The Vikings won for the 28th time this season by defeating Watertown-Mayer 25-20, 25-23, 25-20. Sophomore Cianna Selbitschka led the way with 26 kills and 15 digs for the No. 3 seed.
Lauren Link (6) of Academy of Holy Angels bumped the ball in the fourth set against Kasson-Mantorville. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky
oly Angels got off to a rough start. The Stars served tight, couldn’t pass the ball and hit into opposing blockers, according to coach Tom Emanuel.
“We were playing it safe,” he said. “I mean, let’s be honest, we were horrible in the first set.”
Luckily, his team made adjustments and came back from a 2-1 set deficit to defeat No. 5 seed Kasson-Mantorville 15-25, 25-22, 14-25, 25-22, 15-13 Thursday in the Class 2A volleyball quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center.
Stars senior Ellie Koontz credited the KoMets’ composure and their preparedness for the tough match.
“They were just a little more prepared,” Koontz said. “We started off shaky but then we got used to it.”
The Stars really found their rhythm in the second set, using a 13-2 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 23-17 lead. In the back-and-forth match it turned out to be, the KoMets answered with five more points before the Stars prevailed and evened the match.
In the fifth set, the KoMets won a marathon point to get within one at 12-11, but that was as close as they got. The Stars wanted to stay ahead in the fifth set, being the first team to five, 10 and 15 points, Koontz said.
“I actually like how close it was, and how back-and-forth,” Koontz said.
The two teams met in at an invitational in September, with the Stars winning 25-21, 25-19. Back then the KoMets were without junior Peyton Suess, who registered a match-high 32 kills and 17 digs.
“The funny thing is, looking at the stat sheet [Thursday], we beat them in every statistical category,” Kasson-Mantorville coach Adam VanOort said. “Every single one.”
The KoMets hit at a higher percentage (.251 to .185), had 89 digs to 87 for the Stars and led in blocks 12-3.
Maple Lake players celebrated after defeating Kenyon-Wanamingo in three sets to advance in the state tournament. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky
Top-seed and defending champion Maple Lake (34-0) stayed undefeated with a 25-19, 25-18, 25-22 victory. Senior Linsey Rachel finished the first and third sets with decisive kills as part of her 18-kill match. The Knights got close in the second and third sets, tying the score at 16-16 in the second, before the Irish pulled away.