Vikings fifth at Marshall in huge challenge PDF Print E-mail

The Minneota Vikings, ranked No. 1 in Class A, faced the top-ranked team in Class AAA in its first match Saturday and the No. 1 team in Class AA in its next match.The Vikings opened the second day of competitionday against Lakeville North and lost in straight sets (25-20, 25-17) but put up a respectable showing against the powerful Panthers squad.
Minneota head coach Stephanie Hennen said the Vikings had beaten the Panthers in the tournament the last three years, but this time Lakeville North was just too much for the Vikings, who suffered their first loss of the season.
"We played hard but they were a very good team," said senior Haylee Davis.
Things didn't get much easier for Minneota in its next match, as the Vikings went up against Class AA's top team in Hutchinson. This time, Minneota proved to be the best No. 1, as the Vikings won 25-23, 20-25, 15-13. Back-to-back blocks by Sara Maeyaert sealed the third-set win.
In the fifth-place match, Minneota faced Andover, a Class AAA team. The Vikings won the first set 25-17 before falling behind 24-14 in the second set. Minneota battled hard to stay in the set, winning eight-straight points, but fell 25-22. The Vikings held the lead throughout the third set on their way to a 15-11 win to seal the match.
Ashlynn Muhl led Minneota with 23 kills Saturday. Taya Kockelman had 58 set assists to go with 26 digs. Libero Kelsey Hennen had a strong day defensively with 55 digs over the three matches, while Maeyaert stepped up with nine ace blocks at the net.
Stephanie Hennen said her team had a fun time seeing what they could do against some of the top teams from larger schools.
"We love this tournament and being able to play and compete with teams that are big," she said. "That's a great experience for our team."