WIAA state volleyball: Auburndale falls in Division 3 title game (video added)

WIAA state volleyball: Auburndale falls in Division 3 title game (video added)

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WIAA state volleyball: Auburndale falls in Division 3 title game (video added)

By

GREEN BAY

While senior setter’s Kendra Kundinger’s voice at first cracked with emotion when she talked about the team’s loss to Regis in the Division 3 state championship game, she soon broke into a smile when she touched on what her team had accomplished.

“I think its amazing because nobody thought we could do it, and we proved everyone wrong,” said Kundinger, who had 29 assists and 11 digs. “Being a five seed and we made it this far. It’s just amazing; I’m so proud of my team.”

Auburndale (34-7) reached the title game for the first time in three state appearances and captured the first trophy for a girls sport in school history. The ream lost in four sets to Regis at the Resch Center on Saturday.

Regis, with six players 5-foot-9 or taller, won its first title in five state appearances. Set scores were 25-22, 25-17, 18-25, 25-20, and Ramblers coach Kendra Pagel said her team’s height advantage was a key.

“But (Auburndale) can jump,” said Pagel, a 2005 Wausau West graduate. “They have a setter who is 5-3 (Kundinger), and she could really get up there, as well. But our height has been an advantage for us all season.”

Pagel went on to say about Auburndale, “They’re one of those teams that you can’t put underneath the rug. They’re a great team with a lot of touches. They kind of shut down Shae (Brey) a little bit on the outside, and their defense was phenomenal. Sometimes when we thought we would get that big kill, someone from Auburndale would come up with that one-handed dig. They were a great team to play against.”

“I think the nerves, excitement and everything just got to us,” Kundinger said. “Then in that third game, we just picked it up.”

Auburndale reached the championship game with a postseason run that featured five-set wins in five of their six previous matches, and the team quickly found itself down two sets against Regis in the title game.

Auburndale scored six of seven points to open the third set, built a 13-5 lead and remained in control the rest of the way.

“We just knew we weren’t going to just give up in three sets,” junior middle Ashley Breu said. “That isn’t us.”

Auburndale trailed by six points in the fourth set but made one last run to tie the score at 20-20. Regis responded by scoring the last five points of the match.

“I give (Regis) credit, they are a great team and kept pushing us,” Auburndale coach Peggy Empey said. “With the five-set match last night, it was tough for the girls; they were sore and a little bit tired. But they still had that passion in them, and they never quit. They pushed and played aggressive all the way through the end.”

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