Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

As it has been the past couple of months, the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper office is closed today, Monday. Today we are also closed in honor of Veterans Day. The bank in town is closed as well as city hall.

The elementary school and Brooten American Legion hosted a wonderful Veterans Day program this morning. Coverage to follow in this week's Voice.

Today at 1:30 p.m., the high school and Belgrade V.F.W. Post. No. 1825 will host a Veterans Day program. Due to a thousand-and-one conflicts, the Voice regrets that the newspaper will be unable to attend that program.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Setting eyes on the musical

Let's all set our eyes on the upcoming fall musical at B-B-E!

Show dates are Friday, Saturday and Sunday next weekend at 7 p.m. for the first two shows and then a matinee affair on the 17th at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for students.

Click here to read more on the musical at the Bonanza Valley Voice website (short link): Last week's (November 7) issue of the Voice included a large cast photo on page one and a press release further inside the newspaper. Also, additional coverage will be published in this week's November 14 issue of the Voice.

Spread the word!

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State football, state volleyball updates

**Here's footage from the return of our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team from the state tournament.

Also!!! Don't forget that the Brooten American Legion pancake breakfast runs until 1 p.m. today!! Their advertisement has been on page two in the last two Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper issues.

**Here's action from the second set of the Henning vs. B-B-E consolation semifinal battle on Friday afternoon. It begins with the Hornets holding a 10-9 lead.

Congratulations to Section 4A champion Browerville, who beat Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 33-6 in the Class 1A state football quarterfinals. The game was played yesterday at St. Cloud State University. Browerville (10-1) was B-B-E's Homecoming opponent this fall. They shared the Sub-District III title with Upsala/Swanville Area in the Midstate District this fall.

At the state volleyball tournament, Medford swept unseeded Fosston 25-16, 25-16, 25-17 to take third place on Saturday. Medford graduates five seniors off of their roster of 12 student-athletes: Kiley Nihart, Morgan Langeslag, Emma Kniefel, Alyvia Johnson and Izzy Reuvers.

I just read that Stewartville's state title in Class 2A yesterday was their fifth overall in school history. It's their first state title since 2014. They've now played in 24 state tournaments after going 30-4 this year. I'll never forget the 2005 state tournament, when our state rookie B-B-E Jaguars squared off with Stewartville in the quarterfinals. The Jaguars had a 2-1 lead in sets before losing the last two sets in a 3-2 heartbreaker.

Just like Stewartville's match against B-B-E did in 2005, their state finals match yesterday with North Branch lasted two hours.

Minneota became cream of the crop in Class 1A volleyball when they swept an incredibly talented and well-rounded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers team in the state finals yesterday. Game scores were 25-19, 25-19, 25-20. W-E-M finishes 34-3 overall, and the Vikings finish 33-3.

Just how good is Minneota? So good that they swept a stacked, experienced powerhouse W-E-M team that had knocked off the previously No. 1-ranked team in the state, Mayer Lutheran, in the Section 2A finals. Minneota tallied an incredible 90 digs in the state finals compared to 59 for W-E-M.

Mayer Lutheran had ended the Buccaneers' season in the previous three section finals (ouch!). This year W-E-M punched its ticket through even though they had lost to Mayer Lutheran earlier in the season (2-1 in the championship of the Burnsville tournament with game scores in that match were 19-25, 25-18, 15-11). Game scores in what was one of those incredible five-set thrillers were 20-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13. W-E-M came back from trailing two sets to one to advance to state.

W-E-M last played at the state tournament in 2015, when they took first place with a wild 3-2 win over Bethlehem Academy. Game five had a 15-13 score. Wow. B.A. lost by wide margins in the first two games, 25-17 and 25-18, before they ground out two 25-23 wins to deadlock it at two sets apiece.

The 2015 playoffs marked the first of a still-running five-year stretch where W-E-M and Mayer Lutheran have squared off in the section finals for a trip to the state tournament. In 2017, W-E-M blazed into the section finals despite having no seniors on their roster. It's noteworthy that the 2017 team was made up of many younger sisters to players who were on the 2015 state champion team.

This year, W-E-M graduates just two seniors off of its roster: outside hitter Trista Hering and middle hitter Delaney Donahue.

Fun fact: one of W-E-M's big hitters is junior outside and full-rotation player Toryn Richards, 5'11" daughter of former B-B-E science teacher and head football coach Mike Richards. She broke the mold at W-E-M when she became a member of the W-E-M Junior Olympics volleyball 15s as a sixth grader. Generally speaking, a 15s JO team has mostly eighth and ninth graders.

