Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Big Rivers Conference rivals Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire North have both advanced to the WIAA Division 1 Sectional Semifinals.
Chippewa Falls has never qualified for the WIAA State Girls Volleyball Tournament. The Cardinals figure to have a good chance this season. The BRC champs earned the number one seed for the postseason.
Chippewa Falls swept Hudson, Saturday, to advance to the sectional semi's. The Cardinals will match up with fifth-seeded Merrill. Chi-Hi beat the Blue Jays, 2-0 during the regular season. Chippewa head coach Tim Upward says that experience should help his team.
"It certainly builds confidence in that regard," says Upward, "we were fortunate enough to get a little bit of video from their Marshfield-Merrill match last Saturday. That helps. When you're familiar with somebody, I think it goes a long ways."
"We know what to expect," says Cardinals senior outside hitter Brenna Roshell, "we know how to beat them at their own game. We know how to set ourselves up so we're the most successful and in the best position to win. Which is, at this point of the game, the key to continuing on with our season."
Eau Claire North has also advanced to the Division 1 sectional semifinals. The Huskies have a matchup with Wausau East Thursday night. North has made three previous trips to state. To get there a fourth time, head coach Perris Cooley says his team needs to play to its strengths.
"We know that they're very good servers, very good passers, fast hitters," says Cooley, "so we know what to prepare for. I think we're going to give them a run for their money. We have the height advantage, we have a better block than they do, so I think we're going to compete with them."
"We're good enough to beat them, I know," says Huskies senior libero Maggie Richardson, "it's just if everyone works together. When we're together, anything can happen. If we play our best we're going to make it to state, but if we don't show up, anything can happen."
Wausau West H.S. will host both sectional semifinals Thursday. Chippewa Falls vs. Merrill will begin at 6:00 P.M., with Eau Claire North's match against Wausau East scheduled to start at 8:00 P.M. The sectional final is set for 7:00 P.M., Saturday, at Marshfield.
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