Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Sights around B-B-E Land


Santa was in town in Belgrade on Saturday morning. More information on this event will be published in the December 2nd issue of the Sauk Centre Herald.


For your December calendar... Be sure to add this to the next two Monday's...the Junior (Dec 8th) and Senior High (Dec 15th) Band & Choir Christmas Concerts. They both begin at 7:30 at the high school.

**Winter sports update...And I will add more information to this when I get it. On Friday night, December 5th...the high school will host the 8-team Jaguars wrestling tournament, and the elementary will host the Jaguars boys basketball Tip-Off Classic. The first basketball game is at 6pm, the second is at 8pm. The Jaguars will play in the 8pm game, opponent to be announced.

I am not sure where the third-place and championship will be played, my guess is the high school but again, when I find out for sure I'll post that here.

I encountered a small "glitch" with my Bonanza Valley Bank link and photo for their advertisement. (Below the Booster Club Ad) I will get that fixed this weekend! Gosh-darn technology.

This B-B-E area photo update brought to you by:


Monday, November 24, 2008

First-Day Report on Jaguars Wrestling

Though the numbers are down for the Jaguars varsity wrestling team, quite a few hard-nosed athletes will lead the team on the mat this winter. The Jaguars went 7-11 in dual meets last season, including a 3-4 record in the Central Minnesota Conference.

The Jaguars wrestling team opens up the 2008-2009 campaign with the annual Jaguar Invite, on Friday, December 5, at 3:30 at the high school gymnasium.

Anthony Rooney, Josh Beier, Nellie Baker, and Sean Speldrich are the four seniors who came out for the first day of official practice today.

Three key juniors are Cole Tensen, Brent Goodenbour, and Travis Winter. Winter earned All-Central Minnesota Conference honorable mention honors in 2007-2008, a 5th place medal in Section 5A, and went 28-11 overall. Tensen finished 29-8, and 5th in Section 5A. Goodenbour went 24-15 and also placed 5th in section individual competition last February.

According to Roger Mischke's Mat Rat's publication, Cole Tensen, Brent Goodenbour and Travis Winter were all cited as Jaguars wrestlers who should finish with Section 5A medals next February.

No word on the boys basketball team, but most everyone realizes their chances look great for this winter.

I caught a bit of information from the Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta girls basketball regarding Section 6AA. The MA-CA Tigers compete in the "west" half of Section 6AA, while our Jaguars are in the "east" half. They went 10-14 last season. According to their coach, in his 7th year at the helm of the Tigers girls basketball program, Ken Gagner said, "Minnewaska Area and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City are the favorites in the West Central Conference South, while Section 6AA favorites are the Lakers, New London-Spicer, Osakis and West Central Area."

This Jaguars sports update (my first for the winter sports season!) is brought to you by:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jaguars Volleyball Awards Banquet Held

Last Friday night, the Jaguars volleyball awards banquet was held at the St.Francis de Sales Parish Center. I will post a handful of the awards on here, and this week in the local papers you can read a full story on the final chapter to the record-setting 2008 Jaguars Volleyball team.

I ended up with a 1,150 word story for the volleyball team.

A football story will also be published, showing a host of football awards from last Monday's banquet.

This will be another week of no-sports... obviously... with Thanksgiving coming on Thursday. More time for me to catch up on volleyball CD's.

This Jaguars sports update brought to you by:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Large Crowd on Hand for Jaguars Football Awards Banquet





A large crowd of JV/Varsity players and parents were on hand tonight at the Belgrade City Hall, where the Jaguars football coaching staff named a host of individual awards for the 2008 season.

I've uploaded 76 photos from the banquet to my Sauk Herald Online photo gallery. The URL is http://saukherald.mycapture.com. Through numerous e-mail contacts I have with parents, I'll be sending out some of the photos over e-mail this week.


I'm still plugging away with my football and volleyball CD's. It's a work in progress, to say the least! Each CD takes roughly 1 hour to complete, as I have to "cherry pick" through almost 2,000 fall sports photos that I've taken since August 15th.

Yikes!

This Jaguars sports update brought to you by:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Elrosa's Danny Bayer "Rookie of the Year" Story Coming Up


On Sunday I interviewed Danny Bayer, B-B-E class of 2006, who is a mechanical design major at St.Cloud Technical College. Danny recently won the Wissota A-Modified "Rookie of the Year" award in a ceremony on November 8th at the St.Cloud Civic Center.

A feature story on this big award will be in the November 25th issue of the Sauk Centre Herald. A brief summary will be published in the November 19th-20th Belgrade Observer and Bonanza Valley Voice.

This B-B-E area sports update brought to you by:

Jaguars Football Awards Banquet on Monday Night

The Jaguars football team, coming off of their most successful season since 1997, will host their annual awards banquet on Monday night (Nov 17) at the Belgrade Municipal Hall, in downtown Belgrade.

The Jaguars finished 5-5 overall, including a 4-3 mark in the Central Minnesota Conference. This was good for a three-way tie for third place in the league, along with Class AA teams Maple Lake and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. The 4-3 record makes for the 2nd-best conference record ever in B-B-E history, behind the 4-0 mark the 1988 squad had in the old Prairie Lakes Conference.

The football banquet begins with a potluck meal at 6:30.

**The Jaguars volleyball banquet will be held on Friday, November 21, at the St.Francis de Sales Parish Center in Belgrade. The event begins with a potluck meal at 7:00.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Deer Camp" the Musical, Sold Out on First Night at John O's Dinner Theater

"Deer Camp" the Musical is sold out the first night of production, according to John O's marketing manager Tom Rosengren. I stopped by there tonight while passing through town and heard that they are "almost" sold out for the remaining 3 nights of production. The other nights are Sat (Nov 15) and Friday-Saturday November 21-22nd.

**This weekend I've uploaded more photos to my Sauk Herald online photo gallery. The URL is= http://saukherald.mycapture.com

This is something I hope to continue working with, adding photos from Jaguars sporting events as well as community events around B-B-E.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All-Area Volleyball Teams Picked at the West Central Tribune - 3 Jaguars Honored

Jenny Hieserich, Heidi Lensing, and Emily Roelike were named to the All-Area volleyball team earlier this week. It is a big honor to have three players named from B-B-E.

The Jaguars football team will have their annual awards banquet on Monday, November 17th. The following Friday, the Jaguars volleyball team will host their awards banquet. I don't have any details on times or locations yet.

**Update on Friday afternoon... Royalton out of the Prairie South Conference won their semi-final game in the Class A football state tournament, defeating Lake Park-Audubon 20-6. They advance to their first-ever Prep Bowl in football. The Royals also played in the state championship in 2007 in baseball, finishing in 2nd place.

Speaking of football, I'm slowly but steadily getting all my playoff photos edited and ready to put on CD's for the football families who have ordered CD's for that sport. I'm about 1/3 done with state volleyball photos as well. Over the weekend I'll get all my football CD's done and ready for Monday night's football banquet.

Then, hope to finish up volleyball CD's next week. I'll officially be ready for winter sports by then! Finally.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day Program Held at High School & Elementary School



In Minnesota, roughly 410,000 veterans work and live around the state.

