BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Both area volleyball teams could not have asked for much more when the section seeds were passed out, adding the important component of home court.
Delano is the No. 2 seed in the Class 3A, Section 2 tournament, considered one of the toughest in the state. The 25-3 Tigers won its last 10 matches to claim the title in the Wright County Conference.
The team will be at home for the first two rounds, starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 against either Hutchinson or Mankato-West. A win puts Delano into the semifinals where No. 3 seed Prior Lake (23-5) is expected to be. The title game is 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29 at a site to be determined. The top seed is Chaska (21-1), ranked No. 1 in the state. Buffalo is the No. 4 seed.
“We were ecstatic about the No. 2 seed,” says coach Rebecca Rue. “We knew we potentially had a shot at it, but it definitely was not a lock. I think our championship win at the STMA Tournament, along with our ranking in the coaches’ poll gave us the edge over Prior Lake.”
Rue said all matches here on out are going to be battles. For example, Mankato West only has two losses and is the No. 7 seed. Delano won the league title with a three-game sweep over Hutchinson last week.
“Winning the conference was a priority that this group of ladies had from the get go,” adds Rue. “I’m proud that they stayed focus night in and night out and accomplished this goal. Here down the stretch we are playing our best volleyball of the season. Hopefully into section play we can keep it up.”
Rockford compiled a losing record of 6-17, yet received the No. 3 seed in the South sub-section in the 5AA tournament. Voters must have notice how the Rockets were competitive in most matches and played some tough opponents.
“We were very excited about getting the No. 3 seed,” said coach Jen Stoa. “I was expecting to receive the fourth or fifth seed, so three was a bit of a surprise. It speaks highly of our team that the coaches in our sub-section ranked us highly. They recognize that we are a good team even though our record doesn’t show that.”
The Rockets open tourney play at home, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 against No. 6 Providence Academy. The winner is expected to play at No. 2 DeLaSalle, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29. The sub-section title game is 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at St. Michael-Albertville, the site of the section title game, 7 p.m. Nov. 2.
Rockford finished the regular season with a 3-1 victory against Holdingford. Stoa said the win was truly a team effort.
Senior Jordan Weeding broke the school record for single season kills at 285. The record was set in 1999 by Sara Brinkman with 240 kills.