By HEATHER RULE, Special to the Star Tribune, 11/10/17, 6:30PM CST
The Irish are set to defend their Class 2A championship on Saturday.
Maple Lake's Mollie Scheiber (7) dove to save the ball from going out of bounds. Photo: Anthony Souffle * firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Gallery: Maple Lake vs. Academy of Holy Angels
Maple Lake didn’t have much of a game plan going into its Class 1A semifinal on Friday, according to coach Mary Kiebel. But whatever the Irish do seems to work.
“I think it’s really cool how we’re 35-0, and tomorrow we have a chance to be 36-0,” senior Amber Klug said. She spent some time researching records for teams that had accomplished the feat. “I honestly hope that we’re one of them,” she said.
The Irish will try for back-to-back state titles after their 25-15, 26-24, 25-11 sweep of Holy Angels.
In the second set, the Irish showed why they have won 43 consecutive matches going back to last year. They were down 16-10 before rallying with a 9-0 run. Holy Angels tried to come back late in the set but couldn’t stop the Irish from taking a commanding 2-0 lead.
Maple Lake scattered aces throughout the match, especially in the third set. Senior Brynn Paumen led with 11 kills. Klug added 10 digs and five kills.
“We had a tough serve,” Kiebel said.
The Stars (28-4) were held to a .019 hit percentage and registered just 21 kills for the match, led by Ellie Koontz with seven.
In the latest Talking Preps podcast, staff writers David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen ruminate about a memorable championship Saturday of volleyball, football semifinal match-ups at U.S. Bank Stadium and the start of two anniversary seasons of hockey.