Minneota vs. MACCRAY

7:15 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20

You can forgive Minneota players if they look outside their conference and even section to find the team they most desire to beat. The Vikings (9-1, 0-0) have not lost to a Minnesota team this season and are coming off a second-place finish at the 2021 Class 1A state tournament after losing to Mayer Lutheran in the championship game.

No. 2-1A Minneota appears headed back to the state tournament and a possible rematch against No. 1-1A Mayer Lutheran. But that doesn't mean there aren't land mines in the schedule, and No. 6-1A and Section 3 rival MACCRAY could be one of them.

The Wolverines could be approaching Tuesday's home game against Minneota as a measuring stick. MACCRAY lost twice to Minneota last season before losing to Canby in the Section 3 semifinals. A strong showing against the Vikings could be a confidence-booster for the Wolverines (3-2, 0-0).

MACCRAY, under first-year head coach Tory Brouwer, is built around all-state setter/hitter Sydney Thein, who had 363 kills and 342 assists last season. 

Minneota, attempting to reach the Class A championship game for the fifth consecutive tournament, remains a young squad led by senior Ireland Stassen, juniors Emma Bottelberghe, Ella Johnson and Lyzah Sussner and sophomore Elivia Faris.

The Vikings won the state championship in 2018 and 2019.