Oct. 20—Phase 2 of the WIAA's high school fall sports tournament series began in earnest Tuesday.
Postseason competition in boys soccer and volleyball got underway, with football slated to begin tournament play Friday. Also, boys and girls cross country sectionals are set for Friday and Saturday. And after conference meets this week, WIAA sectional girls swimming and diving meets are set for Saturday, Nov. 5.
The tournament series already has concluded for girls golf and individual girls tennis, though Lake Geneva Badger will take part in the eight-team Division 1 state team tournament field at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, starting Friday evening.
Led by Elkhorn freshman Parker Christensen, four area players finished in the top 10 at state meets. Christensen was second in singles at the Division 1 state tennis meet and Lake Geneva Badger senior Zaya Iderzul was third. Walworth Big Foot senior Emily Gauger was fifth in singles in Division 2. Milton High junior Hannah Dunk tied for 10th in the state golf meet.
Here's a look at what else to expect from area athletes and teams in postseason play in the five remaining fall sports:
The boys soccer season ended Tuesday for Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker.
Elkhorn has the best chance of any area team to make a long postseason run. The Elks are ranked third in Division 2 by state coaches and went unbeaten in Southern Lakes Conference play in winning the league title. Elkhorn is 14-1-1 overall with the only loss a 3-1 nonconference setback to New Berlin Eisenhower, the state's fourth-ranked team in Division 3. The Elks are likely on a collision course with unbeaten and second-ranked Oregon, whom they could meet in a Division 2 sectional final on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Delavan-Darien is ranked eighth in Division 3 and tied for second in the Southern Lakes. Unfortunately, the Comets find themselves in a sectional that includes top-ranked Shorewood, fourth-ranked New Berlin Eisenhower and sixth-ranked New Berlin West.
Craig is a strong candidate to reach sectional play, although Parker will likely have to upset Fort Atkinson in a regional final on Saturday to join the Cougars. Fourth-seeded Craig opens Division 1 tournament play Thursday, playing host to 13th-seeded Beloit Memorial. A victory would send the Cougars up against fifth-seeded Westosha Central on Saturday night. Seventh-seeded Parker plays host to 10th-seeded Badger on Thursday, with the winner hitting the road Saturday night to play second-seeded Fort Atkinson, which had an opening-round bye. Southern Lakes powerhouse Burlington is seeded first in the bracket.
The area's only ranked team is Brodhead. The eighth-ranked Cardinals, who advanced to the alternate fall season state tournament last spring, are the top seed in the upper bracket of the Division 3 Waterloo Sectional. Lake Country Lutheran is the top seed in the lower bracket.
Rock Valley runner-up Edgerton is seeded fourth in the brutal Division 2 McFarland Sectional, battling a group that also includes top-ranked Sauk Prairie, third-ranked McFarland and fourth-ranked Madison Edgewood.
Boys and girls cross country
The goal for any area runner is to finish the season competing at the WIAA state meet on October 30 in Wisconsin Rapids. It's unlikely any area team will qualify for state.
Badger senior Demetrius Farmakis is the only area runner ranked among the top 20 in the state for best 5,000-meter times this season. He ran a 15:45.7 at the Midwest Invitational, which ranks.
Girls swimming and diving
Craig's Ally Donagan, Kadence Woods and Dakota Reece swam in the alternate fall state swim meet last spring, but will have their work cut out for them this year competing in the talented Division 1 Milton Sectional. The sectional includes Big Eight Conference powerhouses Middleton, Sun Prairie and Verona/Mount Horeb.
The best route to a state tournament berth for the Cougars trio may come as an additional qualifier in one of three relay events.
Parker's Tadyn McCann had a strong senior season but also competes in the loaded Milton Sectional.
Milton junior standout Bailey Ratzburg was second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 breaststroke in the alternate fall season state meet last spring.
The Badger co-op team competes in the Division 1 Muskego Sectional and could send multiple swimmers to state.
Elkhorn and Whitewater both compete in the Division 2 Whitefish Bay Sectional.