Soccer team’s season ends in loss in regional matchup

By Dan Truttschel

Sports correspondent

Sophia Foster, shown in the Oct. 17 quarterfinal against Jefferson, had five kills, 22 digs and six assists in the team’s Oct. 19 loss to No. 1 seed Lakeside Lutheran, bringing the season to a close. (Peter Mischka photo)

The WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal looked to be an uphill climb for the ninth-seeded Big Foot girls volleyball team.

Across the net from the Chiefs was top-seeded Lakeside Lutheran – but even though Big Foot went down, it didn’t do so without a fight.

After it fell behind in the opening set, the Chiefs battled back to even before they dropped a 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 18-25 decision to end their season at 26-17 overall. Lakeside eventually won the regional crown and advanced to this week’s sectional semifinal against East Troy.

Despite the loss, Big Foot coach Caitlin Dowden was proud of her team’s effort.

“We really came out battling against Lakeside,” she said. “Despite how much we tried to prep the girls in saying when we play well we can battle and compete with anyone, ti is always tough going into a number one seed as a nine seed.

“Some went in with the mindset that, ‘We don’t want to get blown away,’ and it took for us to start playing to realize, wait a minute, we really are good and can play with anyone. I think we shocked some people with how tight the one versus nine was. Lakeside is a really solid team, and we proved we can be equally as tough.”

Dowden said the final two sets came down to a few untimely mistakes that kept her team from getting over the hump.

“We had our chances late in both sets to close (them) out and little errors/timid plays on our side proved to be costly as they were swinging away to close out those matches,” she said. “(Both) sets were tight down the stretch and really could have gone either way.

“The girls played a great match all night, and it was tough to see to see it come to a close, as they really gave it their all throughout the entire match.”

After the loss in the opening set, the Chiefs bounced back to tie things up, as they started to execute the game plan, Dowden said.

“Late in Set 1, we started to hit our stride and click,” she said. “It took us a little bit to get going, and once we did, we used that momentum to drive us in Set 2. We knew it was going to be a back-and-forth battle and really played aggressively.”

Junior Kampbell Hehr, who missed 16 matches this season because of illness, had a big night for the Chiefs with nine kills, 14 digs and 31 assists.

Her return near the end of the season clearly made a difference, Dowden said.

“When she came back, she really hit the court running right where she left off,” she said. “You couldn’t tell she had just come back from a significant amount of time off. She ran and executed our offense effectively.”

Other leaders for the Chiefs were Abby Peterson (15 kills, 16 digs), Reagan Courier (eight kills, eight digs), Payton Courier (seven kills), Sophia Foster (five kills, 22 digs, six assists), Yesenia Gonzalez (13 digs) and Makenzie Trosclair (five digs).

While the end of the season is always difficult, Dowden said she was proud of how her team battled through plenty of adversity along the way.

“(They) really responded quite well to every situation they were put in,” she said. “I felt that we were a team where everyone contributed when needed throughout the season, and we really relied on everyone on the team to be successful.

“The tough conference play really set us up down the stretch to hit our stride and play some of our best volleyball.”

The loss ended the Big Foot playing careers of seniors Lauren Paulsen, Gonzalez, Riley Davis, Payton Courier and Trosclair.

They each brought something different to the program, Dowden said.

“Each of our seniors contributed a great deal throughout their high school careers and have definitely helped to build Big Foot volleyball and leave us in a better place with high expectations,” she said.

“These seniors are my first four-year group as a head coach at Big Foot and are the first to know only me as the head of the program. They responded to every challenge I faced them with and really always did what was best for the program, even if it might now have always been the easiest decision. They will be missed greatly.”


Soccer season ends

The 12th-seeded Big Foot-Williams Bay boys soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision at fifth-seeded New Berlin West in a WIAA Division 3 regional opener.

New Berlin West lost in the semifinal, 2-1 to Shorewood.

Additional details about the game were unavailable by press time.

Nathianel Peterson battles with a defender in the Chiefs 3-0 loss to New Berlin West in a WIAA regional semi-final Oct. 19, ending the season for the Big Foot-Williams Bay boys soccer team. (Bob Mischka photo)


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