Today, the veterans in the B-B-E community were honored with Veteran's Day programs.

Following the 2:00 program at the elementary, students in Mrs. Hagen's 3rd grade class gave colored posters to the Legion members who were on hand. It was a very touching moment.

Photos from the elementary program will be added this week to a new "Fine Arts" photo album at my Sauk Herald online photo gallery.

The URL is http://saukherald.mycapture.com

And by the way, did you know that winter's arrived? Inevitable, I know.

Videos & Photos From "State"

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Just Wrapped Up the Journalism For the Week...

I just put the finishing touches on a 2,507-word state volleyball story. The longest story I've ever written.

So make sure to do your part in clearing the newspaper stands around the B-B-E communities!

This week I'll add a few more photos from "state", after getting them all edited and ready for distribution to the team families.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Welcome Home at the High School Saturday Night For our "RockStar" Jaguars Volleyball Team - They Took 4th, We Are Very Proud of Them!

Emily Roelike leads the team into the high school gym for the welcome-home ceremony. The team was naturally greeted as rockstars by those on hand.

Whitney Bertram was one of a few Jaguars volleyball players who signed their autograph for a handful of elementary students who attended the welcome-home ceremony.

Following the welcome-home on Saturday night, the Jaguars volleyball team poses with their regular season & state tournament hardware at the high school gym.


The welcome-home celebration was a big success, with a nice crowd of parents and friends on hand to honor the Jaguars volleyball team upon arrival at the high school.

I'll be summarizing what was said by Coach Weller and the players in next week's local newspapers.

I also have roughly 600 photos to pour through from the state tournament, as well as about 2 dozen video clips.

The Jaguars volleyball team fell to the eventual state champion in Friday's semi-final match. Windom Area moved into the championship match as slight underdogs against Bethlehem Academy on Saturday afternoon. They emerged after a mighty tussle as 3-1 victors to win the Class A state championship.

Mozilla firefox has been giving me problems when I try to play my video clips through this website. I usually have no problem getting them to play on Internet Explorer. If anyone has problems viewing the video clips, please e-mail me at jaguarssports@mchsi.com and let me know.

One of the Jaguars players said it best after today's loss in the third-place match...I told her that losses like they endured the past two days take awhile to get over. Her reply was, "It's not so much that we lost today, it's more that the season's over now." That's most understandable, the players put a great deal of emotion into this season. Now it's done.

Other results from Day 3 of the state volleyball tournament:
Class AA championship: Jordan 3, Marshall 1 (26-24, 22-25, 25-17,25-14)
Class AA 3rd place: Hibbing 3, St.Cloud Cathedral 1
Class A Consolation: Southwest Christian 3, Martin County West 2
Class A Championship: Windom Area 3, Bethlehem Academy 1 (25-22, 25-20, 14-25, 25-23)

The B-B-E Pep Band performing the school song before today's 3rd-place match.
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A photo from the Sub-Section 5A-South championship match...none other than Spongebob was on hand to cheer on the Jaguars!


**Sunday night additions... I heard that the Football banquet will be on Monday, November 17th. No other details though. The volleyball banquet will most likely be that same week as well. Beyond that, there's not much news to provide other than Winter Sports will be starting very soon, if they haven't already.

Yes, winter is basically here.

The end to the volleyball season felt sudden to me. One moment we're cheering our hearts out, thrust into the middle of the highest level of Prep competition. The next moment, we're heading home at the completion of the third place match. It's strange, as a B-B-E community we put in so much energy and emotion into the state tournament run and the 3 full days of action at XCel Energy Center. To a small extent, I share some of the sadness that the volleyball team has now that the season is over.

This Jaguars volleyball state tournament update brought to you by:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Up Next for the Jaguars, Ada-Borup Cougars in the Class A Third-Place Match

A photo showing the reaction the Jaguars had after winning game two against Windom. I've got quite a few really good "reaction" shots like this one. And yes, Shannon is at least a couple feet in the air (on the left).

A shot of the incredible Jaguars crowd at the semi-final match vs. Windom... this is a lower-quality shot, I took a few others of this angle of the crowd.

This is the clip that shows the final moments of the Jaguars' 3-0 win over Martin County West in Thursday's quarterfinals
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**Late but important notes to get up before my Friday night comes to a close... A welcome-home ceremony will take place for the Jaguars volleyball team on Saturday night. It will most likely be between 5:00 and 6:00. Also, the B-B-E music department's Small Ensemble will sing the National Anthem at one of the 9:00am state tournament matches on Saturday morning.

(Yikes! That means I gotta be there before 9:00!)

Also, be sure to check out my online photo gallery of the Jaguars volleyball team at the following URL = http://saukherald.mycapture.com Just today, my State Quarterfinal album picked up 205 "photo views", which is a big number considering I've only got 24 of my 202 photos from that match uploaded to that album.

Families of the Jaguars volleyball team will all have a chance to purchase photo CD's from this season. Most families have already pre-paid for those orders, which I have to say is greatly appreciated by me!

Now back to Ada-Borup's volleyball team...
The Cougars have a balanced hitting attack with three seniors coming into the state tournament with at least 260 kills. Katy Ness (343), Corin Gunderson (289), and Nicole Smart (260) provide a strong attack.

The Cougars entered the state tournament without much 4th or 5th game experience, much like our Jaguars did. Ada-Borup dropped only five sets all season long, while the Jaguars dropped only four.

While Ada-Borup's offense is very balanced, they also have a very strong defense to back it up. They recorded 68 digs against Southwest Christian in the quarterfinal match. Southwest Christian's leading hitter came into "state" with 423 kills this season, a 13.6/match average. The Cougars held her down to 10 kills in the state quarterfinal match, and the Stars only totaled 26 kills as a team.

Today against Bethlehem Academy today, Ness led the Cougars with 21 kills on 55-of-58 attacks. Gunderson was next with 16 kills on 48-of-50 attacks.

A few more words on today's state semi-final loss for our Jaguars... The moment after match point was decided in the 15-7 win for Windom in game five, emotions poured from the Jaguars both on the court and the bench, as they came together one final time before the post-match huddle. This loss stung very, very hard. It is very telling how much energy these athletes put into volleyball. They show us the true spirit of a competitor and make me proud to give them media coverage.

When you think about what this team has done, in the face of immense pressure combined with obstacles of illness and injury to key players, it really is remarkable that we now get to cheer them on to a win for a third-place trophy at the state tournament.

We've come a long ways at B-B-E with the volleyball program since their first strong post-season showing in 1994. That was the first year a B-B-E volleyball team put a playoff trophy in the high school trophy case (losing a 3-2 barn-burner to Sauk Centre in the Sub-Section 5A-3 championship).

In his post-match interview with the St.Cloud Times's Tom Elliot, Coach Weller was asked about the Junior Olympics program at B-B-E. Coach Weller mentioned how he and his wife Micki started the J.O. program back in the mid-1990s. What's noteworthy is that the first group of players that picked up serious off-season J.O. time were the same group of players who won our first sub-section championship in volleyball (the 1997 squad that finished 21-8 and won the Sub-Section 5A-20 title).

At least two of the players from that 1997 team were at today's state tournament, Becca Serbus (now married) and Amanda Illies (now married also).

