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December 4, 2021

11/19/2021 2:05:00 PM
Wildcats win a consolation round; finish sixth at state tournament

Wildcat Head Coach Hannah Lindstrom said going into the state volleyball tournament that her team just wanted to enjoy the events, play good volleyball and watch good volleyball.

They ended up doing much more than that, including putting a scare in third ranked New Prague, beating Sauk Rapids-Rice and playing all three days at the Xcel Energy Center.

The ‘Cats were unseeded heading into the tournament and despite falling behind 6-0 in their first set of the tourney to New Prague, they battled back to claim the first set from the Trojans 25-20, putting a bit of a scare in the third-seeded squad from down south.

However, New Prague showed why they were a top-three seed heading into the tournament by claiming the next three sets 25-17, 25-19 and 25-11 and sending the ‘Cats to the consolation round. The Trojans would go on to lose to Kasson Mantorville in the semifinals, but beat Grand Rapids in the third place match.

Ashley Peltier led the ‘Cats with 16 kills and Kalley Vugteveen had 11. Mikayla Grandaw had 30 assists for CL.

In the first round of the consolation semifinals, the ‘Cats drew Sauk Rapids-Rice. The Storm had fallen to Kasson Mantorville 3-1 in the first round.

Chisago Lakes had a rocky start to their Friday night match, going down 6-1 and trying to battle back the whole set before falling 25-23, but they eventually got it together and hammered the Storm over the next three sets. The ‘Cats won 25-17, 25-22, 25-19, and the last two sets weren’t as close as the final score indicated.

Peltier, Vugteveen and Abby Zins formed an intimidating attacking trio and combined for 54 kills, with Peltier hammering 26 of them.

Grandaw was on point with her passes in this one, collecting an amazing 55 assists.

Lauryn Friedner added eight kills and two aces. Avery Dresel and Peltier also had two aces a piece.

In the consolation championship, Chisago Lakes ran into a familiar foe in Monticello. The Magic, who are in the Mississippi 8 Conference, had fallen to Grand Rapids in the first round before beating St. Paul Highland Park in the consolation semis.

The ‘Cats got out to a fast start against Monticello, a team they lost to in the regular season. They went up 7-0 on a nice serving run by Dresel that kept the Magic out of system. Monticello eventually clawed back to get to 15-14, but when you chase all game, it’s hard to keep that pace up. CL ran off the next five points to go up 20-14. They ended the first set not long after, winning 25-19.

Monticello, who was seeded fourth coming into the tournament, regrouped for the second set though and got CL, winning 25-15. They kept their momentum up in the third and fourth sets, and it kept CL on their heels struggling. The Magic won the sets by matching 25-17 scores to end CL’s state tournament bid with a 1-2 record and sixth place finish.

Many of the main contributors of this team will be gone next year due to graduation. Peltier, Grandaw, Vugteveen, Friedner, and Dresel are all starters who played their last volleyball game for the ‘Cats, and bench depth Megan McGreary, Austyn Stilp, Isabella Adams, Allison Gregory and Kylie Carlson are also seniors. All of them will be sorely missed as the ‘Cats will hope to build on this season’s success.

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