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Top Games: Champlin Park, Prior Lake tussle in heavyweight bout

By Tim Kolehmainen, SportsEngine, 08/28/17, 5:45PM CDT


Aug. 31: The Rebels welcome the Lakers for a clash between teams boasting top-5 rankings in Class 3A.

The Rebels were runner-up in Class 3A in 2016 and are poised to be postseason contenders again this season, but first, they must go through the Lakers. Photo by Alex Conover, SportsEngine

Prior Lake and Champlin Park have more than a few things in common this volleyball season.

In each of the last two years, they’ve advanced to the Class 3A state tournament and returned home with hardware. Each has finished as runner-up to Eagan in the championship match (Prior Lake in 2015, Champlin Park in 2016).

And each is ranked among the top five teams in the Class 3A coaches' poll this fall, even though graduation losses could have bumped them from that perch.

It’s a testament to the deep programs built under Prior Lake coach Mike Dean and Champlin Park’s John Yunker that they’ve managed to reload instead of rebuild.

This Thursday, they play at Champlin Park in one of the premier heavyweight matches of the early season, making it a great choice for our pick for the Top Game of the Week.

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