In the past few years, J.O. success has always carried over into big-time success for the Jaguars volleyball team in the fall season.

Volleyball fans at B-B-E should be very thankful that we are blessed with hard-working athletes and families that support them 12 months of the year. When people thank me for the efforts I give to the Jaguars athletic program, I have to remind them that I'm not much different than the fans... we're all just lucky enough to get to go along for the ride with our hard-working Jaguars sports teams.

Eden Valley-Watkins was blanked in the football state quarterfinals, losing 24-0 to Hawley tonight. Another score was especially jaw-dropping = New London-Spicer 61, Proctor 0! NL-S has now won a section final and a state quarterfinal by a combined 91-0 score.

It Was a Heart-Breaker... Hard to Put Into Words, Jaguars Volleyball Falls in Five to 2nd-Ranked Windom in State Semi-Finals

Whitney Bertram shown rallying the bench during today's semi-final match.

A loud, proud Jaguars crowd cheering during the semi-final match.
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The Jaguars volleyball team suffered only their second loss of this year when they fell in a emotionally-charged 3-2 match to Windom Area. The semi-final loss puts them into Saturday's third-place match, which will be at 11:00am at the XCel Energy Center. The opponent will be Ada-Borup, a team that also fell in a five-game match in their semi-final.

I'll be digging up info on Ada-Borup tonight. The Cougars are 31-2, identical record to our Jaguars. By 10:00 tonight I'll be adding some information I've dug up about their team.

I watched four five-game matches today at XCel. It was madness... Three were in Class A, and one was in Class AA (Jordan vs. Hibbing).

Tonight's match between our Jaguars and the Eagles was the ultimate back-and-forth affair, as both teams traded punch after punch. After a tight game one, games 2-3-4 were full of big runs on each side of the net.

While Windom's service game was one of the toughest imaginable by a team on any level, the Jaguars picked up their level of play and challenged the Eagles for five full games of hard-nosed volleyball.

Game scores were 25-20, 23-25, 25-14, 16-25, 15-7.

Every Jaguar who stepped on the court played their heart out. Coach Weller pointed out two players, Whitney Bertram and Shannon Gruber, for their high level of play. Bertram came off the bench to help fill in for one of the Jaguars who was unable to play due to illness today. She played the match of her life.

B-B-E fans could not have asked for any more from the team. They left everything on the court, and they lost to an excellent team that would do well in Class AA and Class AAA.

It'll be tough putting this one into words on Sunday. I sure will try!

Other results from Day 2 of State:

Martin County West made quick work of Lake of the Woods in one of the Class A Consolation Semi-finals. The Mavericks won 25-21, 25-21, 25-21.

Marshall put a beating on St.Cloud Cathedral 25-21, 25-21, 25-11 in one of the Class AA semi-finals.

Southwest Christian of Chaska outlasted Deer River in one of the Class A consolation semi-finals in five, with game scores of 25-14, 22-25, 28-26, 15-25, 15-12.

A Few More Highlights on the Windom Area Eagles volleyball team

As a former trumpet player in the B-B-E pep band, I'm a little biased to that section of the band!...here's today's version of the B-B-E Pep Band trumpet section, playing during yesterday's state volleyball match at the XCel Energy Center.


First I want to point out once again, make sure to follow the live coverage of the Jaguars via Glenwood's Magic 107 radio station if you can't attend the match in person!

Put the following link in your computer's web browser =
http://smoothmagic107.com/kmgk_sports.htm

You can also go to the following link in a web browser and it should open up Windows Media Player on your computer, then connecting to Glenwood's radio station.
http://smoothmagic107.com/listen.htm

...Statistical highlights on the Eagles volleyball team. Their star player is senior setter/hitter Megan Ysker. She is listed at 5'11" which is huge in terms of height of a team's setter, especially in Class A. She's served up 103 aces this year, and in the hitting department she's dropped 373 ace attacks in 698 attack attempts. She also leads the Eagles with 81 ace blocks. *These are stats totaled through the regular season, and the section tournament leading up to "state".

Next on the kill chart for the Eagles is Megan's 10th-grade sister, Courtney, who stands at 5'7" from the outside hitter position. She had 218 kills on 493 atttack attempts. She's 2nd in the serving department with 91 aces.

Third on the kill chart for Windom 6'0" junior middle hitter MaKenzie Lovell. She has 53 ace serves, 34 ace blocks, and 149 kills on 360 attacks.

Fourth on the kill chart for Windom is a non-starter, Alicia Norby, who is a senior 5'10" middle hitter. She has 129 kills on 351 attacks.

Fifth on the kill chart for Windom is senior outside hitter Abby Lund (5'8"). She has 112 kills on 434 attacks.

Any team having five hitters with over 100 kills is without a doubt a loaded team. For comparison purposes, the Jaguars have four players with over 100 kills, so we do not take a back seat to other teams either in the offense department.

More Specific Instructions on Jaguars Volleyball Broadcasting on Glenwood's 107.1 FM **Also Online

The Jaguar Geek Squad...loud and proud Jaguars volleyball fans!


Check out the following link in your computer's web browser =

http://smoothmagic107.com/kmgk_sports.htm

You can also go to the following link in a web browser and it should open up Windows Media Player on your computer, then connecting to Glenwood's radio station.

http://smoothmagic107.com/listen.htm

On the radio station's website, at their sports page, scroll down slightly and you will see the following logo/icon =


If you click on that logo, you should have a "Windows Media Player" program load up on your computer. If you don't have that program downloaded, the broadcast may not work on your computer.

According to Dave McClurg, Magic 107's sports broadcaster, their studio told him last night that a record number of listeners were using this feature during yesterday's Jaguars volleyball state tournament match. Generally they have 3 or 4 people listening at a time to their internet streaming of athletic events, with perhaps a high of 10 on their "counter" that tracks how many people are plugged in on the internet. Yesterday their "counter" peaked at 42! That means 42 computers around the world (most probably in Minnesota) were tuned in to the Jaguars volleyball team as they picked up their first-ever state tournament win. Impressive indeed.

The jerks who run Forum Communications Company did it again, sinking to new lows by deleting my comment on the West Central Tribune blogging section under their story on the Jaguars' volleyball state tournament match. They do not want me promoting this option, listening to the match on the internet via Smooth Magic's radio station website, so they are repeatedly deleting my comments that explain this option to West Central Tribune readers. I'll say it again, Forum Communications of Fargo can take a flying leap out of a window!


I've also added a few photos to my Sauk Herald online photo gallery.

That link is = http://saukherald.mycapture.com

I want to take a moment to thank B-B-E area businesses who not only have spent advertising money on this sports website, but who have also spent advertising money with Glenwood's radio station as well. It's great to have this option for volleyball fans who can't make it down to "state" in person. Somehow I want to publish this in the local papers and make sure these business get credit for the support they give to the Jaguars athletic program. All of them are small businesses who aren't sitting on big profit margins by any means, so again we all need to give a big thanks to these small-town merchants for their support of B-B-E schools.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Information on the Windom Area Eagles Volleyball Team

Check out that crowd! Way to go, B-B-E...what a nice showing for Round 1 at State this year.

