Playoff bracket reveals Shawano as No. 4 seed

Tigerton nabs top seed, Gresham a two-seed
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Leader photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Julia Klement spikes the ball over the net against Xavier on Tuesday. Shawano earned a No. 4 seed in the Division 2 playoff bracket.

During the course of a high school volleyball season, most teams endure their fair share of ups-and-downs. If there are snags along the way, teams try and work the issues out before the postseason rolls around.

Local teams now are down to just a few more practices and matches to try and work out the final kinks as the WIAA girls volleyball tournament brackets for all four divisions were recently announced.

Shawano Community High School recently capped off the Bay Conference season with a loss to Xavier but still has the conference tournament to play in before thinking about the postseason.

The Hawks have posted a 28-7 record so far and also has been an honorable mention in the last two Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association polls.

Yet Shawano was handed a No. 4 seed at the Division 2 level. Shawano will host 13th-seeded Marinette, which is winless in the North Eastern Conference.

“Going into last night, I was expecting a little more,” Shawano coach Breanna Young said. “However, whatever the seed, the teams in our bracket don’t change. We fought with some tough teams for the top two spots. We have to just go out and work hard, prove to the rest of what we are capable of and what we can accomplish. I think a four seed just makes us that much hungrier to win.”

Should the Hawks handle business against the Marines, it’s possible that Clintonville could be the next team on the postseason schedule. The Truckers earned a No. 12 seed and would need to upset fifth-seeded Denmark to make that matchup a reality.

Clintonville is familiar with Denmark as both teams play in the NEC. The teams faced off on Oct. 2, with Denmark sweeping by scores of 25-10, 25-10, 25-19.

Jumping down to Division 3, a trio of local Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division teams are bunched into a seven-team pod. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, Bonduel and Menominee Indian will all be tasked with opening the postseason on the road.

Witt-Birn was awarded the No. 9 seed after taking third in the CWC-East. The Chargers’ first game will come against eighth-seeded Manawa, which placed second in the CWC-North. The winner will get the honor of taking on top-seeded Oconto, which earned a bye.

Bonduel tied for fourth place in conference play and was dealt a No. 12 seed. The Bears will try and knock off fifth-seeded Amherst, the CWC-East champs.

Menominee Indian, the No. 13 seed, will have the challenge of trying to beat CWC-South champion Pacelli, the No. 4 seed.

If Bonduel and Menominee Indian can both pull off upsets, they would face off on Thursday in the regional semifinal.

A quartet of local teams, Tigerton, Marion, Bowler and Gresham, were all placed into a Division 4 pod.

Tigerton, which tied for the CWC-North regular season title before taking third at the conference tournament, received the top seed.

“The team was thrilled to be seeded No. 1 in our eight-team bracket,” Tigerton coach Holly Meverden said. “We are more used to being the underdog and spoiling other team’s successes. But, being on top of the bracket brings out a whole new confidence in the girls. They are working hard and looking forward to the first round, a CWC match with rival Marion. We are working at focusing on the team that are coming up, and not looking beyond that. One set at a time, one match at a time.”

Marion, a No. 8 seed, finished last in the CWC-North and has been swept by Tigerton in each of the team’s three matchups this season.

On the bottom portion of the pod, Gresham secured the No. 2 seed after tying for the CWC-North regular season title and placing fourth at the conference tournament.

”Our team is happy with the number two seed in our regional,” Gresham coach Tim Wild said. “We knew Tigerton deserved the No. 1 seed since they beat us twice and finished higher in the conference standings. Our girls have worked hard all season to put together a resume that got us the two seed.”

The Wildcats will face an unfamiliar foe in seventh-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas, which plays in the Marinette & Oconto Conference.

Fourth-ranked Bowler will also take on a M&O team in fifth-ranked Gillett. Bowler opened the season with a sweep over Gillett.

The winner will either travel to take on Tigerton or host Marion.

AT A GLANCE

Matches at 7 p.m. Tuesday

Shawano vs. Marinette

Clintonville at Denmark

Wittenberg-Birnamwood at Manawa

Bonduel at Amherst

Menominee Indian at Pacelli

Tigerton vs. Marion

Bowler vs. Gillett

Gresham vs. St. Thomas Aquinas