The setup was perfect. All it took was some grit to get the job done.
Plenty was at stake when Lakeville South, ranked No. 3 in the Class 3A coaches’ poll, hosted No. 2-3A Lakeville North. It was a rivalry match, with South Suburban Conference and section implications — not to mention pride, with a large, rowdy crowd on hand Tuesday at Lakeville South High School. The Cougars dropped the first set, and a chance to close it out in the fourth, but prevailed in the final set to win 3-2.
“We just stuck together as a team, which was really nice,” Lakeville South senior captain Jasmine Mulvihill said. “We just united really well, which makes us really close.”
In a night set up for plenty of drama and excitement, Lakeville South’s Tuesday win over rival and South Suburban Conference foe Lakeville North delivered.
The Cougars saw the Panthers claw their way back to force a fifth set, which the Cougars, ranked No. 3 in the Class 3A coaches’ poll, finished on a 7-0 run in a 26-28, 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 15-10 win over the No. 2-3A Panthers.
The whole match was close. In the final set, Lakeville South (7-1, 1-0) was down 10-8 before taking a timeout and finishing a 7-0 run to win the match.
The first set was played within four points throughout. The Cougars trailed 18-14, but came back to lead, and had four different set points before Lakeville North got the final three points to win 28-26.
Lakeville South responded with three different four-point leads in the second, only to see the Panthers (7-2, 0-1) creep back each time. The Panthers tied the set 18-all, but the Cougars finished on a 7-1 run to tie the match at one apiece.
Lakeville North led most of the third set, and was up 17-15, but Lakeville South closed on a 10-3 run, with a Jasmine Mulvihill kill on set point, putting the Cougars up 2-1 entering the fourth set.
Lakeville South had led 17-13 lead in the fourth and could have clinched, but the Panthers came back on a 7-3 run, with a service error by the Cougars forcing the deciding set.
Mulvihill had a team-high 19 kills for Lakeville South, while Jasmine Weidemann had 37 assists. Carlee Gonzalez added 11 kills.
The Panthers were led by Elizabeth Juhnke and Macy Winter, with each earning 16 kills. Amelia Wherland had 39 assists.
The MN Volleyball Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.