A timeout late in game two during today's B-B-E vs. Martin County West state quarterfinal match.


You have a pile of reading information here. It's not all complete either, and Friday morning I'll add more info. It's been a crazy day and a crazy night, experiencing our first state volleyball tournament win at B-B-E... then getting through the post-match interviewing, and now updating this website.

Also on Friday morning, I hope to get 1 or 2 of my video clips added from Round #1 of the state tournament.

**Before hitting the sack Thursday night, I started a State Tournament album at my online Sauk Herald photo gallery.

The URL = http://saukherald.mycapture.com

Check out some of the photos I've added if you have a chance. It took me awhile to get used to taking picture on the XCel Energy Center playing court. I'm hoping tomorrow I get into the flow of it much better so I can bring home some real "money" shots for parents of the volleyball players.

Copy and paste the following link...
http://www.saukherald.com/main.asp?SectionID=8&SubSectionID=
251&ArticleID=9629&TM=70457.41
...to read a Bryan Zollman story at the Sauk Centre Herald about today's state tournament win for the Jaguars.

**Make sure to read further below for updates and info from today's quarterfinal match won by the Jaguars in a sweep over Martin County West. Also in that update you will find information about the option of listening to the Jaguars volleyball state tournament matches on Smooth Magic 107 of Glenwood. Fans can hear it either on their radio (if you pick up 107.1 FM) or else on their computer (if you have a good internet connection).

**Update at 11:47pm...A big shout-out to the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints football team as they won their opening round of the Class A state tournament tonight. At the Fargodome in an 8pm game, they blasted Section 8A champion Fosston 47-14! That's nuts! In another quarterfinal game, Royalton defeated Rushford-Peterson 20-14.

A little more on Windom volleyball...And you can read more about this in the story below. Windom was a volleyball power in Class AA, much like our Jaguars were, before they were both dropped into Class A in 2007. In 2000, Windom won the state championship in Class AA. In 2007, they lost in the Class A state championship to Faribault Bethlehem Academy.

Windom has an outstanding service game. Their serving is simply outstanding, and the Jaguars will have to give the serve-receive of their lives in order to run their offense like they have to if they want to advance to the state title match.

Senior defensive specialist Allison Nau is one of the Eagles' better servers. She will be able to use the long approach at the XCel Energy Center's courts to pound out powerful serves at the Jaguars' offense. In Windom's Sub-Section 3A-South championship win over Murray County Central, the Eagles trailed 14-8 in game one. Allison served up an 11-0 run to fuel a 25-21 win in the first set.

Windom has 8 seniors on their roster. Four of the eight are hitters, along with two setters and two defensive/back-row players. They're a team that digs all night long. Our Jaguars will have to put up a relentless and powerful attack if they're going to have a chance at beating the vaunted Eagles in tomorrow's semi-final match. According to Jaguars senior hitter Ashley Serbus's brother-in-law, who scouted Windom today for Coach Weller, the Jaguars will have their chances. He stated briefly tonight when I talked to him that the Eagles can be beat. Ashley's sister Becca, a 1999 B-B-E graduate, played on the first-ever Jaguars volleyball team to win a sub-section championship. In 1997, she was on the Jaguars team that won the Sub-Section 5A-20 championship in a five-game thriller over New London-Spicer.

Jaguars Volleyball Earns First-Ever State Semi-Final Berth at State... 3-0 Sweep vs. Martin County West in Quarter's

Leaping for joy, right after winning their state quarterfinal match!

The Jaguars volleyball 3-0 sweep of Martin County West improves their record to 31-1 overall. Up next, the Final Four round! This is as exciting as it gets. How on earth am I gonna sleep tonight? I hope the B-B-E crowd will be as large, loud, and proud as ever for their second round of the 2008 state tournament.

In today's match the Jaguars fought through a close game one, which they took by a 25-21 margin. They never trailed in game two, winning 25-18. The Jaguars started out strong in game three, never trailing after an early 5-4 deficit. The Jaguars ultimately won the match with a 25-23 margin in the third set.

After the win, numerous reporters flocked on the scene to interview Heidi Lensing and Emily Roelike, as well as Coach Weller. I caught a bunch of what they said on my recorder and will be summarizing that later tonight.

Lensing pointed out how relaxed the team was as they took the court today, citing the big boost it is that they've been here before. Roelike gave big credit to the team's non-starters, as the excitement and energy from the bench gave extra fuel to those playing on the court.

Martin County West, now 24-7-1, entered the tournament ranked #14 in the final Class A Coaches Association Poll. They will face Lake of the Woods (20-8) in tomorrow's consolation semi-finals.

The Jaguars will face 2nd-ranked Windom Area (32-3) in the state semi-finals on Friday at 3:00. Windom shredded Lake of the Woods in their quarterfinal match, which took place at the same time as the Jaguars' match.

I am in the process of going through a large amount of scouting information on Windom. Tonight I'll have that posted before hitting the sack. Here are some bits & pieces from Windom's state quarterfinal match against Lake of the Woods: Their star player is senior Megan Ysker, a unique hybrid setter/hitter who led their team with 17 kills (30-of-33 attacks!) and 15 set assists.

The Eagles run a 6-2 offense, with another senior setter, Morgan Borsgard. She had 24 set assists tonight. The Eagles' second-leading hitter tonight was Courtney Ysker, who had 8 kills on 13-of-15 attacks. She is a sophomore outside hitter, the younger sister of Megan.

I'll add a newspaper story about Windom later tonight. It will be worth reading.

**Important...fans who cannot make the match on Friday can listen to it on Smooth Magic 107 out of Glenwood (107.1 FM). Pre-game starts around 2:35. If you can't pick up that on your radio where you work or live, then please make sure to try it out on your computer. If you have a good internet connection you can go to the following website address to listen to the match LIVE!


Please make sure to tell friends and family (anywhere in the world!) that they have this option.

http://smoothmagic107.com/kmgk_sports.htm

That link will point you to the schedule, and at match-time around 2:30 you should be able to load up a Real-Audio player with the play-by-play on your computer. Smooth Magic's sports broadcaster, Dave McClurg, will be doing his usual steady and solid coverage of the Jaguars volleyball team.

What was interesting to note is that all four top seeds in the tournament won via sweep over their "blind draw" opponents.

Other results in the Class A quarter's=
Ada-Borup 3, Southwest Christian 0
Bethlehem Academy 3, Deer River 0
Windom Area 3, Lake of the Woods 0

Sixth-ranked Ada-Borup had no trouble sweeping 8th-ranked Southwest Christian. They will face #1-rated (defending Class A champion) Bethlehem Academy in the other semi-final match on Friday.

I have TONS of info to post tonight, including bits and pieces I picked up from radio and newspaper interviews for some of the Jaguars players as well as Coach Weller.

Time for supper, then back at it to add scouting info on Windom as well as photos from the exciting and record-setting match.

In Class AA tonight, St.Cloud Cathedral (30-3) defeated Stewartville (26-5) 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-23). Both were teams highly ranked in the coaches poll. Hats off to Coach Lindsay Ashburn and her high-powered Crusaders team, as they prepare for their state semi-final match tomorrow against defending state champion Marshall. That match is on Friday night at 7:00. In 2007, Marshall overcame a 2-0 deficit in games to knock down Cathedral in last year's state championship match.

