WAYZATA 3, ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE 0
(25-19, 28-26, 25-13)
For the first time since 2010, Wayzata is headed back to the AAA state tournament. The #1 seeded Trojans swept new Lake Conference addition St. Michael-Albertville in the 5AAA title game at Osseo. The #2 seeded Knights had dethroned defending AAA champ Champlin Park in the semis. That also ended a string of five straight 5AAA titles for the Rebels. This was the third time this season the 28-3 Trojans beat STMA who finished at 24-7. Wayzata outlasted STMA on the road during their conference match that lasted five sets. About a month later the Trojans again traveled to STMA for their tournament and beat the hosts in the semis in two.
At the start of set one Wayzata was the recipient of seven gift wrapped errors in their first seven points. The Trojans did not earn their own point until Kate Long got a kill which gave Wayzata an 8-7 advantage. It is true Wayzata did get a block with Olivia Johnson on point five, but with a block comes a hitting error. Wayzata broke free with their second run of the set on a four point bumpt to make it 17-13. Sophie Jesewitz was at the service line and capped the run with two straight aces. STMA took their only time out after an ace by Avery Seez made it 22-17. STMA got the ball back on a tip kill by Liv Carel followed by a block by Mikala Henderson. That was as close as the Knights would get the rest of the set. Despite out earning Wayzata 13-12 and delivering more kills 12-6 in the opening set the Trojans prevailed.
The second set was the most dramatic. There were four lead changes after 20. STMA held off set point twice while Wayzata had their back to the ball once on set point. The key difference in this set was the hitting game for the Trojans rectified their slow offensive start in the first set and began to connect. They dominated the earned point game 23-13 which also was reflected in the kill totals 20-9. Kate Long matched her uniform number with eight kills in the set, seven of which came on first swing kills. Wayzata had a sequence with five straight first swing kills. This came after their first run of four gave them a healthy 8-4 cushion. In that run of five straight FBSO kills, Wayzata negated that advantage with three straight missed serves. That kept the Knights hanging around. STMA called their first time out trailing 16-13. Wayzata was forced to call time clinging to a 19-18 lead after the first STMA three point run of the night. After a Long side out kill STMA tacked on another run of three to take a 21-20 lead with a kill by Henderson. After holding off set point at 24-23, STMA had one more hold at 25-24 with two straight Wayzata errors via a missed serve and a hitting error put the Trojans on the brink. It was Long to the rescue with a first swing kill to tie it at 26. There was an overpass kill by #25 (not listed in program) after an errant ball by STMA . #25 and Long came up with a block to end the set.
Henderson helped STMA to a 4-2 lead with two kills, but she wasn’t able to garner much help after that. Wayzata exploded with a 10-1 push off of Elizabeth Helmich & Jesewitz’s services. Two straight aces, one a rotation ace forced STMA into a time out. But the Knights offense could not find the holes in the Wayzata defense as they did in the first two sets. They only earned nine points. Wayzata also cut back on their error totals in the final frame dropping from 13 in the second set (mainly due to missed serves) to only four.
This will be Wayzata’s sixth state tournament appearance. Their last two appearances in 2009 and 2010 came with runner up finishes.
Wayzata has size. Five players are listed at 6-2 or bigger.
Is it coincidence that Wayzata scored 78 points? It is the same year I graduated from Wayzata.
STMA served first in sets one & three. In set three Cyn Henderson and Sophie Fritz flipped spots.
|6||9||Emma Van Heel||11||MH||6-0||0||0.5||4||4.5|
|EARNED PER SET||16.67||11.67|
|FIRST BALL KILLS||22||11|
|TOP FB KILLS||Kate Long 10||Mikala Henderson 8|