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Prep girls volleyball photo: Sun Prairie junior KJ McNabb delivers a block

Sun Prairie junior KJ McNabb delivers a block during the Cardinals' pool play match against Madison La Follette during Saturday's Big Eight Conference tournament at La Follette.

The basics

What: The 46th annual WIAA state girls volleyball tournament.

When: Thursday through Saturday.

Where: Resch Center, Ashwaubenon.

Tickets/parking: Tickets are $8 per session and are available at the door. Parking is available at nearby Lambeau Field for $8 per car.

On the air/online: Saturday’s four championship matches will be carried live on Fox Sports Wisconsin Plus. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be carried on the portal of the NFHS Network, viewable on a subscription basis. Information on the tournament, including live scoring of each match, can be found at

Format: Eight teams qualify in Division 1, with quarterfinals on Thursday (two matches taking place simultaneously on adjacent courts). Four teams qualify in Divisions 2, 3 and 4, with quarterfinals in all divisions set for Friday (two matches taking place simultaneously). Finals will take place on Saturday (one match at a time).

Last year’s finals: Division 1 — Burlington 3, River Falls 2; Division 2 — Lakeside Lutheran 3, Luxemburg-Casco 2; Division 3 — Hartland Lake Country Lutheran 3, Eau Claire Regis 1; Division 4 — Clayton 3, Oshkosh Lourdes 1.

The schedule 

Thursday's matches: Division 1 quarterfinals — (1) Hartland Arrowhead (45-6) vs. Waukesha West (34-10), 4:30 p.m.; (4) Burlington (36-5) vs. Kimberly (33-10),  4:30 p.m.; (2) River Falls (42-2) vs. Greendale (31-16), 7 p.m.; (3) Oconomowoc (29-7) vs. Sun Prairie (40-8), 7 p.m.

Friday's matches: Division 4 semifinals — Wausau Newman (31-12) vs. Burlington Catholic Central (37-7), 10 a.m.; Clayton (28-3) vs. River Ridge (24-0), 10 a.m. Division 3 semifinals — Stratford (43-0) vs. Jackson Living Word Lutheran (29-6), 1 p.m.; Grantsburg (31-5) vs. Hartland Lake Country Lutheran (36-11),  1 p.m. Division 2 semifinals — Little Chute (38-1) vs. Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran (30-10), 4 p.m.; Mosinee (37-6) vs. East Troy (29-8), 4 p.m. Division 1 semifinals — 7 p.m.

Saturday's championships: Division 4 — 9 a.m. Division 3 — 11:30 a.m. Division 2 — 2 p.m. Division 1 — 4:30 p.m.

The lowdown

Players to watch

Tayler Alden, 6-0, jr., S, Oconomowoc: Alden, named a second-team all-state pick last year, leads the team with 839 assists and 46 service aces in 36 matches, adding 154 kills and 245 digs.

Aubrey Hamilton, 6-2, jr., OH, Hartland Arrowhead: A first-team all-state pick last year, Hamilton leads the Warhawks with 544 kills on a .318 percentage, with 258 digs and 22 blocks.

Kayce Litzau, 6-0, sr., S/RS, Greendale: A second-team all-state player last year, Litzau has delivered 703 assists and 85 aces, both team highs, along with 267 digs. Teams with senior Nicole Martin (6-0, sr., OH, 334 kills), an all-state honorable-mention pick last year.

K.J. McNabb, 5-9, jr., OH, Sun Prairie: McNabb is the Cardinals’ go-to player, and the statistics show it with her 403 kills, 58 aces and 227 digs.

Ariana Miller, 6-2, sr., MH, Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran: Has produced 441 kills on a .469 attack percentage, with 61 service aces and a team-high 79.5 blocks.

Samantha Naber, 5-6, so., L, Burlington: A second-team all-state pick last year, the libero has a team-high 275 digs: She’s joined by junior Kaley Blake (5-7, jr., S, 660 assists), a third-team all-state pick last year.

Halle Olson, 6-2, jr., OH, River Falls: Olson has 321 kills, hitting at a .377 percentage, along with 219 digs and 21 blocks.

Briana Scuric, sr., East Troy: Scuric was named second-team all-state last year and has produced 414 kills and 274 digs this season. Teams with seniors Marissa Gilbertson and Alison Leslie, both honorable mention all-state picks last year.

Hannah Vanden Berg, 6-2, sr., OH, Little Chute: A first-team all-state pick last year, Vanden Berg has produced a whopping 715 kills at a .471 attack percentage, with 20 blocks.

Team capsules

Division 1

Sun Prairie (40-8) is at state for the fourth time overall and second time in the last three years. Coach T.J. Rantala’s Big Eight Conference champion Cardinals, ranked eighth by the state coaches, swept Waunakee in a sectional final. Senior setter Mia Lubahn has 408 assists and 25 service aces for Sun Prairie. … Third-seeded and sixth-ranked Oconomowoc (29-7), one of three Classic 8 Conference teams in the eight-team Division 1 field, made it to state for the third time in four years and was runner-up in 2015. It took a five-set victory over Watertown in a sectional final to give coach Michelle Bruss’ sixth-ranked Raccoons their return to state.

