Thursday, October 31, 2019

Step III: Jaguars power their way to another 'Ship!!

It's another sweep for the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team to advance in the playoffs. They won game three 25-18 to claim the Sub-Section 5A-South championship tonight over neighboring rival Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg. The spacious gymnasium at Little Falls high school was rocking, and both fan sections were vocal and proud as the match wore on.

Scores of the first two sets were 25-12 and 25-23.

As a team, the Jaguars hit at a solid 22 percent clip. They looked sharp from start to finish! Hitting, blocking, passing...all the nuts and bolts fit together and responded to everything the Fighting Saints threw their way.

IT'S A THREE-PEAT! They are now winners of three straight sub-section titles!


B-B-E (21-7-1) plays next on Saturday night, November 2 back at Little Falls high school at 7 p.m. against Sub-Section 5A-North champion Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (24-6). That match will not be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM.

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley was an underdog to some extent against state-ranked Pine River-Backus tonight. They came out firing on all cylinders and put the Tigers back on their heels. After a hiccup in a game three loss, WHA put the hammer down and blew PR-B away in game four. They will certainly be tough as nails on Saturday night***! For the record, game scores in the North title match were 25-11, 25-20, 18-25, 25-16.

PR-B finishes 28-4 overall. They put a young and inexperienced team on the court this year that shattered all expectations of a "rebuilding" season. That is one heck of a strong volleyball program.

Also noteworthy: the North sub-section title match included two teams who have just five seniors in total...two on PR-B's roster and three on WHA's roster. From what I am reading, WHA's setter is one of their three seniors. The other two are a back row player and an outside hitter.

For comparison, the South sub-section title match included two teams who had 11 seniors altogether.

K-M-S finishes one of their better seasons in school history with a 17-12 overall record. They graduate four seniors and two very skilled, experienced players out of their top rotation.

**Here's video taken between games two and three:

**Here's a really neat video clip from tonight...quite a feat to celebrate for B-B-E head coach Steve Waddell!

In other action tonight...
Minnewaska Area beat New London-Spicer 3-0 tonight to claim the north subsection title in Section 3AA. Smooth Magic will carry that match on Saturday night. NL-S's loss was a huge upset, as I doubt many prognosticators outside of Pope County thought the Lakers had a chance. It shows that when you're hot, you are hot! Volleyball is especially that way.

Game scores in the incredible upset were 28-26, 25-21, 25-23. The Wildcats had no business losing game one after building a 16-8 lead...but that's what happened. The Lakers fought back to tie it at 17-17 and then took a 20-19 lead. When you have a 16-8 lead in the opening set of a huge playoff match, you find another gear and put your foot on the throat of the other team!

NL-S led 4-1 early in game two but then fell behind on Minnewaska's 6-0 run that put the Lakers on top for good. The Lakers led 23-18 in game three before falling into a 23-23 tie. Minnewaska took the last two points of the match to earn their first sub-section volleyball title in a long, long time.

I don't remember the last time Minnewaska Area played in a volleyball section final. One may have to go back to the 1990s to find that on the record book.

NL-S finishes 27-3 overall. They were the No. 6-ranked team out of 126 teams in the Class 2A QRF scale. Earlier in the season at the Minnewaska Invitational, the Wildcats swept the Lakers 25-17, 25-18.

The Lakers, who were a fifth-place team in the West Central Conference with a 7-7 mark, improve to 16-10 overall and now face a tall task of dethroning Big South Conference-West champion Marshall Area (27-5) in the Section 3AA championship match. Could they do it? I think they can.

In Section 6AA, I saw that Royalton lost to top-seeded Annandale. The Cardinals won 25-15, 25-22, 25-21. They are the No. 7-ranked team in Class 2A on the QRF scale.

The Royals, ranked No. 20 on the Class 2A QRF scale, had their best season in school history with a final record of 25-4 overall. They were tri-champions in the Central Minnesota Conference after exiting the Prairie Conference last season. I believe they have three conference titles in a row to their credit.

In the other 6AA semifinal, Maple Lake (23-7) ended Sauk Centre's season with a 3-1 win. Way to represent the Central Minnesota Conference! Sauk Centre was solo champions of the West Central Conference this season. Tonight at Sauk Rapids-Rice high school, the Irish took a 2-0 lead in sets, got knocked around in game three and then won a close game four by a 25-23 score. Game scores were 26-24, 25-19, 16-25, 25-23. Sauk Centre finishes 27-3 overall with their only other two losses coming in regular season tournament play.

In the Sub-Section 3A-South finals at the R/A Facility on the SMSU-Marshall campus, Adrian ended Tracy-Milroy-Balaton's season in a 3-2 barn burner. The Dragons (28-2) won game five by a 16-14 score! T-M-B built a 2-0 lead in sets with early wins of 25-22 and 25-7 before the Dragons ran the table with wins of 25-20, 25-22 and 16-14. T-M-B finishes 20-11 overall; they went 7-4 (fifth place) in the Camden South Conference.

In the Sub-Section 3A-North finals at SMSU, Minneota thrashed Canby in a 25-7, 25-17, 25-11 sweep. The Lancers finish a strong season 23-9 overall. The defending state champion Vikings are 29-3 overall.

**Thank you to Bonanza Valley State Bank as premier corporate sponsors of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's Jaguar volleyball playoff coverage! We appreciate the support of our locally-owned, hometown bank!!

Labels: , , ,