This Jaguars volleyball state tournament update brought to you by Jana Mae's in Brooten, Big A Auto in Brooten, as well as L & L Foods in Belgrade.

I will be posting more information at the 10:00pm hour tonight. I'm going to spend the 9:00 hour RELAXING! I haven't done much of that lately, having way too much fun with this big post-season run!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More Info Coming up on Class A State Volleyball Tournament ....

This photo comes out of Elrosa...

Tonight I'll be adding more info on the 8-team field of the Class A state volleyball tournament.

Here's the remaining schedule of the "Meet the Jaguars" segment on KMGC "Magic 107 FM" in Glenwood (107.1 FM)...

Thursday, November 6th:
* 7:35 AM-Rachel Anderson
* 8:35 AM-Kelsey Kampsen (Student-manager)
* 4:35 PM (or after BBE State Tournament Volleyball, whichever is later)-Jayde Turner (Student-manager)
* 5:35 PM-Maggie Gruber
* 6:35 PM-Kelly Borgerding
Friday, November 7th:
* 7:35 AM-Lauren Anderson
* 8:35 AM-Rae Ann Sorenson


Super sophomores lead MCW past JWP
Mavericks advance to Section 2A, South Subsection title match


By Chad Courrier
Mankato Free Press Staff Writer

ST. JAMES — When the season began, Martin County West volleyball coach Travis Anderson said he wasn’t sure what he’d get from a team that was starting five sophomores, but with a couple of postseason victories, he’s got a team playing for the subsection championship.

“I knew we’d be athletic,” he said. “I knew we had the possibility to do well. The key has been that the girls really want this, but I couldn’t have predicted we’d win the conference and get the No. 1 seed (in the subsection).”

The Mavericks (22-6-1) defeated Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 25-10, 25-13, 25-15 in the semifinals of the Section 2A, South Subsection playoffs Tuesday. Martin County West trailed only briefly in two of the three sets, serving 19 aces to earn a chance to defend the subsection championship.

“A lot of us were on the team last year, and we got used to the environment,” sophomore Alyssa Taylor said. “Now, we’re just having fun.”

Tessa Bergemann served nine straight points, three on aces, as Martin County West went up 9-1. The Mavericks kept building the lead, and sophomore Madison Bloomquist’s kill made it 21-6. Sophomore Paige Breneman had two kills to finish the set.

“Some games, we’ve started really well,” Taylor said. “Tonight, we were good.”

The second set was tied at 8 before Martin County West went on a 12-1 run, splitting service points between Bergemann and Breneman.

After Allex Jahner’s ace serve pulled JWP within 21-13, the Mavericks finished the set, with sophomore Maggie Prunty making the final two kills.

The third set went much the same way, with Martin County West scoring the first four points and never trailing. Taylor had two kills late as the Mavericks closed the set at 25-15.

Taylor finished with 10 kills and four blocks, with Prunty making nine kills and 12 digs and Breneman added seven kills and a block. Sophomore Taylor Saxen had 32 assists and eight digs. Sam Breneman added 10 digs.

Kelsey Witt led the Bulldogs with seven kills, while Meghan Jewison, Nakita Coonrod and Bailey Zimprich each had four.

Martin County West plays St. Clair for the subsection championship at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Martin Luther College.

Other teams in the state tournament field...
The top-seeded team is Faribault Bethlehem Academy. They won last year's state title in a 3-1 win over Windom, who is the #2-seed in this year's field.

Windom comes out of the rugged Southwest Conference, where they finished in a three-way tie for 2nd place with Worthington and Jackson County Central.

The Class A tournament gets under way Thursday, Nov. 6, 1:00 p.m., with two quarterfinal matches: No. 1 seed Bethlehem Academy of Faribault (22-9)) facing Deer River (26-5) and No. 4 seed Ada-Borup (30-1) facing Southwest Christian School of Chaska (24-7). The second set of quarterfinals is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.: No. 2 seed Windom Area (31-3) versus Lake of the Woods, Baudette (20-7) and No. 3 seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (30-1) versus Martin County West of Sherburn (24-6-1).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Volleyball Send-Off & Pep Fest at 1:00 on Wednesday Afternoon at the High School

A rousing pep fest and send-off ceremony will take place at 1:00 at the high school gymnasium on Wednesday afternoon. The elementary student body will be bused over for the big event. It will be fun, cheer loud for me in my absence... work commitments. (Now that's not fun)

Also, be sure to grab a copy of this week's Sauk Centre Herald, as well as the local papers if you haven't already subscribed to them. Plenty of photos in all of them, with the Sauk Herald being being able to publish my "money" shot...which I'll add here for the 2nd time on this website just because the photo is so dang cool!


It appears that in the school board elections, the three candidates that I wanted to see pull through did just that! Paul Weller, Dave Cebulla, and Danny Wold are in the top three vote-getter spots as I write this a little after midnight. It looks like this race for the three school board seats was a close one. It also appears that the two new faces in the race (Weller & Cebulla) both have a lock on winning a school board seat as the top two vote-getters.

Wednesday night update at 5:53pm on the school board election results:
Paul Weller (1,406) - Dave Cebulla (961) - Danny Wold (942) - Ginny Borgerding (912) - Rollie Imdieke (716). The top 3 vote-getters will be seated at the first school board meeting of the 2009 calendar year.

More to follow on Wednesday night.

This Jaguars volleyball state tournament week update brought to you by:

Vote Early, Vote Often Today! Just Kidding... Vote Once, But Make it Count!

Make sure and vote today. Precincts in Minnesota are open until 8pm. Time to go to my day job. Perhaps I'll see some of you at the Election Party at John O's tonight. They're serving a "burger buffet" from 5 to 9pm.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fox Sports North to Air UM-Duluth vs. Concordia-St.Paul Volleyball on Election Night @ 7pm.. *Magic 107 B-B-E Volleyball Player Interviews Also on Air

Former B-B-E prep volleyball standout April Hansen (Class of 2007) plays for University of Minnesota-Duluth. Hansen is a starting middle blocker for the No.-17 Division II ranked Bulldogs (20-7 overall, 11-4 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference). Concordia-St.Paul is the #1-ranked team in Division II.

UM-D and CSP are conference opponents, and this match up is an always entertaining clash between rival schools who have met in the NCAA Division II North Central Regional Championship each of the past four seasons.

Tuesday night's match will be an exciting match for area volleyball fans who can view that channel on cable. It will be a VERY nice break from the election night coverage that will probably be on all the major networks.

I stopped by tonight's Jaguars volleyball practice to test out my new flash for my camera. I'll post some information from that tonight, as well as a couple photos from the team drills.

Glenwood's Magic 107.1 FM was also there, as Dave McClurg was interviewing individual players on the varsity team for this week's "Meet the Jaguars" edition.
Below is the schedule for the interview broadcasts this week.


