally run as a pack of about six-ish girls and push each other to run strong both physically and mentally each race.

Thu
15
Apr
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Boys cross country team shines at new course

Brian Finnel has been instrumental in designing a new course for Middleton’s cross country teams.

After years of searching for the right location, Finnel and Cross Plains Parks and Recreation Director Mike Axon designed one around Glacier Creek Middle School in Cross Plains last summer.

Middleton debuted that new course last Wednesday and did so with sensational results.

The Cardinals were missing many of their regulars due to spring break. But Middleton’s depth was on full display as it won its own invitational.

The Cardinals finished with 34 points and edged runner-up Monona Grove (36). Belleville (81), Beloit Memorial (93) and Wisconsin Heights/Barneveld (inc.) rounded out the five-team field.

Thu
15
Apr
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Tennis Cardinals win subsectionals

The girls state tennis tournaments are fast approaching.

And Middleton is putting itself in position to be well-represented.

Middleton grabbed the lead at the Sun Prairie Subsectional Monday. The Cardinals finished subsectionals with 20 points, followed by Fond du Lac (16), Sun Prairie (14), Madison East (12) and Columbus (2).

The Cardinals advanced to the Monona Grove Sectional Wednesday where they’ll face teams from the Sun Prairie Subsectional, as well players from Madison West, Madison Memorial, McFarland, Madison La Follette and Monona Grove.

Netra Somasundaram, Middleton’s No. 1 singles player, is still alive at sectionals, as are No. 2 Sophia Agapov, No. 3 Amy Li and No. 4 Bella Conrad.

Karsen Dettman and Noor Rajpal, Middleton’s top doubles team, advanced to sectionals. The Cardinals’ No. 2 team of Rose Ryan and Cece Hujanen and the No. 3 team of Charlotte Sax and Caroline Sax also advanced to sectionals.

Thu
08
Apr
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Middleton rallies past Verona

The adage that an elephant never forgets applied to the Middleton football team as it awaited last Thursday’s first of two meetings this season with the host Verona Wildcats.

The Cardinals still had nightmares of Verona running over, around and through Middleton’s toothless defense over a year ago, which hung around their collective necks like an albatross.

But it turns out that revenge was sweet as senior quarterback Sawyer Pertzborn ran for a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and added a two-point conversion pass to senior tight end Bryce Hensen to rally Middleton for a thrilling 18-15 victory.

The Cardinals spoiled the debut game for the Wildcats in their new stadium. It also led to some back-and-forth trash talking as the game wound down that distressed both coaches.

Thu
08
Apr
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Swimmers second at sectionals

Middleton girls’ swimming coach Lauren Cabalka has come to expect the unexpected.

After a shortened alternate fall season courtesy of the WIAA, created as a COVID-19 accommodation, the Cardinals were poised to compete at the state meet April 6 at Waukesha South High School.

Following a sixth-place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in 2019, Middleton was again poised for a top 10 finish following a runner-up finish at the Verona/Eau Claire North Sectional.

“If you would have asked me three months ago, I would have said, no way. It’s not happening,” Cabalka said of the Cardinals competing in a state meet. “But as the season got underway, everything seemed to fall into place and seemed like it was only going to get better.

“This is such a great group of girls. They come in every day with a smile on their face. They walk out and say thank you. We’re excited and thankful that we get to swim (at state).”

Thu
08
Apr
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Girls spikers headed to postseason

Charting the progress of the Middleton girls’ volleyball team became a little easier last week when the Cardinals met conference foes Janesville Parker and Sun Prairie for the second time this season.

Consider it a split decision, as Middleton (5-6 overall) swept Janesville Parker, 25-17, 25-8, 25-23, on March 30, but dropped a five-set match to Sun Prairie, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 27-25, 15-12, last Thursday to close out the week.

The Cardinals also opened the week on March 29 dropping three sets in a non-conference match to Edgerton, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15.

Despite going 1-2 on the week, Middleton coach Maddie Vogel was anything but disappointed, especially with the marathon match against perennial Big Eight Conference power Sun Prairie.

Thu
01
Apr
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Middleton golfers ready to roll

The last thing Becky Halverson wanted was to be invited to graduation parties this summer after not coaching her seniors this spring.

So Halverson — Middleton’s girls golf coach — was naturally giddy when she found out in mid-January that the Cardinals would have a golf season.

On Monday afternoon, Middleton was back at Pleasant View for its first practice since the 2019 season ended nearly 18 months ago.

“The first practice is always a special time,” Halverson said. “This one made only more special by the wait.”

The Cardinals’ season typically runs in the fall. Due to COVID-19, though, the WIAA gave teams the option of postponing fall sports to the spring, and Middleton elected to do just that.

Roughly 80% of the state’s teams played golf last fall, meaning there won’t be nearly as many scheduling options for Halverson and the Cardinals. And while this season will pose some unique challenges, no one in Middleton’s camp is complaining.

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