FIVE GAMES FROM CHASKA
Host Chaska knocked off two ranked #1 teams, but it was the third #1 team that left the Toni Kasier Invitational with the top prize. The Hawks knocked off #1A Mayer Lutheran in pool play, topped #1AA Stewartville three sets in the semis with before falling in the title game to #1AAA Eagan. It is rare that all three #1s are in the same tournament. It is even rarer that one team faces all three. Could all three be #1 in three weeks?
Before moving on you are probably wondering where the stories have been this fall. I started out with games right out of the shoot with the Edina Breakdown and a few regular season contests before school started, but once school began it all ground to a halt. My team (Minneapolis Henry) has four teams. I coach three of them. Practice doesn’t end until 7 pm and by the time I clean up it is at least 7:30 pm. That shoots down any weekday action. Then the tournament schedule with Henry with varsity & the younger teams eats away the weekend action. On the rare chance no one from Henry is in action I have been ping ponging around the metro catching action from the section teams. In case you are wondering Henry has set a record for the number of wins this year (on my watch) with sections looming. My schedule will allow me to get out some this week, when we aren’t playing (probably Thursday).
GAME 1: MAYER LUTHERAN 2, BETHLEHEM ACADEMY 0 (25-14, 25-14)
Mayer Lutheran, a repeat winner in A in 2016 &2017, took down Bethlehem Academy by identical 14 scores. In set one a an 11-2 Crusader run gave them a 17-7 lead. ML jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the second set with Claudia Stahlke delivering five kills in that run.
|MAYER LUTHERAN||BETHLEHEM ACADEMY|
|EARNED PER SET||18.5||8.5|
|FIRST BALL KILLS||10||8|
|LEADING SCORER||Liv Tjhernagel & Claudia Stahlke 8||Haley Lang 4|
GAME 2: MAPLE LAKE 2, EDINA 0 (25-23, 25-22)
After an all red battle in the first game I shifted to an all green battle in the second. The luck of the Irish prevailed over the Hornets. Maple Lake, like ML a double champ in 2016 & 2017, came back from deficits in both sets to claim victory. ML started down 4-0 in the opener and in each set was down 11-8 before closing strong. Edina hampered their cause in set one by missing four of five services in one stretch turning that 11-8 advantage into a 21-18 deficit. Serving again plagued the Hornets with another five missed serves. ML also delivered six aces in that set. Still it was 21 all before ML closed out in set two.
|EARNED PER SET||16||16.5|
|FIRST BALL KILLS||12||13|
|LEADING SCORER||Katie Goelz 10||Kat Warpinski 11|
GAME 3: STEWARTVILLE 2, STILLWATER 0 (25-10, 25-16)
Erin Lamb, the 6-3 junior middle for Stewartville who has verballed Kentucky, reached the 1000 kill mark with her fourth kill in the first set making it 17-6 as the Tigers roared to victory over the Ponies in pool play. Stillwater’s Maddie Whittington, who is headed to Illinois, was unable to play due to back issues. She is expected to be ready for playoffs this week. Without her Stillwater had the lowest earned points per set with six.
|EARNED PER SET||20||6|
|FIRST BALL KILLS||11||8|
|LEADING SCORER||Erin Lamb 11.5||Sydney DeJarnett & Lauren Riniker 4|
GAME 4: EAGAN 2, CHAMPLIN PARK 0 (26-24, 25-13)
In a rematch of last year’s AAA championship game Eagan swept Champlin Park in the semis. The unbeaten Wildcats, who have lost only six sets this year, dodged a close call in the first set. CP trailed 23-19 and inched ahead 24-23 after five straight points capped by a kill by Ellie Schmidt. Sienna Ifill held off set point for Eagan with a kill. Kennedi Orr closed the scoring with a kill. CP had more earned points (18-13) in the first set. Eagan did not allow any give away points in the second and broke free with a 10-1 run (22-11). Orr had seven kills in this set, tied for the most I charted during the day.
|EARNED PER SET||16||15.5|
|FIRST BALL KILLS||5||13|
|LEADING SCORER||Kennedi Orr 11||Jordan Stalpes 10|
GAME 5: EAGAN 2, CHASKA 0 (25-15, 25-12)
Three on a match is tough even at home. After bumping off Mayer Lutheran and Stewartville, Eagan proved to be too much of an obstacle to overcome for the Hawks. One factor that makes Eagan so formidable is they don’t beat themselves. They had three giveaway points in each set. For this match they also slammed the door on Chaska with a side out percentage of .793 (23/29). Chaska was at .458 (22/48). In the first set Eagan scored six in a row to make it 8-3. The first three points in that run were on Chaska errors. Chaska had more first ball kills in that set (9-4) but they also provided Eagan with 12 points on errors. Eagan did earn 20 points in the second set and again had the first run of four to go up 9-4. The Wildcats tacked on two more runs of five (20-10) and four (24-11). Chaska was led by the big swing of sophomore outside hitter Mallory Heyer with seven kills, all in first ball situations.