Volleyball teams open playoffs with victories

Delano falls in second round

BY DAVID PEDERSEN

Both Rockford and Delano opened their respective section volleyball tournaments with victories.

Delano defeated Mankato East 3-0 to open the Class 3A, Section 2 tournament last week. The Tigers advanced to face Shakopee Saturday, losing 3-1 to end the season.

Rockford’s Erin Gerard (left) and Katelynn Pedersen of Rockford go up to block a kill attempt. (Photo by Bill Decker)

Rockford’s Erin Gerard (left) and Katelynn Pedersen of Rockford go up to block a kill attempt. (Photo by Bill Decker)

Rockford dominated Providence Academy 3-0 in the Section 5AA tourney, advancing to face No. 2 seed Zimmerman Tuesday, after this issue went to press. The remaining rounds are Nov. 1 and 3 at Rockford.

The Rockets improved to 7-18 with the win over Providence Academy. Ellen Paatela had eight kills and five ace serves. Jordan Wedding also had eight kills with three blocks and nine digs.

Lexi Majeski contributed six blocks, Nicole Friedlein led with 11 digs and Kaylee Schumacher led with 11 set assists to go with five ace serves. Jaclyn Bagasson added eight set assists.

Delano was led against Mankato East by Shelly Seurer with 14 kills, three blocks and six digs. Amanda Hanson and Bridget Pinoniemi both had five kills. Elle Heinonen led with eight digs and Kristin Kreklow had 28 set assists.

Delano middle hitter Jordan Meyer (2) was often asked to block against the opposing team’s top hitter. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Delano middle hitter Jordan Meyer (2) was often asked to block against the opposing team’s top hitter. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Against Shokopee, Delano won the first game 25-19 before losing the next three 25-16, 25-17 and 25-17.

“We came out strong in set one, passing very well,” said Delano coach Rebecca Rue. “We did an excellent job of not allowing Shakopee to earn big runs of points that set.”

Rue said in the next three sets the team’s serve receive struggled a bit and Shakopee capitalized with big runs of points.

“They are a good team, were defensively scrappy and offensively they did a good job of seeing what was open,” adds the coach.

Seurer was strong at the net with 23 kills and had 12 digs. Amanda Hanson had 15 kills and 11 digs. Heinonen led with 20 digs, Tori Hanson added 13 and Pinoniemi had 12. Kreklow provided 40 set assists and 12 digs.

“Although we lost to Shakopee, these ladies ended with a very successful season, especially with all the injuries that took place,” said Rue. “I am very proud of how they kept their composure throughout the season. We finished second in the conference with a 9-1 record.”

Rue adds how the schedule was a bit tougher this season, facing 20 AAA teams compared to 15 last year. The Tigers still earned 22 wins.

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