Friday, November 07, 2008

Semifinal Friday, 3 Sweeps, 3 Fives

#5 posting 11.7.2008
your daily dose of girls volleyball news & information

The Minnesota State volleyball tournament wrapped up today with the top two seeds in each class advancing to the finals. However it took five sets in three of the contests.

Again with the multitude of contests if you want to see the official stats go to the MSHSL site.

Where are the photos? The MSHSL have exclusive rights to the images and photos, so I can not put them on

The day started with #1 Shakopee sweeping unranked Andover in a rematch of last year's championship. However it was a bit tighter than people may have thought. The first two sets were tight with Andover serving at set point. Elizabeth Benusa got the kill as the Sabers dodged a bullet. Ashley Wittman then had a kill to put Shakopee at set point. Andover held off with a Nicole Husfeldt kill. The set ended with two Wittman kills 27-25. The second set was tied up at 22 when Megan Westlund dumped the ball for a key side out. Shakopee didn't give it back with a block by Jean Theis and another set ending kill by Wittman. Andover wasn't the same after that. In the third set Shakopee led 5-0 and 10-2 early setting the tone for the rest of the way.

The Sabers will face Eastview. The Lightning beat St. Michael-Albertville for the second time this season and it too was a sweep. In set one Eastview trailed 19-18 when they went on a five point run that put them in the driver's seat. In that run of five Ashley Murtha had three kills. A STMA time out at 22-19 failed to halt the Lightning. The first set ended on a missed Knight serve. Set two was another tight contest with STMA leading 20-17. Eastview finished with an 8-2 run. STMA took a time out at 20 all which gave the ball back to the Knights, and again trailing 23-21. In the 8-1 run Lauren Grant had three kills including point 25. Just like in the Shakopee/Andover contest the momentum drained from STMA. Eastview got off to a 5-0 lead and lead throughout. STMA closed to 14-10 but an 8 point run cemented the result. Karlee Lursen finished the match with a kill.

Oddly enough both teams opened the season---I had an out & about on that. Shakopee won 3-1 back in August.

Next on the menu of contests were the A semifinals. On Thursday all As were sweeps. Today all the semis were fives. Both #1 Bethlehem Academy and #2 Windom won in five, but both were pushed hard.

In a sense this was a match up between two state champions and their initials are just the reverse of each other. Bethlehem Academy is the defending 2007 Volleyball champ. #4 Ada-Borup is the 2008 Class A girls basketball champs, many who play both sports. AB was a scrappy, gritty bunch that were able to make plays out of system. The Cougars took the first set from the Cards 25-20. The took advantage of a six point run when they trailed 14-10. After that they didn't trail. FBA missed a serve to start the run. AB led 11-8 in the second set when FBA went on an 11-4 run to take a 19-15 lead. The Cards maintained that margin the rest of the way for a 25-21 victory to tie things up. In a similar scenario in set three, AB led 9-6 when FBA went to work. First off they had four straight FBSO to stifle any potential Cougar rally. Second they went on an 8-1 run and 16-3 run to cement their win. The Cougars refused to quit. They started set four with a 6-0 lead with Katy Ness providing half the points. AB stretched that margin to 17-8. BA had to play catch up and closed to 21-18, but a missed serve doomed their chances to overtake the #4 seed. In fact a missed serve ended the set. BA put an end to the momentum shift with the first four points of set five. Holly Hafemeyer was a force at the net with four of the fist six points and 8 points overall in set five. AB got as close as three. Hafemeyer ended the match with a kill.

