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High school boys' volleyball ends season with Andover on top again

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 06/17/21, 11:00PM CDT


An estimated 400 fans turned out for the finals of a state tournament that lacks official sanction as a high school sport.

Andover players celebrated after winning the boys' volleyball state tournament with a victory over Eden Prairie. The sport is played outside the purview of the Minnesota State High School League. Photo courtesy Shelly Deegan Johnson

Supporters of boys’ volleyball lost their bid to get Minnesota State High School League sanction earlier this spring but the sport's enthusiastic backing was evident Thursday at Shakopee High School.

Andover shook off a first-set loss, then leaned on a potent offensive attack to defeat Eden Prairie 25-27, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 in the championship match of the second boys’ volleyball state tournament. The final was played before a rowdy crowd estimated at more than 400 fans.

Tournament officials said many more fans had come and gone throughout the day, including Gov. Tim Walz, who was in attendance in the morning. Walz’s son plays boys’ volleyball.

“This is what it’s all about,” said Krista Flemming, director, vice president and coordinator of Minnesota Boys Volleyball. “The kids deserve this kind of support.”

It was the second state championship for Andover, which also won the inaugural state tournament in 2019.

Senior Tommy Kelly, the Huskies' dynamic outside hitter, said this victory was special.

“This year, I’m surrounded by people I’ve grown up with instead of people older than me,” Kelly said. “To win with my close friends is an unreal experience.”

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