River Ridge fans, school, coaches and team excited for state tournament

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Just as they have all season, River Ridge students, staff and fans are sure to be out in force at the state volleyball tournament in Green Bay. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

For the first time ever the River Ridge High School volleyball team will compete in the 46th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Tournament to be held at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

River Ridge (24-0) will take on defending Division 4 state champion Clayton (28-3) beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. If River Ridge wins, they will play in the championship match at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 against either Newman Catholic (31-12) or Catholic Central (37-7).

A pep rally will be held for the River Ridge volleyball team at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 in the River Ridge High School gym. The team will depart for Green Bay right after the rally.

The River Ridge fans, team and coaches are prepared and pumped up to travel to the state tournament to take on perennial power Clayton in the first round.

“Clayton has been at state for the last four years,” said River Ridge Coach Dianne Langmeier. “These same girls went as freshmen and every year since. They are a very fun team to watch and I was excited to see that we will have an opportunity to play them. They are a team that is a lot like us height wise and very scrappy. They took down Lourde’s Academy last year for the state title. I am anxious to play them even though they are the defending state champion.”

About The 

Division 4 Field 

Newman Catholic is back attempting to return to the championship form that won the Fighting Cardinals four straight titles from 2013-16. They are making their 11th overall appearance and their 10th in the last 11 seasons. The Fighting Cardinals have had a pair of runner-up finishes as well, those coming in 2009 and 2012. They advance to state for the eighth season in a row after sweeping Wausaukee in the Bowler Sectional final by scores of 25-20, 25-12 and 25-21. They finished runner-up to Division 3 qualifier Stratford in the South Division of the Marawood Conference this fall. 

Defending champion Clayton makes its sixth straight appearance and its 10th overall. The Bears have now won three state titles. The first two came in 1990 and 1996. They have also finished runner-up three times, in 2008, 2013 and 2016. Their return to the Resch Center this season comes following a 25-15, 26-24, 16-25, 25-13 win over Washburn in the McDonell Catholic Sectional final. They are the champions in the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference this year. 

Catholic Central has a rich history in the state tournament. The Hilltoppers have qualified for the seventh time with the previous six appearances producing five championships and one runner-up finish. They won three straight titles from 2006-2008 and back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Sandwiched between the consecutive championships was a runner-up finish in 2010. They continue their pursuit of a sixth gold trophy after defeating Hilbert 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 19-25 and 15-9 in the Randolph Sectional final. The Hilltoppers are the champions of the Metro Classic Conference in 2018. 

River Ridge is making its first-ever appearance in the state tournament. The Lady Timberwolves gained access to the tournament field after beating Hillsboro 25-12, 25-15, 19-25 and 25-9 in the Royall Sectional final on Saturday. They won the Six Rivers Conference championship this fall. River Ridge sports a 24-0 record this stellar breakthrough season that sent them to the state tournament. The Lady Timberwolves play with pride, determination and a lot of confidence. The team is very fun to watch as they display exceptional teamwork, hustle and drive.

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