Windom faced a similar situation in their semifinal with #3 BBE. They took the first set with a strong finish. BBE led 18-16 when Windom finished with a 9-2 run. Megan Ysker had four of the points for the Eagles in the closing run. In set two BBE started out flaming hot with the first four points and a 12-2 lead. Heidi Lensing had five points at the start of those 12 for the Jaguars. Windom scrapped back to close to 23-22 with a 8-2 run, but a hitting error ended their momentum. Lensing finished set two with a kill. It was the Eagle's turn for a quick 7-1 start in set three. BBE did bounce back to close to 9-7, but another five point run later made it 21-11 after Allison Nau had three aces in that burst. It was all about the starts. In set four BBE raced to a 6-1 and 13-4 lead. Emily Roelike had five of the last six points in the 13-4 run. Fittingly Roelike ended set four with a kill. Start fast, win the contest. Windom raced to a 5-1 lead to start set five. Courtney Ysker had three aces in that burst. Windom finished strong with a 7-1 run. Again the Younger Ysker was instrumental with four of the seven points, this time all on kills.

This sets up a rematch of the 2007 A championship.

We weren't done with the five sets yet. #1 Jordan survived an upset bid by #4 Hibbing. Hibbing led 18-17 in set one when the Jaguars finished with an 8-3 run. Brittany Chambers five kills in the 8 point run. Hibbing tried to stop the Jordan express with a time out at 21-19 and 24-21. Hibbing led 16-9 in set two after a nine point run. The Bluejackets pushed their lead out to 21-13. The Jags then went on a 9-1 run again with BC knocking down four kills. Jordan had a 8-3 run to take a 20-13 lead. The Jags pulled out to a 5-1 lead to start the fourth set, but Hibbing went on a 5-0 run to take a 6-5 lead. There were 7 lead changes and five ties in this nailbiting set, the last at 23 after a tip kill by Chambers. Jordan had the ball, but a hitting error gave it back to Hibbing. Melissa Nyberg had a block to force set five. Jordan used a 7-1 run to put distance between themselves and Hibbing at 12-6. Again Chambers had four points in the burst. Hibbing wasn't through with a 6-1 run to close to 13-12. Kate Lange had three of the points for Hibbing. A block by Leah Dietel gave the ball back to Jordan. The match ended on a Hibbing hitting error.

The final match was a rematch of the last year's AA championship. This time Marshall left no doubt in the outcome with a sweep of St. Cloud Cathedral. The Tigers had a run of six early in the first set and then had another four point burst to go up 17-11. Eventually Marshall led 24-17, but they needed five set points before Danielle Gladis finished with a kill. Cathedral led 13-12 in set two when the Tigers roared back with a 7-2 run to lead 19-15. SCC cut the margin to 22-20. Hope Weilage wrapped up the second set with a kill. Reverting back to the first two matches of the day the team that won the first two sets had an easier time in the third as the energy drained for the team trailing. Marshall 9-4 and 14-5 as the Crusaders didn't have a strong response to the relentless diversified attack. Five Tigers had more that four kills.

Jordan beat Marshall in the Lakeville North tournament at the start of October.

Shakopee .306
Eastview .198
Andover .139
STMA .071
Marshall .215
Jordan .191
Hibbing .108
St. Cloud Cathedral .080
Bethlehem Academy .222
BBE .197
Ada-Borup .189
Windom .168

Shakopee 19.0
Eastview 17.67
Andover 15.67
STMA 14.0
Marshall 19.67
Jordan 16.74
Hibbing 15.65
St. Cloud Cathedral 10.0
Bethlehem Academy 18.70
Windom 17.39
Ada-Borup 14.78
BBE 12.83

INDIVIDUALS (points per set)
Ashley Wittman, Shakopee 8.67
Katherine Harms, STMA 6.5
Lauren Cipperly, Andover 5.0
Elizabeth Benusa, Shakopee 4.17
Lauren Grant, Eastivew 4.0
Brittany Chambers, Jordan 7.83
Leah Dietel, Jordan 6.30
Katie Lang, Hibbing 5.98
Anna Zyvoloski, SC Cathedral 5.0
Kayla Wallerich, Marshall 4.0
Hope Weilage, Marshall 4.0
Holly Hafemeyer, BA 7.83
Heidi Lensing, BBE 5.22
Courtney Ysker, Windom 5.22
Katy Ness, Ada-Borup 4.89
Kari Anne Nass, BA 4.67
Megan Ysker, Windom 4.13

Next up: tomorrow morning