Demons earn tough seed, open playoffs Friday at Burlington

David Paul (from left), Malik Tiedt, Trey Krause, Andy Ellingham, Sam Lois and Tyler Duesing are on a serious roll right now. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)



By Andrew Horschak

Sports Correspondent

Just like last year, the Burlington boys volleyball team will be entering the postseason as the Southern Lakes Conference champions.

Unlike last year, though, the Demons were forced to share the crown.

Celebrating Senior and Parent Night Tuesday, Burlington closed out the regular season by topping rival Westosha Central, 25-14, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, to earn a share of the league title with Racine St. Catherine’s. Both teams finished 7-1 after splitting a pair of matches.

“We made it interesting, but we won,” Burlington coach Mike Jones said. “It was definitely in dramatic fashion. It was a successful season again. The boys played well. We have a good group and we’re looking forward to a playoff run right now.”

Despite its gaudy 23-4-3 overall record, Burlington received the No. 4 seed in its seven-team bracket and will host No. 5 Waukesha South in a regional final 7 p.m. Friday.

The winner will play at top-seeded Waukesha Catholic Memorial in a sectional semifinal 7 p.m. Tuesday. Burlington is slated to host the sectional final on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The Demons lost in the sectional final to Middleton last year.

Jones said his team can play with the best teams in the state.

“Overall, we’ve definitely hung with a lot of the good teams that we’ve played,” he said. “We beat Appleton North, which is a top team. We split with Kaukauna. We split with New Berlin United. We hung with Germantown before they ended up beating us. Our schedule wasn’t the strongest this year, but we’ve performed well.”

In Tuesday’s victory over Westosha, Burlington came out strong in the opening set, but the Falcons wouldn’t go away quietly.

“Westosha hit very well tonight against our tough defense and good blocking,” Jones said.

Malik Tiedt led the way with 26 kills and added two blocks, while David Paul had 42 assists. Trey Krause sparked the defense with 15 digs.

Burlington tuned up for the conference finale by playing in the 15-team Highlander Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Homestead High School.

The Demons took first place in their pool, defeating Whitefish Bay Dominican (25-16, 25-18) and Westosha (25-16, 25-17) and splitting with Cedarburg (23-25, 27-25).

After beating Fond du Lac in the quarterfinals, 25-22, 25-15, Appleton North ended the Demons’ day in a tough semifinal match, 29-27, 25-22.

Paul collected 93 assists on the day as Tiedt was the main beneficiary with 40 kills. Tiedt and Andy Ellingham also contributed 12 blocks each, and Chase Ketterhagen led the way with 63 digs. Sam Lois also chipped in five service aces.

“We had a week and a half off (before the Homestead tourney),” Jones said. “I think that showed a little bit (Tuesday vs. Westosha). It will be good to get back in the groove of things and play well in the playoffs.”