St. Michael-Albertville's Emma VanHeel (9) had this shot blocked by Champlin Park's Hannah Prasky. But VanHeel and the Knights held off the Rebels in five sets. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
It wasn’t the start coach Tammy Cornillez was looking for, as her St. Michael Albertville squad found themselves in a 20-7 hole to start the opening set Tuesday at Wayzata High School.
The Knights went on to lose the set 25-10. Then St. Michael-Albertville shook off its slow start, jumping to a 14-11 lead in the second set, pushing the Rebels to match point before losing it 26-28.
Despite being down 2-0, St. Michael-Albertville wasn’t defeated and knew it had more.
“The whole time, I don’t think anybody felt like we were going to lose,” said Knights outside hitter Mikala Henderson. “There was never the mindset that we are going to lose by being down two sets.”
It was that mindset that helped the Knights rally to win the final three sets in their 10-25, 26-28, 25-21, 27-25, 15-10 win over Champlin Park in a Class 3A, Section 5 semifinal thriller.
The Knights' Mikala Henderson (10) put a kill shot past Champlin Park's Sami Hilley (2) and Ellie Schmidt (11). Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
St. Michael Albertville rallied from being down two sets to defeat Champlin Park 10-25, 26-28, 25-21, 27-25, 15-10 in a Class 3A, Section 5 semifinal thriller Tuesday night at Wayzata High School.
It was a slow start for the Knights, who trailed 20-7 to open play in the first set. After recording just 10 points in the opening set, the second was more competitive with the third-seeded Rebels fighting off two set points before taking a seemingly decisive 2-0 lead.
After grabbing the third set, the teams battled back and fourth in the fourth, then St. Michael-Albertville (24-6) claimed the set win after fending off a Champlin Park (20-10) match point.
St. Michael Albertville seemed to have all the momentum in the final set, and never trailed in the 15-10 win.
Mikala Henderson, who had 12 kills, and Emma VanHeel led the offensive charge for the second-seeded Knights, en route to taking down the defending Class 3A champions.
The Rebels, who were led by seniors Jordan Stalpes and Hannah Prasky, saw their streak of five consecutive state tournament berths come to an end.
Champlin Park freshman Marlie Hanson (4) attempted a kill against St. Michael-Albertville. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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