Toryn is also a guard on the W-E-M basketball team and is on the Southern MN Fury AAU club team. In the spring, she's a star track and field team member for the Buccaneers. Last June she competed at the Class 1A state meet after advancing in the high jump (best jump of 5'2") as well as the pole vault and 4x100 relay. She earned a personal record at the state pole vault with a best effort of 11 feet, an All-State effort good for a fourth-place tie. She was also All-State in the high jump with a three-way tie for third place. Her 4x100 relay squad experienced adversity that can come at a high-pressure situation in sports, with her hand off exchange resulting in a disqualification at state.

Earlier this season, Toryn Richards surpassed 1,000 career kills. Also, in the 41st annual W-E-M home tournament in September, she earned her 1,000th career dig.

In the Section 2A finals, Mayer Lutheran held a 13-10 lead in the fifth set. Richards went to the service line after teammate Trista Hering's ace block earned a side out. Richards proceeded to serve out the match, with her Buccaneers going on a 5-0 run to end the match and advance to state. She finished with 17 kills on 36 percent hitting along with 14 digs. W-E-M's Hering earned four ace blocks in that final set, including two stuffs during the final 5-0 run. Hering, a senior, finished the night with five solo and seven assisted blocks.

Mike Richards is a staff member and the current head football coach at W-E-M. His Buccaneers, who took third in their regular season sub-district and have been a Class 2A team in recent years, lost in the Section 2A semifinals in a 46-44 shoot out to Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop. G-F-W went on to pound previously undefeated United South Central 48-26 in the section finals before their drubbing by Browerville last night.

Last year, in Richards' first season as head coach at W-E-M, the Buccaneers went 9-2 with a season-ending loss in the Section 2AA finals. Just as he was at B-B-E, he is also an assistant varsity wrestling coach at W-E-M as well as the head track and field coach.

The Richards family moved from Belgrade to W-E-M in the summer of 2010. His wife, Carrie, is also a teacher at W-E-M as a member of the special education staff. They also have two sons (little brothers to Toryn): Tatum and Trey.

Another side note, something I found interesting, is that W-E-M's head volleyball coach (Crystal Lamont) is also their head fastpitch softball coach. That is not unheard of in small schools.

In the Class 3A state quarterfinals, Pierz drubbed Perham 58-16 in a game played at Alexandria yesterday.

More to come.

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Saturday, November 09, 2019

Welcome home, Jaguars!!

We had a terrific welcome home ceremony tonight and heard a heart-felt speech from Coach Waddell as the Jaguars basked in the excitement of a second consecutive state tournament trip. This is just the second time in school history that the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team has had back-to-back state tournament trips. The first time was in 2007 and 2008 in Coach Weller's first two seasons as head coach.

**In the hustle and bustle of the last couple of days, I forgot to post this!!!! I don't even remembe when I put it together. Here's an exciting highlight reel from the section celebrating! "Get your medals and trophy!"

Time to re-acquaint myself with home! Even though I was here for a brief spell last night, most of the hours of my days recently has been chase-chase-chase-chase!

It is good to be home.

Congrats to Stewartville for winning the Class 2A state championship today! They went the full distance in a five-set marathon against defending state champion North Branch. The Tigers won game five 15-12!

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Welcome home

The welcome home ceremony is at 5 p.m. today (Saturday) at the high school. Spread the word! 

**Here's some exciting footage from game four yesterday against Henning:

We are still at Xcel Energy Center cheering for Watertown-Mayer in the Class 2A consolation championship match. The Royals are taking on the Marshall Area Tigers. We're still not totally sure why, but Watertown-Mayer's team cheered for our Jaguars in the last two state matches (Henning and Greenway) we are paying the favor back! In a way, both teams are "paying it forward" and showing the joy in making new friends. What's better than that?

The opening set was very exciting, tied at 15-15, but the Tigers went on a late rally to win 25-20.

In game two, the Tigers have an early 6-0 lead. *Final score: Marshall 25, Watertown-Mayer 21.

*Update: Marshall Area won a 3-0 match against the Royals. Watertown-Mayer went down swinging in the last set, a 25-15 loss.

Here's an excited bunch of our Jaguars volleyball players cheering on the Royals late in game three, and then match point is earned by the Tigers.

In Class 1A, Medford just beat Fosston 3-0 to take the third place trophy.

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It's time! It's GO time!

The pre-match clock has six minutes on it, and it's now 08:44. Greenway and our B-B-E Jaguars are preparing for battle!!!

**Here's video of the starter introductions today:

**Here's the Jaguars getting pumped up as they take the court!

Updates to come.

Game one final: Greenway 25, B-B-E 17. It was a rough set. The Jaguars trailed 19-17 late but then gave up a 6-0 run.

Game two update...the Raiders have an early 2-1 lead. The Jaguars then pushed ahead to built a 12-8 lead.

*Update in game two: the Jaguars need to rally here! They trail 20 to 17 and are in their first timeout of the set.

