Dalton Erdman admits that he’s finally come to terms with being a state champion.
The 6-foot-3 senior outside hitter led the Kaukauna boys’ volleyball team to the WIAA state championship in mid-November at Wisconsin Lutheran College. That’s where the Ghosts knocked off Kettle Moraine in the title match to secure their first state title in boys’ volleyball since 1982.
Erdman spearheaded a state quarterfinal comeback against defending champion Marquette. The Ghosts found themselves down 23-11 before bouncing back to knock off the Hilltoppers in an amazing comeback win.
The 6-foot-3 outside hitter finished with 425 kills on the season and also had 54 solo blocks as Kaukauna finished with a 41-3 record. His overall performance this season was the big reason why he was named Post-Crescent Media’s Athlete of the Year in boys’ volleyball for the 2015 season.
Winning the title: “There’s a lot of pictures and memories to look back upon. There’s nothing greater than winning the state title and to do it with everyone that matters to me. It’s crazy to see the impact on everybody in the community and just the experience that it brings to all the players and families.”
Team chemistry: “The team that was I was a part of was one of the best teams in terms of getting along that I’ve ever been a part of. We never got on each other and never yelled at each other. We focused on volleyball and always had each other’s back.”
Basketball or volleyball in college: “I don’t know which one I’m going to pursue, or if I’m going to at all. I’m just going to make the best of what I can.”
State quarterfinal comeback: “I can see in my teammates’ eyes and body language that they were maybe a little scared of the big stage. They hadn’t experienced that. But once we settled and focused on defense and blocking, which is what we had focused on all year, once we strung together those things with a couple of kills and mistakes on their end, we put some big rallies together and got the win. I think it did set the tone. If we lost that game we get down and could end up losing.”
In his coach’s words: “Dalton was a beast all year. The height he hit was higher than anyone in the state. He’s certainly one of the top players, but it was his blocking and defense in the playoffs that helped lift us to our ultimate goal. His senior leadership with Zach Schmidt was second to none. Work hard and stay focused and don’t ever get down on teammates. These guys were phenomenal.” — Tom Belling, Kaukauna coach
Ricardo Arguello: 920-993-1000, ext. 558, or email@example.com; on Twitter @PCRicardo
• School: Kaukauna
• Grade: Senior
• Position: Outside hitter