Second-seeded and No. 1-ranked River Falls (42-2) is at state for the third year in a row and earned the runner-up trophy last season. Coach Sara Kealy’s Wildcats have lost to only one Wisconsin opponent, Arrowhead, and went 15-1 against Minnesota opponents, losing only to Stillwater. The Wildcats lead the state field with a .343 attack percentage … Unranked Greendale (31-16) earned its fourth consecutive state berth with a sectional sweep of Franklin. Coach Kelly Schmidt’s Panthers took second in the Woodland Conference, losing to champ Wisconsin Lutheran in the conference tournament final.

Top-seeded Hartland Arrowhead (45-6) finished second in the Classic 8 Conference, but swept Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels last week to earn its first state trip in 17 years. Sophomore Jade Stefan has 572 assists for coach Janelle Hobbs’ team. … Also from the Classic 8, Waukesha West (34-10) is making its first state trip after ousting Mukwonago in a sectional final. Arrowhead beat coach Patty Wilson’s Wolverines twice during the Classic 8 regular season.

Fourth-seeded Burlington (36-5), the defending state champ, is back at state for the fifth straight year and 10th time overall, seeking its fourth title (against one runner-up finish). Co-coaches Dan Lynch and Teri Little led the fifth-ranked Demons past Westosha Central in a sectional final, after a loss to the Falcons in the Southwest Conference Tournament final. … Kimberly (33-10), a repeat qualifier, beat Appleton North in its sectional after winning the Fox Valley Association title. Outside hitters Maggie Cartwright (5-11, sr.) and Courtney Pearson (5-10, jr.) have combined for 779 kills.

Division 2

Top-ranked Little Chute (38-1) is back at state for the first time since 2004, after a romp to the North Eastern Conference title. Coach Anna Maass’ Mustangs have lost only once, to Kimberly in the final of the late-season De Pere Invitational. … Fifth-ranked Jackson Kettle Moraine Lutheran (30-19) is making its eighth state trip, but first since winning its fifth state title in 2012, after beating Wisconsin Lutheran in a sectional final. Coach Stephanie Prochnow’s Chargers have won 11 in a row after a loss to Sun Prairie in the Neenah Invitational.

Second-ranked East Troy (29-8) beat Rock Valley Conference foe McFarland to earn its fourth state trip and first since 2015. Coach Jeremy Weis’ Trojans lost four of six matches in the West Bend Sprawl and two others in the Mequon Homestead Joust, but their only loss against a Division 2 foe came against Jefferson in the Rock Valley tournament. … Seventh-ranked Mosinee (37-6) made its only other state trip in 2005. Coach Justin Jacobs’ team beat Bloomer in a sectional final to qualify, led by 5-8 senior outside hitter Hanna Nest (319 kills).

Division 3

Top-ranked Stratford (43-0) lost a semifinal match in its first-ever state visit last year. Coach Brooke Kafka’s Tigers have lost only six sets all season, dominating the Marawood South Conference. Mazie Nagel, a 6-foot senior outside hitter, leads the team with 436 kills and 299 digs. … Third-ranked Jackson Living Word Lutheran (29-6), ranked fourth, earned its second state trip under coach Dawn Walker. The Timberwolves lost to Hartland Lake Country Lutheran in the Midwest Classic Conference tournament after beating the Lightning during the regular conference season. Keri Walker, a 6-foot senior middle hitter/setter, has 509 kills, 224 assist, 106 aces and 182 digs.

Defending champion Hartland Lake Country Lutheran (36-11), ranked fourth, earned a repeat state trip by winning 10 consecutive matches, including a five-set win over Cuba City in a sectional final. Coach Janet Bahr’s Lightning are led by 6-foot senior outside hitter Jennifer O’Keefe (384 kills) and 5-5 junior setter Alayna Ritter (846 assists). … Eleventh-ranked Grantsburg (31-5), coached by Deb Allaman-Johnson, beat second-ranked La Cross Aquinas in a sectional final to earn its first state trip since 2012. The Pirates’ balanced front line is led by 5-5 senior outside hitter Randi Siebenthal (249 kills, 322 digs).

Division 4

Top-ranked Clayton (28-3), the defending champion, earned its sixth consecutive state trip and 10th overall. Coach Sadie Schradle’s Bears lost only to River Falls and a pair of Minnesota opponents during the regular season. Selena Levendoski, a 5-9 senior middle hitter, has 380 kills and 5-5 senior setter Marissa Gilbertson has 700 assists. … Second-ranked River Ridge (24-0) suffered its first lost set in the season in its sectional final against Hillsboro, but completed a 3-1 victory to take a perfect match record and a set record of 65-1 to its first-ever state trip. Coach Dianne Langmeier’s Timberwolves, champs of the Six Rivers Conference, have gotten 339 kills from 5-10 senior middle hitter Taylor Langmeier and 391 assists from 5-3 senior setter Verity Johnson.

Fourth-ranked Wausau Newman (31-12) is back at state after winning four consecutive state titles between 2013 and 2016. Coach Betty Lange’s Cardinals beat Wausaukee in a sectional final to earn their 10th state trip in 11 years. Offensive leaders are 5-8 senior Mackenzie Krach (467 assists, 345 kills) and 6-1 junior middle hitter Linnea Svennes (339 kills). … Third-ranked Burlington Catholic Central (37-7) is back at state for the seventh time, seeking what would be its sixth championship (along with a runner-up finish in 2010). Coach Wayne Schultz’s Hilltoppers’ beat sixth-ranked Hilbert in a sectional final and are led by 5-8 sophomore hitter Sammie Sieb (497 kills) and 6-foot senior setter Elizabeth Klein (1,007 assists).

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Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.