Burlington's Capezio too much for Falls girls in state volleyball semifinals
Demons win second straight volleyball state title
Menomonee Falls - All year long, veteran Menomonee Falls girls volleyball coach J.C. Bruns was looking for a way to balance his attack as he was concerned that the Indians would become too dependent on junior all-state outside hitter Simone Lee.
And during a strong stretch run, the Indians did achieve that balance, finishing well and advancing to state.
Only to discover in the WIAA state semifinals against Burlington on Friday in Green Bay, that a team could become dependent on one person and still be successful, as the eventual state champion Demons went to 6-3 senior Ciara Capezio again and again and again.
And Capezio kept putting the ball down and there was little the Indians could do to stop her, as she finished with an impressive 37 kills in 66 tries as Falls' season ended in the state semifinals for the second time in three years with a 25-13, 17-25, 25-16, 25-17 decision.
"It did become a little bit of a freak show," Bruns said. "The bottom line was, was that they passed the ball very well and we didn't except in one game. And the simple fact of the matter is, is that she (Capezio) has been unstoppable in the past and she was again this night.
"It didn't matter how many people we put in front of her. Anytime they put the ball near her, it went down."
Burlington (44-2) eventually defended its title Saturday night beating Falls' Greater Metro rivals from DSHA in three games. The Indians were the only team to take a game from the Demons throughout the entire state series.
Dominant in quarterfinals
Falls (40-9) had advanced to the semifinals with a sound 25-13, 25-14, 25-16 quarterfinal decision over Sun Prairie on Nov. 1.
To see how much confidence the Demons had in Capezio, a person only had to look at the stats. After her 37 kills, her next highest teammate had only six kills and the one after her only five.
Lee played hard and had 18 kills for the Indians and got help from Abby Becker with eight and Katherine Von Bank with six. Becker also had 16 assists in Falls' ninth appearance to the state tournament.
"We passed well that one game and controlled things, but after that we couldn't," Bruns said.
In the rout of Sun Prairie, Von Bank and Lee had 10 kills apiece while Sarah Held and Becker had seven apiece. Becker also contributed 21 assists.
Over the last month-plus of the season, the only teams Falls lost to were DSHA (in a dual and in the conference tournament) and to Burlington (state).
"Those were the two teams we figured that were slightly ahead of us," Bruns said. "I think if we were to play Burlington five times we might win twice, but those kids (the Demons) really understand things. Our kids didn't whine or cry. They knew that they were beaten by a better team.
Team's core coming back
"And they know they have a chance to come back next year."
Because the heart and soul of the team, Lee, Becker and Von Bank will all be back for their senior years. The only three seniors on the team were Held, Carly Poth and Madeline Molnor.
"We lose a couple of good players but not the main cogs," Bruns said. "We'll savor what we did this year and then work on next year soon.
"We know what it takes to get here and what it takes to win. In 2006 and 2010 I thought we had the best teams. That wasn't necessarily the case this year, but as we all know, it's not always the best team that wins."
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