Final score in game two: Greenway 25, B-B-E 21. The game ended at 09:46.

Game three: the score is Greenway 18, B-B-E 5. Things got out of hand right away, with the Raiders scoring the first three points and then turning that into a 10-1 lead.

Final: Greenway 25, B-B-E 18. The Jaguars trailed as much as 24-10 before going on another incredible run that ran out too soon. They gave a lot of heart and showed a ton of pride on the court today.

We are SO PROUD of our Jaguars!!!!!!!!!! They finish an unforgettable season 24-10 overall. Conference, sub-section and section champs!!!! All three repeat feats!!!

Thank you to Bonanza Valley State Bank for your extended postseason sponsorship of the Bonanza Valley Voice volleyball state tournament coverage!


Another memorable comeback!

In case you missed it, or you just want to experience the fun again! This is the last few points scored in game five yesterday between our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team and Henning.

This morning the Jaguars play at 9 a.m.!! The match is not on the radio, but updates will be posted here as often as possible. Those updates will be in a new blog post.


Friday, November 08, 2019

'Always a smile'

So much to write about!

Where to begin??

Just shy of 10 p.m. tonight and the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department rolled back into central home, not the office. Finally saw my wife after a two-day stint away from home life. Took our dog for a brief walk around the block. The first thing I thought of as I turned off of Highway 55 is, "Good grief! In just eight hours, the Buick takes flight again on our way back to St. Paul!"

Before getting into the nitty gritty of how the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team has earned a ticket to the final day of the state tournament, I'd like to take a step away from the court and talk about just how wonderful it is to get to know the players on this team. They are a very special group of kids who love one another, love their team, love their families, love their school and LOVE the sports of volleyball!!! This is a theme you will hear from me again.

One of the greatest qualities of any athlete is the ability to come back from a set back. In sports, an athlete is dealt set backs on a constant basis to varying degrees. The question is: do you get back up and "return fire" and do what is needed to recover and to ultimately succeed?

For our Jaguars, the answer has been, over and over in these past few weeks - a resounding YES. They have lost just one match since October 5! In terms of "best of five" matches, they have lost just once since falling 3-0 to Maple Lake on October 3.

For "best of five" matches, the Jaguars have lost just three times this fall - once in the state tournament.

Coming out of yesterday's loss to Medford, a loss that could easily be labeled a "punch in the mouth"...the players managed to put smiles on their faces even though the loss was a very difficult pill to swallow. Coming out of the press conference after the Medford loss, Brittany Berge and Grace Illies were certainly dejected but still put their "game face" on and answered questions from the media and - most importantly - both put a smile on their face as they stepped off the press platform and walked back to the arena tunnel at the X. That was quite a moment. I was really struggling with the loss myself and wanted to just "let it go" and let them be. Let them get back to their team and re-group. And Oh, My, did they re-group!!!!!!

Today, Berge, Illies and the rest of the Jaguars rose back up and countered a whole mountain of adversity to succeed when they had to...when the chips were DOWN. It started in game one, which rose to a crazy crescendo as the Jaguars rallied from a 21-17 deficit. They trailed 24-23 with game point staring square at them. Berge's kill tied it, and then a double hit by Henning's libero on a pass attempt (which ended a 30-second back-and-forth volley) plus a Henning hit out of bounds lifted the Jaguars to a thrilling 26-24 victory.

Later, fast forward to the final stage of the match, and the Jaguars out-scored Henning by a 15-7 margin after spotting the Hornets five points to start game five! The Jaguars trailed 11-7 at one point in that final set.

It's easy to smile when you're winning. It's easy to smile when things are going your way. There's nothing all too special about that. But to smile when things are working against you - to smile in defeat, to smile when you fall while competing and giving all you've got to succeed...THAT is special and takes a special level of character to pull off. That is something to write about. That is something to talk about. That is something to remember.

Always a smile. Always gracious in victory and always gracious in defeat. The importance of that quality cannot be understated. Seeing the Jaguars offer their smiles to fans, friends, family - seeing them interact with my oldest daughter who's now cheered for them in all six playoff matches...these will be some of the most special sports memories my family has to date!!!

**Speaking of's freshmen outside Ava Mueller with plenty of smile to share following the Henning win. She talked to the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department on the upper deck food court and provided some thoughts on the win, and a preview of the team's agenda for the night.

There's no doubt about how important Mueller's contributions to the team have been this season and playoffs. After the win, Coach Waddell and Coach Weller (retired) were talking about the frustrations that Mueller caused Henning's defense. The varsity rookie was hitting her spots like a seasoned pro!!! That's what it takes at the state level!!!

MORE great news! Just saw this! Just shy of 11 p.m. and I learned some of the best news I've read this entire fall! The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team earned the Minnesota Coaches Association Academic Gold Award for having a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or greater. As I've said before, are they great kids or what???

