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Experienced Eagan defeats Stillwater in four sets

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 11/09/18, 12:30PM CST

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The Wildcats will play in their sixth consecutive Class 3A championship match.


Christine Jurgens (15) of Eagan tips the ball in the match against Stillwater.. Photo: LEILA NAVIDI ¥ leila.navidi@startribune.com

It all came down to experience.

Eagan had been there before and had a wealth of state tournament familiarity. Stillwater? The Ponies were frisky, but just didn’t have the background to draw upon as Eagan prevailed in two nail-biting sets and went on to win 21-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-15 in the Class 3A semifinals on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

“I’d like to think that being in this atmosphere helps us to not get rattled,” said Eagan coach Kathy Gillen, whose team was making its sixth consecutive appearance in the semifinals, all of which ended in victory. “You know the level of play is going to get better and better and that’s what we’ve come to expect.”

Stillwater, playing airtight defense, rallied from a four-point deficit by scoring 12 of the last 16 points to take the first set 25-21.

“We just couldn’t put the ball down,” Gillen said. “It made for a lot of long rallies. They were getting up some balls I thought were amazing.”

First report

Eagan took control in the fourth set to defeat Stillwater 21-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-15 to advance to the Class 3A championship match for the sixth consecutive season.

The Wildcats dropped the first set, losing 12 of the final 16 points, but rallied to win tight second and third sets.

Check back later for more on the match,

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First Report

Eagan took control in the fourth set to defeat Stillwater 21-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-15 to advance to the Class 3A championship match for the sixth straight season.

The Wildcats dropped the first set, losing 12 of the final 16 points, but rallied to win tight second and third sets.

Volleyball Hub Headlines

  • Star Tribune Talking Preps fall podcast: Episode 12

  • By Star Tribune 11/14/2018, 1:00pm CST
  • 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.
  • Read More