The Southwest Christian volleyball team showed it was worthy of the No. 1 ranking in Class 1A with a convincing victory over Faribault’s Bethlehem Academy on Sept. 10. The Stars swept the Cardinals 25-16, 25-16, 25-16 in a rematch of the 2012 Class 1A state championship match, which was won by Bethlehem Academy. The victory, Southwest Christian coach Greg Sayuk said, was less about revenge than validating what the Stars are putting together this season.
“This is the eighth season in a row that we’ve played them, so it’s become a nice rivalry,” Sayuk said. “I don’t think the finals last year had anything to do with how we played. It was two top-10 teams, so it was a marquee matchup. Our girls get amped up every time we play them.”
Each set was close early on, Sayuk said, but Southwest Christian put together a run at the end to close them out.
“Our game plan worked how we wanted it to,” he said. “We just always seemed to pull away at the end.”
Southwest Christian will host one of the biggest volleyball tournaments of the season — the Minnesota Class 1A and 2A Showcase — on Friday and Saturday at the Midwest Volleyball Warehouse in Burnsville. It features 32 of the state’s best small-school teams — 16 in Class 2A, 16 in Class 1A. Pool play begins Friday with the championship brackets on Saturday.
Millers get big victory
Minneapolis Washburn boys’ soccer solidified its position as one of the state’s top 1A teams and emerged from a large shadow at the same time with its 1-0 victory over Minneapolis Southwest on Thursday.
The Millers won on Kilian Morales Coskran’s second-half goal while goalkeeper Kaio Ferreiro made six saves to keep the shutout intact.
“Our program has grown by leaps and bounds, both in number of players and quality of play” coach Aaron Percy, a former Washburn player, wrote in an e-mail. “That was our first regular season victory over them in 20 years.”
In the most current set of state coaches association rankings, Washburn is No. 3 in Class 1A while Southwest is No. 3 in Class 2A.
Big tennis meet Saturday
The Edina Invitational, traditionally the best girls’ tennis tournament of the season, is set for Saturday. Lakeville North, Minnetonka, Mounds View, Rochester Century, Rochester Mayo, Wayzata and Edina will compete. The finals will be at about 2 p.m. at the Edina Community Center.
Jim Paulsen • 612-673-7737