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Undefeated Eagan holds off Minnetonka in five sets

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 11/08/19, 11:00AM CST


The Wildcats took the fifth set 15-13 to defeat the upset-minded Skippers, who were making their first state tournament appearance since 1976.

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 • shari.gross@startribune.com

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.

First report

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.

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