Minnetonka middle hitter Sonia Dahlin (9) went up for a hit as Eagan setter Kennedi Orr (2) attempted a block in the first set Friday. Photo: Shari L. Gross • firstname.lastname@example.org
This was a test Eagan rarely faced this season. At least, not outside its own gym.
The No. 1-seeded Wildcats were taken to the limit by determined Minnetonka in a Class 3A semifinal Friday, eventually pulling out a five-set 22-25, 28-26, 25-27, 25-18, 15-13 victory.
It was just the second time this season the undefeated Wildcats had a match go to five sets. In fact, Minnetonka’s two set-victories were the first two Eagan had lost since early October.
“It was a battle,” Eagan coach Kathy Gillen said. “Every ball was contested. Our hitters usually swing and score more easily, but Minnetonka kept every ball alive.”
Minnetonka won the first set 25-22 thanks to its defense and strong play from frontliners Skyler Germann and Kali Engeman.
Eagan (31-0) was on the verge of losing the second set as well, but the Wildcats saved three set-points en route to a 28-26 victory.
Having played few tight matches all season, Eagan (30-0) leaned on its regular intense rallies in practice to guide them through the rough patches.
Eagan survived a five-set battle to defeat Minnetonka in the Class 3A semifinals, 22-25, 28-26, 25-27, 25-18, 15-13.
It was just the second five-set match the Wildcats had played all year.
Eagan (31-0) advances to play Saturday in the championship game against the winner of the North St. Paul-Wayzata semifinal.
Check back later for more on the match.