CMCS to make trip for the 9th time in 10 years
ST. PETER -- There's no stopping Central Minnesota Christian School when it gets a whiff of the state tournament. The Bluejays overcame a shaky start to blow away Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 24-26, 25-15, 25-12 and 25-12 for the Section 2A volleyball t...
ST. PETER -- There's no stopping Central Minnesota Christian School when it gets a whiff of the state tournament.
The Bluejays overcame a shaky start to blow away Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 24-26, 25-15, 25-12 and 25-12 for the Section 2A volleyball title on Saturday night.
It's the third time the Knights saw their state tournament dream crushed by CMCS on the Gustavus Adolphus campus.
Since shifting from Section 3A, the Bluejays are 5-for-5 in 2A finals in the Gusties' gym.
The victory sends the Bluejays to state for the ninth time in 10 years.
The winning team was mobbed at center court by their schoolmates at the end of the match.
"They're as excited as we are," said senior hitter Tara Frikke later. "Our fans are so supportive."
The Prinsburg contingent heads to the Xcel Energy Center for a 1 p.m. match Thursday with Bertha-Hewitt (30-1).
The Bluejays' game was herky-jerky to start, but after losing the first game, the squad found traction with flat serves and smooth passing.
"We were a little scared to start," said Frikke. "But then we worked to speed the game up and start talking more."
Early on, the Knights, who won a school record 19 matches, seemed to match up well with the Bluejays.
CMCS head coach Traci Grussing felt it took some time to get over the nerves which caused the players to "concentrate on themselves instead of the (team game)."
Some big defensive plays, particularly by Jennifer Blom, seemed to ease the anxiety in the second game. Cassie Ulferts and Blom served the Bluejays from 8-8 to a 16-9 lead and the rout was on. Kresson Vreeman jumped served her team to a 5-0 lead to start game three.
Vreeman, who also played on the 2002 CMCS team that eliminated SESM, generated eight ace serves and 15 kills.
Frikke made 10 kills and four ace blocks, Ulferts eight kills and Abby Tebben and Blom six apiece.
Jenna Krzmarzick's 11 kills paced the Knights. Jessie Petzel made 19 digs to extend her school record.
CMCS, now 21-9, placed third at state last year. They have won three state titles under Grussing.
CMCS 3, SE St. Mary's 1
CMCS (21-9)........................................24 25 25 25
Sleepy Eye St. Mary's (16-9).......................26 15 12 12
Central Minnesota Christian
Serving: Moriah Gulbranson 15-15-2, Jenny Blom 13-14-0, Kresson Vreeman 24-26-8, Kaitlyn Link 14-16-2, Rachelle Marcus 5-6-0, Cassie Ulferts 16-19-2 ... Setting: Ulferts 62-62-20, Vreeman 70-71-29 ... Hitting: Gulbranson 1-1-1, Abby Tebben 188-9-6, Kari Mulder 19-22-7, Blom 23-25-6, Tara Frikke 19-20-10, Vreeman 39-42-15, Ulferts 22-25-8 ... Blocking (aces): A. Tebben 2, Mulder 1, Blom 2, Frikke 4, Vreeman 3, Ulferts 1 ... Digs: Gulbranson 21, Blom 19, Vreeman 16, Link 9, Ulferts 7
Sleepy Eye St. Mary's
Serving: Jamime Lilleodden 16-16-0, Shelley Langer 13-13-0 ... Setting (assists): Jenna Krzmarzick 11, Lilleodden 9 ... Hitting (kills): Maria Gangelhoff 7, Langer 6, Crissie Schewe 7 ... Blocking (aces): Schewe 1, Gangelhoff 2 ... Digs: Krzmarzick 14, Jessie Petzel 19