It's quite noteworthy to see that B-B-E's last four opponents are on this list! K-M-S, W-H-A, Medford and Henning. See the full list here:

While I'm filling out what I'm trying to post here, check out this video from game one of today's win at state! The clip begins with Ava Mueller earning a kill to tie the game at 13-13.

Soon after Mueller's kill, Grace Illies earned a kill to tie the game at 14-14. Later, Kylie Winter earns an ace serve to put the Jaguars ahead 16-15. The Jaguars went on to win a nail biter by a 26-24 margin.

I hope to get game five video posted tonight before I try to get a few hours of sleep and take flight back to the X!

Was that fun or what??? YEAH that was fun! Let's do it again tomorrow!

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Up next for our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team! The Jaguars face Section 7A champion Greenway for the consolation title of Class 1A. The match begins bright and early at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) morning in St. Paul.

One can call it unfinished business! The Jaguars are bound and determined to end the season with a win!!! YES THEY CAN!

**ADDED quick during a pit stop at Richmond's's video from after tonight's win

The Greenway Raiders are 27-5 overall. They beat Mounds Park Academy in a 1 p.m. match today 25-20, 20-25, 25-10, 25-22 to advance in the tournament. In the regular season, Greenway won the Iron Range Conference with a perfect 7-0 record.

In 2018, Greenway was in Class 2A and lost 3-1 in the Section 7AA finals to North Branch. North Branch went on to win three 3-2 matches at the Class 2A state tournament to earn a state title.

In the Duluth News Tribune newspaper, their story on Greenway's state-opening 3-0 loss to top-seeded Minneota included quotes from their big hitter, junior Claire Vekich. Remember that name!! She is their big gun. She is an incredible athlete.

The article begins by mentioning Minneota junior outside hitter Abby Hennen, who led the Vikings with 18 kills.

Hennen was key to the Vikings frustrating Greenway’s blocking attempts as she mixed up her attacks between going down the line or, even more effectively, hitting cross-court shots.

“They would down the line and then go cross court, so it was hard to cover and our block wasn’t there at all,” said Greenway junior Claire Vekich, who had a match-high 26 kills. “We don’t see teams that can hit around the block. We had holes everywhere and our block wasn’t even up half the time. It was hard for our defense to read.”

Hennen and Natalee Solbiecki, who had 17 kills, kept the Raiders’ defense off-balance.

“The big thing to read when you are an outside hitter is to see where the block is,” Hennen said. “If they are going to block you all the way out to the pin, then you have to try to go cross or hit (blockers) high in the hands. I thought our setters did a good job of pushing us to the pin so we could either go line or cross.”

Greenway jumped to an early three-point lead in the second set, but it didn’t take the Vikings long to establish control as they won 14 of the final 18 points.

Greenway contributed to the setback by struggling in serve receive and making too many setting errors.

“Our serve receive never did get better and we had a lot of blocking errors,” Raiders coach Rhaya Tomberlin-Anderson said. “They run such a fast offense, and we don’t see that very often.”

Getting Vekich involved was Greenway’s primary strategy, however with the serve receive off and freshman setter Lexi Hammer struggling to adapt to the stricter setting rules at state tournaments, she didn’t end up seeing the ball enough.

“We didn’t pass the ball and didn’t use our offense (effectively),” Vekich said. “As the game went on, it got worse, not better.”

Tomberlin-Anderson, who guided the Raiders to three state tournaments as a setter in the mid-1980s and one in her first season as coach in 2001, knew double sets would be called more often.

“That’s frustrating,” she said. “I knew that coming in and Lexi and I talked about getting set, getting your hands high before the ball gets there. With the high ceiling, it’s tough to get used to. I think she’ll be fine, we just have to calm her down and get her ready for tomorrow.”

Greenway certainly got the "house in order" and came out with a win today to advance to the consolation championship and a date with our B-B-E Jaguars!!

Here's a great state tournament preview article on Greenway. Their last state tournament was in 2001. (short link)

  • The Marshall Independent had a great article that re-capped the Minneota-vs.-Greenway match. It included this quote from Minnesota head coach Hayley Fruin (link to the story:
“We knew coming in here that she was going to be one tough player to defend. The tough part is we haven’t really gotten a chance to watch them play too much, we just have a few clips on them, so we didn’t really know what to expect right away,” Fruin said. “I think the nerves kind of got the best of us that first set and we had a few errors on our side that we didn’t really need to have, especially when she was in the back row. After the first set, we changed up a few things; Abby Hennen started playing in the middle a little bit more and then she played in the left back spot and we also changed some things defensively.”

Spread the word! 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 9 for the consolation championship. This match will not be on Smooth Magic 107 FM due to other conflicts. We still certainly greatly appreciate their coverage of our first two state tournament matches!! Thank you, Brady!!

