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Minneota wins second consecutive 1A championship

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 11/09/19, 4:15PM CST


The Vikings defeated Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in three sets.

Minneota players celebrated their Class 1A championship victory over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown with their first-place trophy. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

The ball was, more often than not, right where the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown hitters wanted it. They’d leap, swing their arms and hit balls that, for most of the season, would the smack the floor on the other side of the net with a resounding thud.

Only this time, those balls were coming back at them.

Minneota, the defending champs, employed a remarkably air-tight defense, augmented by a full-bore attack, to defeat No. 2-seeded W-E-M 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 on Saturday to take its second consecutive state championship at Xcel Energy Center.

“They played phenomenal defense,” Buccaneers coach Crystal Lamont said. “They were the best defensive team we’ve played all season.

Minneota (33-3) is led by two dynamic hitters in sophomore Natalie Rolbiecki and junior Abby Hennen. But the Vikings preach defense first, and it was that stonewall defense that led to their victory.

They had 90 digs as a team and put up a block at the net that routinely stymied the W-E-M hitters.

First report

Minneota won its second consecutive Class 1A championship with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

Abby Hennen had 15 kills, Natalie Rolbiecki 14 and Morgan Hennen 10 for the Vikings, who were the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Toryn Richards had 10 kills and Trista Hering 9 kills and 5 blocks for the Buccaneers.

Check back later for more on the match.

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