Volleyball State Tournament, 2022: Day 2 Recap
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 9:45 PM
Day 2 of the Minnesota State High School League’s Volleyball State Tournament was on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. If you missed any of the event, here is an opportunity to catch up:
Two member schools are in familiar territory on the final day of the volleyball season.
Top-seeded Wayzata defeated No. 5 Rogers 25-15, 25-14, 25-23 in the first big-school semifinal to earn a berth in the Class AAAA championship match for the second consecutive season and third since 2019. The Trojans were the Class AAA champion in 2019, but the 2020 event was not held because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2021, the Trojans won the first Class AAAA championship in the four-enrollment tournament. In addition to the two prior championships, Wayzata was the big-school runner-up twice.
Shortly after on Thursday, No. 2-seeded Lakeville North recorded a 25-11, 25-17, 25-16 victory over No. 3 East Ridge to fill the championship berth opposite Wayzata. The Panthers have a very decorated championship history. Lakeville North was the big-school champion in 2010, 2012 and 2017. Like Wayzata, the Panthers have also been a two-time runner-up.
Wayzata’s latest victory was a balanced team attack led by nine kills from junior outside hitter Olivia Swenson and sophomore middle hitter Katie Kelzenberg added six. Senior libero Sophia Johnson had nine digs and Swenson added seven. It was the third time during the 2022 season that Wayzata (29-4) defeated Rogers. The Royals were paced by 12 kills from sophomore setter Anya Schmidt.
Lakeville North dashed East Ridge’s hopes of a return to the championship match for the second consecutive season with a powerful attack. Senior setter Sydney Carlson had 13 kills and senior outside hitter Emily Ramsay added 12. Senior libero Sydney Wissbrod had 17 digs for the Panthers (29-4).
Top-seeded Pequot Lakes opened the Class AA tournament with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-15 straight-set victory over unseeded Barnesville. Junior outside hitter Ella Kratochvil had 16 kills and junior middle hitter Grace Hoffard chipped in 10 for the Patriots, who are making third-ever state tournament appearance. Senior middle hitter Emily Smith paced Barnesville with 13 kills.
Concordia Academy, the No. 5 seed, forged its way into the semifinals by outlasting No. 4 Belle Plaine in a 15-25, 25-14, 10-25, 25-23, 15-13 victory. Senior outside hitters Ava and Kyla McTeague had 13 kills each to pace the Beacons. The victory revered a 2-1 loss to Belle Plaine earlier this season during an invitational. Senior outside hitter Brianna Swenson had 20 kills for the Tigers.
No. 2-seed Cannon Falls, making its second consecutive state tournament appearance and second overall, posted a three-set victory over unseeded Pipestone, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22. Junior Madison Burr had 22 kills junior Kallie Johnson had 15 to lead the Bombers, who were eliminated after two matches in the 2021 tournament. Senior outside hitter Kyla Hubbling had 12 kills for Pipestone.
Annandale, the No. 3 seed, completed the Class AA quarterfinals with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-22 victory over unseeded Rush City. Annandale, which was eliminated after two matches in the 2021 tournament, advances to face Cannon Falls in Friday’s semifinals, was led by senior Kali Jones, who had 21 kills. Jones and freshman Carlie Hermes had 11 digs each.
Top-seeded Minneota, the Class A runner-up in 2021, took another step toward a possible return to the championship match with a 25-13, 25-23, 13-25, 25-14 victory over New Life Academy in the quarterfinals. Junior right side hitter Emma Bottelberghe had 15 kills for the Vikings and senior setter Ireland Stassen added 12. Senior outside hitter Annika Forbes had 20 kills to pace New Life Academy.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, the No. 5 seed, advanced to the semifinals for a match against Minneota following a 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 victory over No. 4 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River in the other upper bracket quarterfinal. Senior outside hitter Ava Mueller powered the Jaguars with 22 kills and junior middle hitter Brooklyn Fisher added 18.
In the lower bracket, No. 3-seed Mabel-Canton recorded a 25-22, 25-20, 25-15 straight-set victory over unseeded Pine River/Backus. Sophomore middle hitter Saijal Slafter led the was with 12 kills. Senior Hannah Barchus led the way for Pine River-Backus with 16 kills.
Mayer Lutheran, the defending Class A champion and starting from the No. 2-seed position, ended Day 2 of the volleyball state tournament with a 25-15, 24-26, 25-12, 25-11 victory over unseeded Ely. Senior outside hitter Gabrielle Wachholz paced a balanced Crusaders’ attack with 15 kills while senior outside hitter Stella Maass and senior setter Madeline Guetzkow had 12 each.