Minneota vs. Canby

4:45 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14

A victory in this game would be nothing short of monumental for Canby.

The Lancers (19-3, 3-0 Camden South) have been sacrificial lambs for Minneota the past several seasons, eliminated by the Vikings in each of the past three Class A, Section 3 tournaments. But Canby has put together a team this season that can give No. 2-1A Minneota a real push.

The Lancers, No. 3-1A, have played their rival once already this season, losing 2-1 in the Class AA Showcase tournament on Sept. 25. But this game, which counts in the conference race, and more importantly a potential matchup in the Section 3 tournament have infinitely more value to the Canby squad.

Minneota (17-3, 2-0), which won state titles in 2006 and 2018 and appeared in seven of the past 10 state tournaments, has put yet another strong team on the court in 2021. Seniors Natalee Rolbiecki and McKenna Yost lead a team that has lost only three games, two to No. 1-1A Mayer Lutheran and one to No. 1-4A Wayzata, out of 20.

The Vikings beat Canby 3-0 in the 2019 Section 3 semifinals and 3-0 in the 2017 semifinals. Minneota eliminated Canby in the 2018 quarterfinals. 

But this year's Lancers, led by 2020 all-state selection Maya Wente (171 kills, 38 blocks), might not go down so easily. Sisters Gabrielle Harding (124 kills, 102 digs) and Rachel Harding (174 assists) and junior setter Paige Nelson (252 assists, 42 service aces) provide plenty of help.