10/26-11/1 Sports Recap

Josh Meyer

10/27: New Berlin United Boys Volleyball vs. West Allis Hale – Sectional Semi-final


United Moves One Step Closer to State Tournament with Win Against West Allis Hale


In their sectional semi-finals matchup, top-seeded New Berlin United faced West Allis Hale, a team that slid into the second round after Waukesha West, their opening matchup, was forced to forfeit their matchup, presumably due to COVID issues in their district. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, last week Waukesha West had 8 positive tests and 128 students quarantined, so that’s the likely reason they were forced to forfeit their matchup.

This was great news for Hale, who was the lower seed (#5) entering the matchup against four-seeded Waukesha West. But now, they had to face the monster that New Berlin United has been this season, and despite putting up a very strong fight throughout the match, United proved to be the better team.


Fighting Through the Early Struggles

Early on, United struggled with multiple unforced errors, including bad spikes and multiple mishits off of serves; for one of the first times all year, it looked like United was truly struggling. Hale got the lead early and kept it into the middle of the set.

However, United responded to the struggle as they normally do. Led by Sid Blessington with the serves, as well as multiple hits from hitters Noah Daniels and Sam Ludwig, they went on a 7 point run coming out of the timeout and never looked back. Despite some resistance from Hale late, United won the set 25-21.


Strong Fight From Hale, but still not Enough


Once again, Hale looked like the better team early in the set. They overpowered United in hitting and forced multiple errors on United that should’ve been made. One point early in the set lasted for an extremely long time with the ball going back and forth over 20 times. Hale ended up winning the point, giving them incredible momentum. They ended up going up 14-10, forcing a timeout. Once again, United was playing from behind.

This time, United did not get the long run they were hoping for. Instead, they slowly climbed back to tie it 18-18, and then ended up getting the lead at 20-18. The rest of the set was very close and intense, but crucial hits from Blessington ultimately propelled United to a 25-23 victory in the second set, giving them a 2-0 lead.


Finishing the Job


Unlike the first two sets, United starts very strong and gets an early 7-3 lead. However, Hale once again resisted, and they continued to do that throughout the set. After Hale made the game close again, United jumped out to a 17-12 lead and forced another timeout. Hale once again fights back though, and in the blink of an eye, their lead evaporated to just 1 near the end. 

At the very end, with the score being 23-20 United, a very unusual play occurred. United spiked the ball at Hale, who deflected it straight up. The ball ended up getting stuck in the rafters and never came down, so the point ended up going to United. They would go on to win the set 25-21 and giving them another win in straight sets.

Sid Blessington was outstanding in this game, and his performance would definitely win him MVP if that existed. He will look to carry the load offensively as they face Brookfield Central in their sectional finals matchup on Saturday.


10/31: New Berlin United Boys Volleyball vs Brookfield Central – Sectional Final


United Advances to State Tournament with Victory over Brookfield Central


Last Saturday, New Berlin United clinched their ticket to the state tournament next week with a win over Brookfield Central in the sectional finals. Coming into the matchup, Central was a very strong team, who was given the 2 seed in their section and swept both of their opponents they faced in the first two games of the tournament. However, the matchup against United was a different story, as United was surprisingly able to take them out with ease.


Signs of a Competitive Matchup


Early on, this game looked like it was going to be extremely competitive like most people thought it would be. Through the first 20 points of the set, it was tied to 10-10, and neither team had a lead higher than 2. However, that changed pretty quickly, as United went on a long run to make it 18-13 and force a timeout.

However, as good teams do, Brookfield Central responded with their own run of 5 in a row to tie it up. From there it was extremely competitive and intense, but ultimately United strung a few more points together to win the set 25-21. This was the closest, most competitive set of the match where both sides looked like they had a solid chance to win.


Gottschalk and Heuer Lead the Way


Unlike the first set, United seemed in complete control from the start. After a pretty even start, Wil Gottschalk and Jack Heuer led United on a 10-1 run that forced two timeouts and stretched their lead. In this run, United looked unbeatable. They looked like no one could do anything to stop their momentum.

Wil Gottschalk, an outside hitter, was outstanding in this run, as he was responsible for 5 points in a row through mainly spikes, but also a couple of blocks. He played an incredibly important role in this game that United appreciated. For libero Jack Heuer, he starred with serving and defense. He was the main server in this run, and he also made 3 high-level digs to keep the points alive for United. A combination of the performances from Heuer and Gottschalk gave United all the momentum they needed throughout the run

After taking a 20-10 lead, they were on cruise control for the rest of the set and ended up winning it 25-16.


Finishing it Off


Brookfield Central fought back though and made the beginning of the set very competitive. It had a similar feel to the first set – along with Gottschalk and United continuing to throw hammers down on Central, Central also responded with spikes of their own to keep the game level. However, United proved to still have gas left in the tank as they reached the end of the set. When the score was 16-15, United started a 9-3 run to end the set, in which Brookfield Central showed little resistance. United won the set 25-18, and once again sweep their opponent 3-0.

Moving forward, United is now focused on the state tournament on November 6 and 7 in Burlington. They will be entering the tournament as the 3 seed and will face 6 seeded Muskego in the first round. If they win, they will move on to face Kettle Moraine, who finished with a 15-2 record this season. The point being, the state tournament will be an extremely difficult task for United, so hopefully they’re able to transfer the way they played this season into their performance in the state tournament.