Since winning five consecutive Woodland Conference championships in the mid-2000s, the Wauwatosa West boys volleyball team has found itself unable to get past New Berlin United to return to the top of the league.
But after taking second place over the past seven seasons, the Trojans are conference champions again, as Wauwatosa West, New Berlin United and Pius XI all finished 5-1 in league matches to share the league crown.
"One of our top goals this year was to win conference," Wauwatosa West coach Kyle Sikora said. "We felt from the beginning of the year that we would be the team to beat in the conference if we play our game. We returned five starters and added a number of other solid players to the team, so clinching a share of the title this year feels really good."
The Trojans clinched their share of the conference championship with 3-0 sweeps of South Milwaukee on Oct. 10 and Greenfield/Whitnall on Oct. 12.
West finished with set wins of 25-18, 25-13 and 25-13 over the Rockets. Senior John Frank led Wauwatosa West in kills in the match with six. Junior Danny Kuehn had 18 assists, senior Alex Witkowski had four blocks and sophomore Joe Todd had five aces.
The Trojans, which won five straight conference titles from 2004-08, also easily dispatched Greenfield/Whitnall, 25-8, 25-12, 25-18.
Junior Ronnie Haynes had eight kills, while junior Danny Belknapp had 27 assists, sophomore Zach Schumacher had four aces and senior Nick Price had seven digs.
Wauwatosa West, New Berlin United and Pius XI all beat Greenfield, Greendale, South Milwaukee and Shorewood. New Berlin took down Wauwatosa West (3-1), Wauwatosa West beat Pius XI (3-0) and Pius outlasted New Berlin (3-2) in five sets
"(New Berlin United) has consistently had a very strong program similar to ours and managed to continue to beat us out over the last seven years in some very intense volleyball matches," Sikora said. "So it’s nice to gain a share of the title.
"Our team is looking forward to the conference tournament and accomplishing another goal on our season list."
Thanks to tiebreakers, the Trojans earned the top seed for the Woodland Conference tournament, which was scheduled for Oct. 19 at South Milwaukee High School. After the conference tournament, Wauwatosa West will host Middleton on Oct. 25 before regionals begin Oct. 28.