Southwest Christian coach Greg Sayuk said he doesn't keep score in his friendly rivalry with Belle Plaine coach Rich Foust. But he does have a sense that he's got a little catching up to do.
Sayuk and Foust, rivals as players in a men's league as well as coaches in the Minnesota River Conference, pit their Class 2A top 10-ranked teams in Thursday's contest at Belle Plaine.
And, if Sayuk does have some catching up to do, it's mostly in his men's league because the high school teams have been evenly matched. Southwest Christian has won six of its 13 matches against Belle Plaine since 2011.
The No. 7-2A Stars (4-2, 1-0) are a veteran team, but feature an emerging standout in outside hitter Estelle Haugen. The sophomore pairs with four-year starter Mackenzie Close, a senior and all-conference selection last year who plays all three front positions. Marissa Agrimson, a third-year varsity player, is in her first season as the libero, and junior Felicia Luther is a second-year starter playing her first season at setter.
Belle Plaine (2-2, 2-0) is led by senior Mikayla Koops in kills (46), service aces (4) and blocks (4). Juniors Sarah Lenz (109 set assists) and Lauren Johnson (44 digs) are other top players for the No. 6-2A Tigers.