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Edgewood's Emma Meriggioli (3) brings the ball up the court in the first period of a game against Stoughton at Edgewood High School in Madison, Wis., Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. M.P. KING -- State Journal

The third-ranked California Baptist University women’s basketball team, which included five Wisconsin players on its roster, dropped an 86-81 decision to 18th-ranked Virginia Union in the NCAA Division II women’s basketball tournament semifinals Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio.

Sophomore guard Emma Meriggioli, who played at Madison Edgewood, had nine points and four rebounds for California Baptist, which is located in Riverside, California.

Senior guard Cassidy Mihalko, who played at Franklin, scored 20 points and had six rebounds. Senior forward Olivia Weber, who played at Kettle Moraine, had four rebounds and two points.

Junior guard/forward Emily Schmidt, who is from Ixonia and played for Watertown Luther Prep, and freshman guard Kaylee Hinson, who played at Monona Grove, also are on the roster.

Virginia Union advances to play top-ranked Ashland (Ohio) in the national title game Friday night. Ashland defeated Harding of Arkansas 90-77 in the other semifinal Wednesday night.

California Baptist defeated West Florida 77-69 in the national quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Mihalko had 21 points, nine rebounds and three steals against West Florida. 

Meriggioli had six points and seven rebounds and Weber had eight rebounds and two points for California Baptist against West Florida.

The Wisconsin players on the roster played AAU basketball for the Wisconsin Lakers, from Oconomowoc. 

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.