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Volleyball State Tournament: Day 2 Recap

Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 9:39 PM

In the second day of play at the 2021 Volleyball State Tournament, the Class AA and Class A teams took center stage for the first time. Mounds Park Academy, Jackson County Central, Hawley and Sauk Centre advanced in Class AA. In Class A, Mayer Lutheran, Bethlehem Academy, Minneota and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley will play in the championship semifinals.

Championship, third place and consolation finals were set in Class AAAA. Wayzata will face East Ridge for top honors at 7 p.m. on November 13. The Class AAA championship semifinals are set for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on November 12.

Class A

The top-seeded Mayer Lutheran Crusaders will compete against No. 4-seeded Bethlehem Academy in the first championship semifinal. That match is scheduled for 1 p.m. on November 12. Minneota, the No. 2 seed, and unseeded Walker-Hackensack-Akeley will meet in the 3 p.m. semifinal.

Mayer Lutheran defeated South Ridge in three sets (25-4, 25-10, 26-16). The Crusaders’ scoring was evenly shared across the team with junior Gabrielle Wachholz racking up six kills and older sister Lilly, a senior, securing seven kills.

In the second quarterfinal, Bethlehem Academy moved past Breckenridge 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-14). The Cardinals were led by senior Ellie Cohen with 16 kills and 15 digs, followed by junior Kate Trump with 15 kills and 11 digs.

The Minneota Vikings made short work of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, dismissing the Gators 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-11). Seniors Natalee Rolbiecki and Abby Frie both had 17 kills for Minneota. Robiecki also had 13 digs.

In the final quarterfinal of the day, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley upset No. 3-seeded Legacy Christian Academy 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-18). Senior Allyson Sea paced the Wolves with 23 digs and 10 kills. Senior Abigale Strandlie added a game-high 28 assists.

In the consolation bracket, South Ridge will play Breckenridge and Badger/Greenbush-Middle River will square off against Legacy Christian Academy.

Class AA

Upsets were key in the Class AA matches. Unseeded Mounds Park Academy upset top-seeded Southwest Christian 3-2 and unseeded Hawley sent No. 2 Cannon Falls to consolation round with a 3-2 victory.

In the championship semifinals, it will be Mounds Park Academy against No. 4 seed Jackson County Central at 9 a.m. on November 12. In the second match, scheduled for 11 a.m., Hawley will take on No. 3 seed Sauk Centre.

It took the Mounds Park Academy Panthers five set to knock off Southwest Christian, but they eventually prevailed 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-11. Junior Lola Pilon led Mounds Park Academy with 30 kills and 19 digs. Senior Kaija Kunze-Hoeg added 20 kills for the Panthers.

Jackson County Central dismissed Annandale 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-19) in the second quarterfinal of the day. Junior Maci Farmer had 29 assists for the Huskies and senior Sadie Voss added a game-high 14 kills.

Two first-time tournament participants went head-to-head in the third quarterfinal with Hawley upsetting No. 2-seeded Cannon Falls in five sets (25-21, 18-25, 13-25, 25-23, 15-11). Cannon Falls sophomore Madison Burr had 25 kills and 11 digs.

Sauk Centre was the final team to advance to the semifinals. The Mainstreeters defeated Greenway 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 19-25, 25-10). Senior Emma Kittelson and ninth-grader Victoria Jennissen led the Mainstreeters with 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Kittelson also had three blocks while Jennissen had four.

The consolation match-ups are Southwest Christian against Annandale and Cannon Falls against Greenway.

Class AAAA

The Class AAAA championship will come down to top-seeded Wayzata and No. 3-seeded East Ridge. This is the second time these teams have met this season; Wayzata won the first match 3-0 in mid-September.

The Trojans are looking for their second consecutive title. They won in Class AAA in 2019.

Wayzata defeated Rogers 3-0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-15) in the semifinals. Sophomore Stella Swenson led the Trojans with 23 assists and 15 digs. Wayzata also had the advantage in kill percentage. The Trojans had 66 percent to Rogers’ 29 percent in the second set and a 66 percent to 40 percent margin in the third.

East Ridge punched its ticket to the title match with a 3-1 (25-13, 24-20, 20-25, 25-17) victory over Eden Prairie. Senior Britt Carlson led the Raptors with 27 kills and sophomore Macey Spolidaro had a game-high 53 assists on 122 attempts.

Rogers will play Eden Prairie in the third-place match-up. Lakeville North and Bloomington Jefferson will face off for consolation honors.

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