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Volleyball State Tournament, 2022: Day 3 Recap

Posted: Friday, November 11, 2022 - 8:49 PM

2022 Girls Volleyball Tournament News

Three more classes filled championship berths on Friday, Nov. 11 during Day 3 of the Minnesota State High School League’s Volleyball State Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center. There will be four championship matches played on Saturday, as well as third-place matches and consolation final. Here is a recap of the action on Day 3:

Class AAA

Benilde-St. Margaret’s is playing in the Minnesota State High School League’s Volleyball State Tournament for the first time since 1983 when the Red Knights made their only other appearance.

“This season has been an incredibly crazy ride,” Benilde-St. Margaret’s Activities Director Jerry Pettinger said Friday amid the joyful Red Knights’ student section.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s, the No. 3 seed in the Class AAA field, has a chance to end its memorable season on a magical note following a 25-23, 25-22. 25-12 victory over No. 2 Kasson-Mantorville in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 11 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. Senior outside hitter Lily Eigner had 19 kills and senior middle hitter Sierra Lumpkin added 11 to send the Red Knights (25-7) past the KoMets (25-9), who were aiming for a repeat berth in the Class AAA title match.

Since Oct. 19, the Red Knights are on a 9-1 spree.

The Red Knights will face top-seed and defending champion Marshall in the title match. Marshall advanced with a 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 victory over No. 5 Grand Rapids in the opening semifinal. Senior middle blocker Randi Wendorff paced the Tigers (33-2) with 11 kills and senior outside hitter Leah Jones added 11. Senior libero Caitlyn Christenson had 27 digs.

Marshall’s only two losses this season are to Lakeville North, which will playing for the Class AAAA crown against Wayzata.

Marshall made its first trip to the state tournament 45 years ago. In that span, the Tigers have been to the state tournament 31 times. With another championship, Marshall will be alone atop the all-time leader board among member schools. Along with Marshall, the other schools with seven state championships are Bethlehem Academy, Chaska, Eagan, Robbinsdale Armstrong and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.

Marshall head coach Dan Westby is in his 19th season leading the Tigers’ volleyball team. He has guided Marshall to state crowns in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2021.

Class AA

A first-time champion will emerge from this class in 2022 as top seed Pequot Lakes and No. 2 Cannon Falls used straight-set victories to advance to the Class AA title match on Saturday.

In the upper bracket semifinal, Pequot Lakes recorded a 25-19, 25-19, 25-13 victory over No. 5 Concordia Academy. Later, Cannon Falls completed the championship pairing with a 25-21, 25-14, 25-17 victory over No. 3 Annandale.

Both Pequot Lakes and Cannon Falls are relatively news to the state tournament. The only other appearance for Cannon Falls was in 2021 when the Bombers placed sixth in the eight-team field. Pequot Lakes is making its third state tournament appearance, and first since 2019. The only other state tournament trip was in 1994.

Junior outside hitter Ella Kratochvil had 23 kills for the Pequot Lakes (29-4) and junior libero Kelsi Martini had 20 digs. In Cannon Falls’ victory, junior Madison Burr had 17 kills for the Bombers (28-7).

Class A

The stage is set for a rematch in the championship match. In 2021, Mayer Lutheran was the top seed and Minneota was No. 2. The seeds held true as Mayer Lutheran recorded a straight-set victory for its fourth Class A championship. A year later, the seeds are reversed. Minneota has been tagged with the top seed and Mayer Lutheran is No. 2.

Will the swapping of seeds pan out?

In the upper bracket semifinal, Minneota recorded a 25-21, 25-20, 25-13 victory over No. 5 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Junior outside hitter Ella Johnson led the way with 11 kills for the Vikings (33-3) and senior setter Ireland Stassen chipped in 10. Junior libero Lyzah Sussner had 16 kills. Senior outside hitter Ava Muller also had 11 kills for the Jaguars (26-7).

Minneota’s last loss was to Kasson-Mantorville on Oct. 14. Kasson-Mantorville is in the Class AAA field and is playing for third place. Since that setback, the Vikings are 11-0.

In the other semifinal, Mayer Lutheran needed four sets to get past No. 3 Mabel-Canton, 15-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-13. Senior outside hitter Gabrielle Wachholz led the Crusaders (29-5) with 16 kills and senior setter Madeline Guetzkow added 12 and 19 digs. Senior outside hitter Stella Maass also had 19 digs. Freshman middle hitter Kinley Solney had 14 kills for the Cougars (35-3).


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Football State Tournament, 2022: Quarterfinals, Day 2