Here's the full scoreboard from state:

**More updates, video, etc. will come in a new blog post after 22:00 tonight .

THANK YOU to Integrity Home Investments of Brooten, who has also stepped up with extra sponsorship of the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team!



Game one is underway!

In game one, the Hornets have a 21-17 lead over our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team. *The Jaguars rallied to close the gap to 24-23...then Brittany Berge's kill tied it at 24-24!

And the Jaguars won 26-24! That's right!! Set two to begin at 15:32.

In game two, Henning has a 9-7 lead. **Final score: Henning 26, B-B-E 24. Game three starts at 15:59.

**In game three, Henning has a 12-9 lead. And the lead is now 17-11 for the Hornets.

*Update: the Hornets built a 23-13 lead, then the Jaguars rallied for a string of points to pull the gap down to 24-18. The Jaguars then bumped the ball out of bounds on an error to make the final score Henning 25, B-B-E 18.

Now we go to a fourth set!!! AND then a FIFTH!!!!!!!!!!!! LET'S GO JAGUARS!!


Game four updates:
Early on, the game is tied at 4-4. It is a nerve-wracking game!  **The Jaguars won 25-15.

Game five is underway at 16:44!

**Update in game five: the Jaguars trail 5-0 right out of the gates to Henning. Ouch.

B-B-E WON 15 TO 12 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Jaguars (25-9) play again tomorrow morning for the consolation championship! They face Greenway, champions of Section 7A, with first serve at Xcel Energy Center at 9 a.m. (Yes, the match starts that early!)

Greenway defeated No. 4-seeded Mounds Park Academy (Section 4A champions) in the other consolation semifinal.

Further updates to follow in a new blog post.

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Multiple links to 2010!

Re-live the excitement of the 2010 state volleyball tournament. That year, the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team won the same match that they're playing in today.

That year they beat Cheery 3-0 in the consolation semifinals. Click here for photos from that match, plus a pep band video:

And here's video from the end of that match back in November 2010.

THANK YOU to Bonanza Valley State Bank for their extended sponsorship of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's coverage of our volleyball team's state tournament run.




In the Class 1A state quarterfinals, Coach Waddell gives instructions during a game three timeout on November 7 at Xcel Energy Center.

Good morning, Jaguar Country! It will be closer to 9 a.m. before Henning information gets posted.

First, here's the very, very tail end of the press conference with Coach Waddell, Brittany Berge and Grace Illies after yesterday's state quarterfinal match with Medford.

**Added Friday's part of the high school pep fest on Wednesday afternoon. It features part of the player introductions. What a fun week we're having! I can't say enough how blessed we are in Jaguar Country to have such a terrific volleyball team representing us at state!

Now for some scouting information!
The Henning Hornets volleyball team is competing in their first-ever state tournament. Their head coach, Kristy Finck, is a Henning graduate herself and has led the program since 2010. Henning sports a 24-8 record after yesterday's quarterfinal loss. They take on our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team today at 3 p.m. in the Class 1A state consolation semifinals. It is an elimination match.

Henning was runners-up in the Park Region Conference with a 6-1 mark. Back on September 19 in Wadena, Henning and Wadena-Deer Creek battled through a five-set match that was won by the Wolverines. It was a typical rivalry barn-burner, meat-grinder matches, with all five sets being decided by three or fewer points...and the final set by just two points, a 15-13 win for W-DC. Wowza! Game scores were 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 15-13.

The tables turned in the Section 6A finals, which pitted W-DC (North sub-section champion) against the South sub-section champion Henning. At the brand new Perham high school gymnasium on Saturday night, Henning won a 3-1 match with game scores of 25-11, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20.

The Hornets were led by Abi Eckhoff's 14 kills against W-DC. Sydney Eckhoff recorded five solo blocks and three ace serves.

Henning's roster includes six seniors, three of whom are hitters, one a setter and two defensive specialists. They have four juniors on the team and just one sophomore. For the past few years, Coach Finck has been bringing her squad to the state tournament as spectators. This year, with a historic win over volleyball power Wadena-Deer Creek in the Section 6A finals, the Hornets are at the state tournament as participants.

To be sure, one can think back to B-B-E's first boys' basketball state tournament in 2011 and remember the sheer joy and excitement of the season culminating on the biggest stage for high school sports. Henning is also coming off a boys' basketball state title last spring. I can somewhat imagine and also feel a lot of joy for their community.

Still, this is athletics, and while we can be happy for an opponent, we still will gear up for battle and go out and cheer on our Jaguars to a victory today!

