Photo by SportsEngine
It was a rubber match with more on the line than simply a winning record against the other.
The winner would be in the driver’s seat for the South Suburban Conference title, while the other faced work to do just to claim a share of the crown.
Both Eagan and Shakopee had mirroring success throughout 2021 to climb inside the top three in the Class 4A coaches’ poll in advance of Wednesday’s match.
No. 2 Eagan (17-3, 8-0) picked up where it left off a few weeks ago to earn a sweep by scores of 25-20, 25-12 and 25-19 over No. 3 Shakopee (18-5, 8-2). It clinched at least a share of the conference with tiebreaker advantages also on its side.
“I think it’s absolutely harder to play them for the third time,” Eagan senior right side hitter Sienna Ifill said. “The first time it’s brand new, the second time one team has something to prove, then that third match I think is mentally definitely the hardest. It’s a real battle.”
With a win against a fellow state heavyweight, Eagan clinched at least a share of the South Suburban Conference title with a home sweep against Shakopee.
The Wildcats (17-3, 8-0), ranked No. 2 in the Oct. 10 Class 4A coaches’ poll, cleaned up early first-set mistakes to dispatch the No. 3-4A Sabers (18-5, 8-2) 25-20, 25-12, 25-19.
In the first set, the Wildcats fell behind 7-4 before mounting a 12-2 run. Shakopee was held without a kill until senior setter Kate Cordes cut the Sabers’ deficit to 19-10.
The Wildcats spread the ball around well and had seven different players record a kill in a 25-12 second set win. Senior rightside hitter Sienna Ifill led Eagan with 12 kills in the match.
Shakopee led 13-11 in the third with senior middle blocker Maddie Lipetzky doing damage. Five of her team-high 11 kills came in the set. Eagan responded with a 6-0 run to put the set and match out of reach with a 25-19 closing score.
Eagan can win the conference outright with a win Monday at Apple Valley (0-7) or a Prior Lake (7-1) loss Tuesday vs. Lakeville North (4-4).
MN Volleyball Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.