Minneota's Abby Hennen keeps a rally alive against Medford during the Breakdown Sports Side Out Classic at Edina High School. The Vikings defeated the Tigers 25-15, 25-16, 25-18. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Minneota's Natalee Rolbiecki taps a shot over the Medford defense during the Breakdown Sports Side Out Classic at Edina High School. The Vikings defeated the Tigers in straight sets. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Minneota opened the new season and the defense of its 2018 Class 1A state championship with a statement. And the statement was clear: The Vikings are poised to defend their title.
The rematch of last year's state title game, which came in Breakdown Sports’ Side Out Classic hosted at Edina High School on Saturday, produced a carbon-copy match in which the Vikings swept Medford 25-15, 25-16, 25-18.
"We lost a lot of seniors that were key players last year, so we have worked hard to get back there this year," said Minneota senior right-side hitter Morgan Hennen. "A lot people think that, because we lost a lot of players — a lot of big players — that we'll be down. But our younger players have stepped up and filled their shoes."
Minneota, ranked No. 4 in the Class 1A preseason coaches’ poll, spread the wealth around on offense as Hennen, her sister Abby, and Natalee Rolbiecki each had 11 kills.
But what was most striking was the efficiency with which the Vikings carved up Medford, making a limited number of errors to win the first set thanks largely to a 10-2 run.
Medford’s Clara Kniefel (4) and Emma Kniefel (8) prepare to go for a block against Minneota during the Breakdown Sports Side Out Classic at Edina High School. The Tigers fell to the Vikings in three sets. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
The MN Volleyball Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.