Back to this year's state tournament...
No. 2-seeded and No. 2-ranked Waterville-Elysian-Morristown swept the Hornets 25-11, 25-21, 25-18 in yesterday's quarterfinal round. Henning had just one lead through the whole match after they scored the first point of the very first set. The Buccaneers held a 12-9 lead in game one before dropping the hammer and close it out with a 13-2 run.

The tale of hitting percentages told the story for the opening set, with the Buccaneers hitting at a robust 44.4 percent clip and the Hornets at a 16.7 percent clip. In the opening set, W-E-M had just one hitting error.

Henning had a much better fight in the second set and had 11 hitting errors compared to nine by W-E-M.. One of W-E-M's sports reporters mentioned that the Buccaneers may have lost focus a bit after throttling the Hornets in the first set.

In the end, Coach Finck felt that W-E-M displayed "superior serving" while using a distinct height advantage to make it an easy 3-0 sweep.

The Detroit Lakes newspaper quoted her as saying, "“We are used to being in control on offense from start to finish and wow, man, they’re good,” Finck said. “They have weapons in all areas, they were in control of offense pretty much from start to finish.”

Henning stuck with W-E-M for most of the second set but could not get the deficit under three points after falling behind initially by a wide margin. The closest they got was 15-12 before ultimately losing by four points.

The Buccaneers opened up the third set with a 9-1 run and maintainted control the rest of the way.

Coach Finck stated in the Detroit Lakes newspaper that the main goal for today's consolation semifinal match with B-B-E is for her team to display better passing and run their offense at a higher level than they could against W-E-M.

Finck added in the Detroit Lakes newspaper, "My girls started to get touches on blocks, and when we started hitting at them, they got rattled a bit and had a couple little comebacks."

Junior middle Megan Rinicker was the lead Henning hitter with nine kills. Kylee Mesker had 15 digs.

The Wadena Pioneer Journal's article about the Section 6A finals included the following comments from Coach Finck.

“If we can pass we can do almost anything because we have weapons at every position."
“We had one plan; we needed to be offensively in control of the game."
“Our second plan was to block (W-DC's) Kennedy as much as we could,” said Finck. “We had to be in control of the game.”
"We have six seniors on our court and they’ve all played at least three or four years for me," Finck said. "I think they have the drive and the ownership and our underclassmen are phenomenal athletes too. They blend so well as a team; the unity of my group is amazing.”

That article also mentioned Henning's state basketball title earned last March.

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

Back in the saddle, Send-Off video posted!

Now we set our sights on defeating Henning!

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team, who tasted defeat today for the first time since October 5, will face the Henning Hornets at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) at Xcel Energy Center. The two teams square off in the Class 1A state consolation semifinals.

The Hornets are 24-8 overall. They lost 3-0 to No. 2-seeded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown today in their quarterfinal state match. Game scores were 25-11, 25-20, 25-18.

What was a four-hour work break is now over. When you wake up in the morning, you will be able to read more about the Henning volleyball team. Staying in Andover tonight, I have the rare chance to get a full night of sleep. There's not much work I can do tonight beyond some blogging, which you're reading right now!

**Below is a special send-off video that I put together this morning. It was supposed to be up and running earlier today...better late than never in this case!

Make no mistake, we LOVE our Jaguars and will be cheering for them tomorrow just as loudly and proudly as we did today!!!

In today's Class 2A and Class 1A quarterfinals, three of the top four higher seeds won. In Class 1A, No. 4-seeded Mounds Park Academy lost to Fosston. In Class 2A, Belle Plain defeated No. 2-seeded Marshall.

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The preceding match on our court at Xcel Energy Center is in the 5th set between unseeded Fosston and No. 4-seeded Mounds Park of 14:50.

*Update: the Fosston Greyhounds won in five! They had a 10-3 lead in game five and won 15-9.

At 14:57, our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team took the court at Xcel!!!

Remember! The Voice website has a link for on the state tournament article. Also, Glenwood radio is here! They stream online too and on TuneIn.

***The match will begin at 15:29!!! Let's play volleyball! Updates to follow.

**In game one, the Tigers have a 21-17 lead. The Jaguars are in a timeout.

**Game one final score: Medford 25, B-B-E 22. The Tigers had a 37 percent hitting percentage in that set. B-B-E's hitting percentage was 24.4, which is very good as well. Most of the stats line was very, very even besides that.

The second set will begin at 15:52.

Game two: this set is tied 13-all.

*Update: now at 16:06, the Jaguars called a timeout trailing 18-15.

*Update: the tigers are ahead 23 to 18 in game 2.

Game two final score: Medford 25, B-B-E 18. The third set is beginning at 16:16.

**Update: the Tigers have an 11-5 lead in game three. They led 5-1 out of the gate, but the Jaguars cut it to 5-4.

Game three final score: Med ford 25, B-B-E 10. The Jaguars had a -.118 hitting percentage in that final set. It concluded at 16:34.