Tuesday, November 4th

* 7:35 AM: Heidi Lensing
* 8:35 AM: Shannon Gruber
* 4:35 PM: Emily Roelike
* 5:35 PM: Whitney Bertram
* 6:35 PM: Sarah Spinelli

Wednesday, November 5th

* 7:35 AM: Jessi Jenniges
* 8:35 AM: Jenny Hieserich
* 4:35 PM: Ashley Serbus
* 5:35 PM: Anna Marthaler
* 6:35 PM: Julie Hieserich

Thursday, November 6th

* 7:35 AM: to be announced
* 8:35 AM: to be announced
* 4:35 PM (or after Jaguars' State Tournament broadcast, whichever is later): to be announced
* 5:35 PM: to be announced
* 6:35 PM: to be announced

Friday, November 7th

* 7:35 AM: to be announced
* 8:35 AM: to be announced



Anyone lucky enough to be able to listen to Magic 107 during the day or evening hours this week is encouraged to tune in and learn more about the players. Magic 107's sports broadcaster, Dave McClurg, picked up information from the players about their experiences with volleyball, various hobbies, classes at school, family, and potential college plans.

The following is a section from an e-mail I received from Dave McClurg (D-Mac) tonight, explaining this week's broadcasts of Jaguars Volleyball.

"KMGK will also be doing live play-by-play of all of the BBE Jaguars' State Tournament Volleyball matches in St. Paul this week. Our broadcasts Thursday and Friday will begin around 2:35 in the afternoon both days, depending on how the progress of the 1:00 matches is going (longer 1:00 matches mean a later start time for our broadcast). We will also be streaming the audio on our web site, at www.smoothmagic107.com. Feel free to let fans outside of our listening area know that they can catch the audio of the broadcasts on our web site, if their computer has a Media Player, or related device, installed in their computer."




While at the Jaguars volleyball practice, I spoke with Elementary Principal Rick Gossen. He informed me on the basic school schedule for Thursday and Friday. The school district will be able to accommodate giving educational time in the morning hours, as well as giving students and staff members a chance to attend state tournament action in St.Paul on Thursday and Friday.

Classes will be dismissed at 11:00am, at which time lunch will be served to the student body in both the elementary and high school. The fan buses depart from the elementary at 11:30am, and the high school at 11:45am.

This also gives high school students who are brave and safe enough to traverse Metro-area traffic around 3 1/2 hours to get from the high school down to the XCel Energy Center. (It is basically a 2-hour trip from Belgrade via I-94 from St.Cloud, exactly 122 miles.)

This Jaguars sports state tournament playoff update brought to you by:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More Photos / Updates on the State-Bound Jaguars Volleyball Team

Celebrating the win in game two, in which the Jaguars came back from a 22-17 deficit to win 26-24!

Jenny Hieserich a little excited for the pre-match introductions...

More photos will follow on Monday night...I'll add a few more here. It's time to get some serious journalism done for the newspapers this week.

Below are two stories on the Martin County West Mavericks volleyball team: The stories are pretty interesting, and they give a fair amount of scouting information for fans to check out. Martin County West is a consolidated school formed in 1988... You can read further below on this website to learn more about their school district.

The Mavericks went to the state tournament in volleyball in 1991, the school's only other state berth in volleyball.

"MCW nets sub-section crown"
Charlie Sorrells, Fairmont Sentinel Sports Editor
POSTED: October 31, 2008

NEW ULM - Even with two games in the books and a 20-13 lead in the third contest, Martin County West volleyball mentor Travis Anderson continued to instruct his players Thursday.

"Keep going, keep going, play through to the end," Anderson said as he pointed toward the Martin Luther College court during the Section 2A, South Sub-Section finale's final five points.

Senior middle hitter Kelsey Jensen proceeded to deliver the match's last sideout by blasting home one of Maverick setter Taylor Saxen's match-leading 30 assists.

Saxen then reeled off four unanswered points, with the 6-foot Jensen rejecting a St. Clair spike on match point, to seal the No. 1-seeded Mavericks' 25-19, 25-20, 25-13 sweep over the No. 3-seeded Cyclones.

Martin County West (23-6-1) advances to face North Sub-Section champion Sleepy Eye St. Mary's (21-4-2) for the Section 2A crown at 6 p.m. Saturday at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

Sleepy Eye St. Mary's squeezed past defending sectional champion Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, 26-24, 26-24, 25-23, during Thursday's opening match in New Ulm.

St. Clair ended its season with an 18-9-2 record.

Unlike the two Valley Conference rivals' regular-season clash on Sept. 16, the league champion Mavericks did not need five games to exit the hardwood with the South Sub-Section trophy in hand.

So, what was a key factor during Thursday night's postseason battle?

"This time, our players knew what we could do on our side of the net," Anderson said. "St. Clair's a good volleyball team and gave us a good match tonight, but I think we know ourselves better now than during the middle part of the regular season. That was the real difference tonight."

Trailing 10-6 on the heels of St. Clair's 5-foot-2 serving specialist Kelsi Huxford's three aces from the line, middle hitter Alyssa Taylor displayed her mettle by awaiting a Saxen set to rally Martin County West into the lead.

Taylor, who drilled a match-best 12 kills, then recorded one of her five ace blocks to rotate Paige Breneman to the service line.

Breneman, who connected on 15-for-15 serves, delivered seven key points to swing the momentum and a 19-15 edge to the blue-and-black attack.

Taylor contributed a kill and two rejections during the run, Maggie Prunty nailed one of her five kills and Saxen pounded down a St. Clair overpass.

Outside hitter Madison Bloomquist later collected her only two kills of the opening game, but both came at critical moments as the sophomore spiker chalked up points 24 and 25.

Samantha Breneman jumpstarted the Mavericks' early 4-0 lead in Game 2 from the line before Taylor and Paige Breneman exchanged kills with the Cyclones' Erin Goebel and Nicole Dorn to keep the differential at four down the stretch.

Paige Breneman later unleashed a cross-court court-finding spike off a Saxen assist to close out the middle game at 25-20.

Once again, Jensen produced a timely block to serve as the catalyst behind another Maverick scoring surge during Game 3.

Tied at 8, Jensen's rejection allowed Prunty to reel off back-to-back service aces to propel Martin County West into the lead for good.

Taylor's final kill down the line, off a Saxen set, led to a pair of service aces from Mary Faber to widen the Mavericks' margin to 20-12.

Jensen's final kill one serve later rotated Saxen to the line for the final run.

Prunty was 13-for-13 serving to share scoring honors with Paige Breneman at eight points each. Samantha Breneman was 10 of 11 at the line for seven points, while Saxen was 11-for-11 for six.


"MCW spikes out section title, state berth"
Charlie Sorrells - Sentinel Sports Editor
POSTED: November 2, 2008

ST. PETER - Martin County West fittingly exited the Lund Arena hardwood court Saturday night with the Section 2 trophy and the volleyball program's second-ever state bid in hand.

Setter Taylor Saxen distributed a match-best 34 assists, while middle hitter Alyssa Taylor produced 14 kills and five ace blocks to stampede the Mavericks to a 25-18, 25-22, 25-20 sweep over the Sleepy Eye St. Mary's Knights during the sectional finals on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus in St. Peter.

