KETTLE MORAINE (WFRV) – The two best teams in the state this season will finally meet to wrap up the alternate spring season.
Unbeaten Appleton North dispatched fourth-seeded McFarland 3-0 Thursday night to advance to Saturday’s state championship game, where the Lightning will meet fellow Northeast Wisconsin power Manitowoc Lincoln for the trophy.
The Ships put together their own impressive showing, sweeping Sun Prairie behind 22 kills from Mary Satori. Claire Swoboda added 11 kills to pace the second-seeded ships, while Brooke Parish pitched in 11 digs.
Manitowoc Lincoln head coach Mary Beth Dixon has now coached a team to the state tournament in five different decades since the 1980s. The longtime Wisconsin volleyball staple led Cuba City to a pair of titles, and now seeks her third career championship and first in Manitowoc.
On the other side of the net, Appleton North’s semifinal showing was just another instance of dominance from the top team in the state. Ella Demetrician’s 12 kills paced a well-balanced attack for the Lightning, helping North earn its 13th sweep of the season.
Appleton North has only lost one set in 2021 – to eventual sectional finalist Oshkosh West on March 11. The Lightning won that match 3-1.
The handy semifinal sweeps by the top two teams in the state set up a much-anticipated championship battle. North is unblemished at 14-0, while Lincoln is 16-1 on the season with its lone loss to FVA power Kimberly on March 15.
The Ships have dropped just six sets all season and have earned 14 sweeps.
Saturday’s Division 1 final is set for 7 p.m. at Kaukauna High School. According to Appleton North’s team twitter page, tickets are available to the public.