The Jaguars play Henning at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the consolation semifinals.

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Scouting Medford, take II

Click! This Bonanza Valley Voice web article has been updated.

Time for my Buick to take flight to St. Paul.




'You're gonna hear me roar!'

We reached out to find some Katy Perry inspiration'll see what I'm talking about by clicking here! (short link) The video starts with WHA celebrating what they thought was a trip to the state volleyball tournament...the Wolves held a 14-9 lead in game five. Check it out!

*Just 40 views on the video as of 1 p.m...share the link and let's get more views on it!

**Remember that multiple pieces of important state volleyball tournament information is posted at the Bonanza Valley Voice website (short link)

Thank you to Bonanza Valley State Bank for their loyal support of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's extended playoff coverage of the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team.

Please travel safely today on your way to Xcel Energy Center! If you have younger drivers heading there, please be "that parent" and remind them to go out of their way to drive safely, focus on the road and to get there and get home without getting in harm's way!

And for the praying types out there, let's all say an extra prayer for safety for everyone traveling. Pray for our coaches and players.
"He will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you carefully.
" - Luke 4:10

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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Scouting Medford

We're within one day of the state tournament opener and I haven't gotten a scouting report posted!

On Sunday this past weekend I managed to acquire a fair amount of scouting material on the Medford Tigers volleyball team...tonight I'll chew through it.

They have a power house team this year, which is no surprise to anyone. I still believe our Jaguars can approach the match with a sense of confidence that they can handle what's thrown at them. I think they proved in the section finals that they can stand up to and succeed under very intense pressure!!!!

While about eight projects occupy my evening, take a moment and read a story I just dusted off from the archives of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website. I forgot I wrote this! This was posted a year ago, almost to the day...actually one day apart...the night of last year's Class 1A state volleyball quarterfinals. Medford had just defeated defending state champion Mayer Lutheran by a 3-2 score: (short link)

**Update late Wednesday night: here's my first installment of "Scouting Medford - Part II" (short link) I call this "Part II" because it is literally the second time I've done this with Medford...the first was 367 days ago!

In other news...I see my Cougars won! The University of Minnesota-Morris women's volleyball team defeated the College of St. Scholastica in their conference playoff semifinals tonight, 3-1, at the Cougar Sports Center. Recap here: It appears this is the first time in three years that I won't make it with my family to a Cougar volleyball match. That's a huge bummer! They are led by second-year coach Joe Sussegeth, who anyone around central Minnesota remembers as the long-time head coach at Ridgewater College. He's terrific!

UMM now travels to St. Paul on Saturday night to take on the University of Northwestern Eagles in the conference title match. The winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs. First serve from the Ericksen Center is at 7 p.m.

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A really, really terrific send-off

**Just added Wednesday's an iMovie from the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's sports department with footage from today's elementary school pep fest!

Much to do but had to get on this blogspot in quick fashion to say that the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team received a MASTERFUL and WONDERFUL send-off today as they departed for St. Paul right square in the middle of this afternoon.

**Remember: additional coverage is posted at the Bonanza Valley Voice website. It includes a web article that outlines the upcoming state tournament.

More to come. This post will be updated with video later today!!!

Here's what will be at the tail end of what I hope to put together some time later today...

They are off to St. Paul!!! They make us proud in Jaguar Country!

*Update: shortly after 17:00 tonight a new iMovie should be posted. It's processing right now. It's PRETTY DARN COOL!!! It includes footage from this morning's Pep Fest at the elementary school.

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Another video production by the Voice

Here's another iMovie production by the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department. Just like the one released yesterday morning, this one includes footage from game five of the Section 5A finals.

The video starts with Brittany Berge's kill that gave the Jaguars an early 5-3 lead. In the middle of the clip, a long volley plays out with both teams duking it out. That volley ends with a Jaguar hitting error that resulted in a 7-7 tie score. The video ends with the Jaguars just about to begin their epic comeback late in the game.

The Jaguars trailed 12-7 coming out of Coach Waddell's final timeout of the set. After WHA's' next serve, the Jaguars got a huge, huge side out with a kill by Grace Illies. I had my camera zoomed in too far at the moment and missed her kill, but you can see player reaction to the play. That made the score 12-8. The Wolves earned a kill with a shot to the back line for a 13-8 lead. In response, B-B-E again earned a huge side out. This time it was Karissa Jones with the kill, and that made it 13-9. The odds were still very, very long at that point.

...'to be continued'!

Today is Pep Fest and team send-off day!!! GO JAGUARS!

And the Bonanza Valley Voice can print more 12" by 18" double-sided state volleyball posters. The cost is just one dollar! You can basically get them for just the cost of printing. Send your order to:

This video is brought to you the proud support of the Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten.

