Chaska's Brier Ziemer couldn't get enough of a hand on the ball to keep it in play during the Hawks' 3-0 victory over St. Louis Park. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Chaska sophomore Avery Roenberg (4) watches her tip shot fall for a point. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Playing past the third set remains uncharted territory for Chaska this season.
One outcome was a loss last week at the hands of St. Michael-Albertville, ranked No. 8 in the Class 3A coaches’ poll, but it has otherwise been smooth soaring for the Hawks, as they’ve won all other matches they’ve played in straight sets this fall.
The sweep streak continued Thursday as Chaska (6-1, 6-0) kept its lead atop the Metro West Conference standings with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 defeat of St. Louis Park (4-3, 4-2) at home.
“We’re working on attitude,” said Chaska coach Sue Murphy. “Since we lost to STMA 0-3, we came back to our house and said ‘that’s how we’re going to dominate from now on.’”
The Hawks barely finished above .500 in 2019 at 17-14 but went 6-0 in conference play to claim their second Metro West title since the conference was established in 2014. They also surged late in the season, nearly making the state tournament before a 3-2 loss to Minnetonka in the section finals.
There’s no state tournament scheduled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. But the No. 10-3A Hawks can take some solace in Thursday’s win over a 2019 state tourney squad. This fall, St. Louis Park returned much of its roster from a team that went 25-8 a year ago.
Chaska kept its unbeaten conference record alive with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 triumph against visiting St. Louis Park on Thursday evening.
Six service aces, four of which came from senior libero Brier Ziemer, propelled the Hawks (6-1, 6-0) to victory in the first set. A 19-11 Chaska lead was trimmed to 21-18 by the Orioles, but the Hawks staved off the comeback to clinch the set.
Chaska, ranked No. 10 in the Class 3A coaches’ poll, got off to a 4-0 start to the second set only for St. Louis Park (4-3, 4-2) to respond with four points of its own. St. Louis Park led 19-18 before a 7-0 run by Chaska flipped the script.
Little separation was made again in the third, though Chaska never trailed and took the third set to claim its straight-set victory.
Chaska had a balanced attack, with senior middle blocker Hanna Thompson recording 12 kills, followed by 10 for junior outside hitter Mallory Heyer, a University of Minnesota basketball commit.
Middle hitter Raegan Alexander and outside hitter Hannah Howell, both seniors, led St. Louis Park with five kills apiece.
The Hawks keep their lead in the Metro West Conference standings after winning the title in 2019. St. Louis Park, which had a Class 3A state tourney berth a year ago, is third in the standings.
Chaska's Avery Roenberg went to the floor to keep a ball in play. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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