"This is the place where it all began for me in this sport. I sat along the sideline in this gym and watched the Mavericks make it to the state tournament for the first time in 1991 when my mom (Garla) was the head coach," said Martin County West head coach Travis Anderson. "Now, 17 years later, I've had the chance to coach this great group of athletes to the state tournament. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Martin County West (24-6-1) opens the Class A state tournament against the third-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars (30-1) at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Jaguars, who finished the regular season ranked No. 5 in the Class A state poll, defeated Nevis for the Section 5 championship, 25-12, 26-24, 25-22.

Sleepy Eye St. Mary's ended its season with a 21-5-2 record.

While Saxen did her usual outstanding job of distributing precision sets to the blue-and-black's balanced five-hitter attack, the Mavericks' elbow-scraping defense aptly lowered its digging skills to a new level to frustrate the Knight spikers.

Trailing 15-12 in the opening game, St. Mary's converted Madeline Schmitz's defensive gem on a Martin County West overpass into a key sideout.

Cortnie Wahl then delivered three more points from the service line to swing a 16-15 lead to the green-and-white clad visitors on the scoreboard.

Travis Anderson, however, called timeout and his words during the short recess refocused the Mavericks' vision of a sectional crown.

Kelsey Jensen produced an echoing block to trip the defensive switch for Martin County West before libero Samantha Breneman stepped to the line.

Breneman, who connected on 15 of 15 serves, unleashed Game 1's five final points to shift the momentum in the Mavericks' direction.

Taylor opened the mini-run with a hard spike off a Saxen loft before Paige Breneman quick-wristed back-to-back cross-court stingers to pace the eventual 25-18 win.

Middle hitter Crissi Schewe, who topped all frontline players with 15 kills, quickly regained the momentum for St. Mary's in Game 2 before another Martin County West defensive highlight stemmed the tide.

Sarah Ludewig's crunched kill off a Nevada Helget backset, combined with Schmitz's block, staked the Knights to a 5-1 edge before Taylor's block stymied the run.

Paige Breneman then reeled off seven straight service points to build a 9-5 Maverick margin, with Maggie Prunty pounding down three kills to ignite the scoring surge.

Ludewig's three-point service stint later knotted the game at 11, but Prunty's turn at the line proved productive for MCW.

Jensen smacked down a Knight overpass to trigger Prunty's four-point run to extend the gap to 18-12 before St. Mary's assembled a solid comeback to retake the lead.

Schewe blasted a hard shot to force a double-hit call before unleashing four kills during teammate Jenny Rothmeier's eight-point service run.

Defense, however, proved the Mavericks' momentum-changing forte.

"Our blocking and digging really got us back into the second game," said Anderson. "I thought Madison (Bloomquist) really came up with some nice passes off of a number of great digs in Game 2."

Bloomquist, along with Samantha Breneman, guarded the lines by bumping a number of hard hits to Saxen to fuel Breneman's ensuing five-point service run.

Jensen's timely block supplied the vital sideout at 21-19 before Breneman inched the Mavericks with one point of a two-game lead at 24-21.

Schewe's give-and-go kill combination with Nevada Helget stopped Breneman's run before the Saxen-to-Taylor tandem put an exclamation mark on Point 25.

Tessa Bergemann gave Martin County West a bit of breathing room during the latter stages of Game 3, lining home a pair of points for an 18-13 edge. Taylor registered a block before drilling a Saxen set for a kill, but Wahl countered for St. Mary's.

Nevada Helget evened the score at 18, but the Knights could not sustain the comeback as Taylor converted a Saxen quick set and a regular loft to sandwich Schewe's sideout rejection.

A lift infraction on the Knights proved costly as 22-20 as Mary Faber stepped to the line for the Mavericks and delivered the match's final three points.

Prunty uncorked a floor-finding block, St. Mary's nicked the antenna on an ensuing pass and Jensen hammered home the match-sealing kill off a Saxen set to propel Martin County West to the state tournament.

Prunty supplied six kills to the Mavericks' balanced attack, Jensen notched five kills and five ace blocks, while Bloomquist and Paige Breneman each chipped in five kills.

Nevada Helget doled out 23 set assists for the Knights, while Ludewig and Rothmeier contributed four kills each.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for students for a single session at the Class A state volleyball tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

A daily pass, which is good for all sessions that day, is $18 for adults and $13 for students.

There will be no advance ticket sales, so all tickets will have to be purchased at the event.

A charter fan bus will be offered Thursday and Friday. The cost is $23 and does not include the price of admission.

Departure time is 10:45 a.m. from Trimont, 11 a.m. from Sherburn and 11:15 a.m. from Welcome on Thursday.

Deadline for signing up at Martin County West High School is 10 a.m. Wednesday. Payment must be received before boarding the bus on Thursday. Checks can be made to Martin County West. A minimum of 40 passengers is needed to offer the charter bus.

A send-off pepfest is set for 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at the high school gym. The event is open to the public.

Martin County West schools will not be in session Thursday and Friday.

More Info on the Martin County West Mavericks

**Update at 2:35 on Sunday afternoon...I just started adding video clips. I've added two that you can see below...**they are best viewed in the Internet Explorer browser. Lately for some reason Mozilla Firefox hasn't been playing the video clips on this website.

**Added at 6:30 Sunday night...Finally getting into my photos, here's my "gem" that I want to share with everyone. It's a low-quality version of this photo. Volleyball families who purchase my photo CD's will get the best version that can be enlarged. I'd say the players were pretty ecstatic at this point, right after Maggie Gruber's attack went down for a kill and match point and a return trip to state!


Much to read up on with the Martin County West Mavericks...before getting to the story, I'll add a little more about the Martin County West school district. Their school is in the town of Sherburn, which lies in Interstate-90 between Worthington and Fairmont, roughly 15 miles west of Fairmont. The population of Sherburn was 1,082 in the 2000 census. The Martin County School district has an enrollment of 269 in Grades 9-12, making them one of the biggest schools in Class A. (For comparison, Morris Area has 290 kids in 9-12th grade, and they are one of the smallest Class AA schools, and B-B-E has a 9-12th grade enrollment of 219.)

Martin County West is a consolidated school (formed in 1988) of the former districts of Sherburn, Trimont, and Welcome. They have a Junior High/elementary in Trimont, plus elementary schools in Trimont and Welcome, and a Senior High School in Sherburn.

One can actually find Sherburn by following Minnesota State Highway 4 all the way to the MN-Iowa border. (MN-4 cuts down Stearns County just past the eastern edge of the B-B-E school district)

The Mavericks' libero is senior Samantha Breneman. One of their setters is Taylor Saxen, who is a sophomore. I don't know yet if they have a 5-1 or 6-2 offense.



This Jaguars sports playoff scouting update brought to you by:

Jaguars Volleyball To Face Martin County West in Class A State Quarterfinals

The 5th-ranked Jaguars volleyball team opens state tournament play on Thursday, November 6th, in a 3:00pm match against Martin County West, which is based in the southwestern Minnesota town of Sherburne. Sherburne, pop. 1,082 in 2000, sits on Interstate-90 between Worthington and Fairmont.

Martin County West comes out of Section 2A. They are one of the two unranked teams coming into the eight-team field. They defeated #16-ranked Sleepy Eye St.Mary's in the Section 2A Championship 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 last night at Gustavus Adolphus College in St.Peter.