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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Election results coming...the YES votes win!

It's 10 after 9 on Tuesday night and the official results aren't in yet. Early reports on some precincts are "promising"...!

As of 21:32, the Minnesota S.O.S. website is "down"

As of 21:35, the Voice has unofficial election results. The numbers say that the three questions on today's ballot in Jaguar Country all passed.

I will get a result posted here, and official numbers with more detail will be posted at the Bonanza Valley Voice website later tonight.

That same information will be published in this week's Voice print edition as well.

Stay tuned.

*Here's a short link to view the Voice website's election article:

Throw back to the fall of 2013! Varsity volleyball starters shown before taking on Sauk Centre in Mainstreeter territory. B-B-E fell 3-1 that night but went on to claim their 10th straight sub-section title.

I hope the numbers I've been getting will hold up once the vote tallies go official!!!

Squeezing this in here...I LOVE when people have their thinking caps on! This is a handy-dandy website where fans can stay up-to-date on state volleyball tournament week in Jaguar Country. Click on the link to see what's there:

Updates after 22:00...area election results:
I see that Alexandria's excess levy question passed 59 percent to 41 percent (3,964 yes to 2,689 no).

According to KWLM radio, the building bond vote at the MACCRAY school district passed. The vote was 1141 to 873. It will bring the K-12 student body to Clara City for a new, unified campus once the new construction and renovations are complete.

KWLM's JP Cola also reported that excess levy questions passed at BOLD and Litchfield. Also at Litchfield, one of two building bond votes passed. The one that failed was related to pool and soccer field improvements.

BOLD's question passed by a small margin...but it passed nonetheless. Unoffical results show 717 yes votes to 658 no votes. They would have been in very bad shape without passage of this excess levy.

The MN Secretary of State website now has a few more results posted.

At Brandon-Evansville, voters failed a building bond vote by fairly wide margins. They are not "in trouble" yet but school officials there are in a tough spot in the wake of this election.

At Swanville, voters passed two questions. The first was for what I'll call a "small" increase to their excess levy (which supports general education expenses)...the second one will raise about $75,000 per year for technology-related upgrades and improvements for a 10-year period.

At Lac qui Parle Valley schools, voters approved a building bond vote that will raise around $39 million for improvements at the district's two elementary schools (Appleton, Madison) and the high school in Hantho Township. The ballot question passed with around 77 percent support.

That's all for updates. I have to get back to finishing the November 7 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper! Good night, Jaguar Country!!!

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Section champion issue coming

Today the theme was related to this warm part of the world called Hawaii for the Jaguars volleyball team! They are shown huddling up at the conclusion of tonight's practice.

A section champion volleyball Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper issue...will hit the printing press tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn! I will go so far as to say it is a "very special" newspaper issue. (Readers will see!)

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team and associated coverage will consume roughly half of the 12-page issue. It has put "digital-related' work on hold, including blogging and video work.

Additional important state tournament-related information can be found at the Voice website (short link): Stay in the know! It will make your week go by much easier!

Remember! The pep fest is at 10:15 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at the elementary school and then at 1 p.m. at the high school. We will send off our Jaguars in STYLE!

Later tonight, some time after 21:00, we should have results to post on the B-B-E school election questions.

Also! Remember that the school's Veterans Day programs are moved to next Monday, November 11...which also is Veterans Day. The elementary program is at 10 a.m., while the high school program is at 1 p.m. This information will be printed on page one in this week's Voice.

Lots of irons in the fire!!! Stay tuned. Election results will be posted in a new blog post after 21:00 tonight.

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Sun is shining in Jaguar Country

Although the temperature dropped to around 17 degrees overnight, the sun is out now in full force. We are going to have a wonderful, marvelous day in Jaguar Country!

**Here's the latest from the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department...enjoy! Action from game five on Saturday night. The video content begins in the first clip with the Jaguars on serve-receive and trailing 2-1.

Remember to vote today in Jaguar Country if you haven't already! Information on voting and the election has been published in multiple recent issues of the Bonanza Valley Voice.

Also, important state tournament-related information was posted yesterday morning at the Bonanza Valley Voice website. You can get to it by clicking here (short link): This web article includes the link for the web streaming option for state tournament matches.

Also! You can still sign up for one of the two fan bus options! Call Tessa at the elementary school (ext. 1218) or e-mail here at:

**Update on fan bus options: the charter bus has nine spots left as of 09:00 this morning. The school will take reservations (with no promises) for a second charter bus, but the second charter bus would need 45 sign-ups to make it a "go"...the school bus fan bus has about 10 seats open as of this morning and will likely fill up by lunch time.

Slowly getting caught up on a number of fronts...finally got to uploading photos from the volleyball team's playoff opener. Here's the short link to view that at the Bonanza Valley Voice website:

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