Martin County West will bring a 24-6-1 record to the state tournament. They finished 10-0 in the Valley Conference, which lies in south central Minnesota. The Valley Conference is an 11-team league with 10 Class A teams and one Class AA team (Maple River, who finished 18-11). MCW had no common opponents with our Jaguars... even in the secondary opponents, I can't find anything common.

Noteworthy: On September 29th, the Mavericks played tough against 2nd-ranked Windom, although they were swept. Game scores were 25-18, 25-23, 25-19, in a match that was held in Sherburn.

The Martin County West Mavericks have a 6'0" sophomore hitter, Alyssa Taylor. She put up 13 kills and 5 ace blocks in their sub-section championship match over St.Clair on October 30. Other top hitters for the Mavericks are 5-foot-11 Maggie Prunty, 5-foot-9 Madison Bloomquist,

MCW beat St.Clair (18-9-2 finish) in the Sub-Section 2A-South Championship in a sweep. Back in September, MCW got by St.Clair in five games, winning game five 15-12.

It's almost Noon, I'm getting ready to upload photos and video to this post. I should have that up soon. I have roughly 220 pictures to go through from last night's section championship match, along with at least 20 video clips.

Accurate results from last night's section finals in Class A: (the MSHSL site had wrong information loaded on some of the sections)

The Section 2A result had Sleepy Eye St.Mary's defeating Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop! G-F-W was actually the #7-seeded team

Section 6A: Number-six ranked Ada-Borup defeated unranked Underwood 25-15,25-11,18-25,25-13. Noteworthy is that Underwood (22-8 finish) won game three after getting smoked in games 1 and 2.

Seeding results with the records for the top four teams:
1 Bethlehem Academy (22-9)
2 Windom Area (31-3)
3 B-B-E (30-1)
4 Ada-Borup (30-1)

Class A quarterfinal matches: #1 seed faces Deer River, #2 seed faces Lake of the Woods, #3 seed faces Martin County West, #4 seed faces Southwest Christian.

Random jottings on the other teams in the Class A field...Five of the top 10 ranked teams in the final A.P. poll did not make the state tournament.

Lake of the Woods defeated #10-ranked Northern Freeze by big margins (25-12,25-13,25-16) in the Section 8A championship match at the University of Minnesota-Crookston campus. Lake of the Woods is 20-7 coming into state.

This Jaguars sports playoff scouting update brought to you by:

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Let's Make This a Habit!! Jaguars Volleyball Repeats as Section 5A Champions ... State-Bound Once Again!!

Match-winning ace attack by Maggie Gruber, plus the team celebration immediately following the win.
video

The Class A fifth-ranked Jaguars volleyball team will take a 30-1 record into next week's state volleyball tournament. I am predicting they will be seeded #3 out of the 8 teams at state. I predict Bethlehem Academy (Section 1A champs) will be number one, with Windom (Section 3A champs) being number two.


The previous best record in volleyball at B-B-E stood at 28-4, earned in 2005 and 2006.

On Sunday at 8:40am, I'll be posting complete information on who the Jaguars will play in the state quarterfinal match. The time of that will be either 1:00 or 3:00 on Thursday, November 6th, at St.Paul's Xcel Energy Center.

In tonight's match, the Jaguars cruised in game one behind a powerful attack and a high level of energy and enthusiasm, winning 25-12. Game two was simply classic, as both teams matched one another punch-for-punch in what Coach Weller described as a "drawn-out" battle during his post-match radio interview.

Video from a timeout late in Game 2, when the Jaguars were fighting back from a 19-16 deficit.
video

What I found most noteworthy about the match tonight was that there was not one ounce of negativity on the Jaguars' side of the court at any moment of the three games. Even when the Jaguars fell behind by 3,4,5-point margins in game two, they hung together and delivered an amazing 26-24 win.

**Update at Midnight!...I just found out the 7th team out of the 8 teams for "state"... Chisolm was upset by Deer River in the Section 7A championship, losing 3-0 to the unranked Warriors, who move to 25-5 on the season. Chisolm ends 22-3, and they were at "state" in 2007 when they finished 4th in their first-ever volleyball trip to the big show, so this was a tough loss for their program. Their football team won last night to advance to the football state tournament, beating East Central 12-10 in Section 7A, but the magic from that win could not carry over to volleyball for the Bluestreaks.

At 12:08am, I found out the final score for the complete list of Class A teams at the 2008 state tournament. Southwest Christian 3, Meadow Creek Christian 0 was the result out of Section 4A.

Here's the list of Class A teams who will make up the field at the state tournament next week... I have them listed by section, and in bold the state-rankings in the final Class A Coaches' Poll...
#1- Bethlehem Academy 1
#2- Martin County West unranked
#3- Windom 2
#4- Southwest Christian, Chaska 7
#5- B-B-E! 5
#6- Ada-Borup 6, tie
#7- Deer River 19
#8- Lake of the Woods unranked


I hope out of the seven other coaches besides Coach Weller who will be voting on the state seedings, they will put a big emphasis on the coaches poll. That puts us in the running for a #3 seed.

We're 30-1 and we had a strong schedule in my opinion. I really feel that we should be talked of as one of the top teams in this field of 8. The state-rankings have held somewhat true... the 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7th-ranked teams are in the final 8. That's 5 of 8 being rated in the top 7.

The other three (Martin County West - Deer River - Lake of the Woods) are good as well. I won't say anything to the contrary. I don't need someone googl-ing this website and using what I say as fodder to motivate a potential opponent to our Jaguars!

Let the prognostication begin! (that long ugly word means "predicting" in lay man's terms)...here we go, those 7 other teams will be who our Jaguars will be duking it out with next Thursday/Friday/Saturday. What's up for grabs are a handful of trophies = state champs, state runners-up, 3rd place, 4th place, consolation champs, and 6th place. Six teams will grab one of those trophies, and two will come home with a simple "State participants" trophy.

At around 1:00am I'll be writing out my predictions about who will be the top four seeds. I'll then talk a little about the other four teams who will make up the "blind draw", as the brackets will be created on Sunday morning after the 7:30am coaches' conference call.

Joining the Jaguars out of Section 6AA will be the St.Cloud Cathedral Crusaders, who won tonight 3-1 over Rocori. Also in Class AA, Stewartville is back at "state" after a 3-2 win over Caledonia in Section 2AA. Marshall (who has no business being in Class AA) defeated Yellow Medicine East 3-0 in Section 3AA to advance to state once again.

Out of Section 8AAA, an incredible heart-breaking loss for Alexandria took place. Words would not describe how tough of a loss this was. After leading 2-1 in games over favored St.Michael-Albertville, the Cardinals fought for a 20-20 tie in game four but were unable to pull through. They lost game four 25-20. Then in game five, the Cardinals fell behind 14-10!! They somehow staved off match point to TIE the game at 14-all! In rally scoring that is amazing. Alexandria pulled ahead 17-16!! Game five ultimately went to St.Michael-Albertville 19-17 as the Knights scored 3 straight points to close out the win. I can't even imagine what it was like at St.Cloud Tech's high school gym.

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