Montevideo unseats defending champion BBE

MORRIS -- Montevideo's defense never rested in this court battle Saturday night and when the verdict was read, the Thunder Hawks were sentenced to the Class AA State Volleyball Tournament for the first time.

MORRIS -- Montevideo's defense never rested in this court battle Saturday night and when the verdict was read, the Thunder Hawks were sentenced to the Class AA State Volleyball Tournament for the first time.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, the defending Section 6AA champions, tried to hammer away at Montevideo's solid defense, but couldn't swing the case in their favor this time and the Thunder Hawks prevailed 25-20, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19 before a large crowd in the University of Minnesota-Morris gymnasium.

Montevideo (26-2) will ride a 24-match winning streak into the Class AA state tournament at 5 p.m. Thursday against Pipestone at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Thunder Hawks' tenacious defense was able to minimize a BBE attack that has been one of the best in the area this season with three hitters having over 250 kills and another just under 200.

"We knew (BBE was) a very good hitting team," said Montevideo first-year coach Joanna Naumann. "I didn't think we blocked them as well as we should have, but our defense stepped up and did a good job of keeping the ball in play."


Still, Montevideo was able to amass 11 ace blocks and had "touches" on nearly every BBE attack, slowing up the hits and allowing an already stellar defense to make several outstanding plays.

"We had two great teams up against each other," said BBE coach Mimi Knutson. "And one was able to execute their skills better than the other. Our section is tough. I am very proud of my girls."

Montevideo was the surprise team in the area, returning no All-Area players from an 11-13 team. But the Thunder Hawks play a tenacious defense and consistent offense that makes few mistakes.

"I don't think we ever hurt ourselves a lot," said senior hitter Brook Moseng. "We try to force the other team into making mistakes. We have a good defense, but I think we play well all around, too."

Moseng led Montevideo with 10 kills in 31 attacks with just one error for a .290 kill percentage. Senior Kat Schwachtgen and juniors Karie Blommel and Taylor Skoglund had five kills apiece. Skoglund also had four ace blocks.

Many observers felt Montevideo would be at a disadvantage having not been in a section final before while BBE was in the championship for the third straight year.

But Montevideo bolted from the blocks quickly in the match, leading 5-0 on a pair of ace serves from Dani Jensen, a kill from Skoglund and two BBE hitting errors.

BBE eventually tied the game 9-9 and 13-13, but each time Montevideo refused to give in and would build the lead back up.


"It was like that the whole match," said BBE senior hitter April Hansen, who had over 300 kills this season, but was limited to nine in this match in 35 swings. "We had to play catch-up all night. Every time we started playing well and would catch up, we let down or they would run off a bunch of points and we had to play from behind. We just weren't able to keep coming back every time."

Heidi Lensing, a sophomore, paced the Jaguars with 13 kills. Ashley Lensing, a senior, had nine.

BBE looked like the team that was on a 13-match winning streak in the second game, trailing only 1-0. Hansen recorded three kills and Heidi Lensing three kills and an ace block in that game.

But Montevideo never got rattled, even when falling behind 4-1 in the third game. Moseng led the charge in that game with four kills, while Skoglund had three kills and Blommel recorded two kills and an ace serve.

Senior setter Dani Jensen sparkled on defense over the final two games, making three spectacular one-handed saves on attacks that the Jaguars seemed certain were kills and prematurely began to celebrate on. Moseng also turned in some defensive gems.

Jensen would finish with a team-high four ace serves and 18 assists to go along with two ace blocks and 13 digs. Moseng led with 20 digs, Ashley Roder had 14, Kaylee Johnson 13 and Calie Roggatz 12.

Game 4 was tied 18-18 when Montevideo reeled off six unanswered points, highlighted by a pair of ace serves from Schwachtgen, kills by Amanda Boike and Blommel, an ace block from Skoglund and a BBE error.

Montevideo then closed out the match on a BBE net violation.


Montevideo 3, BBE 1

BBE (28-4).........................................20 25 19 19

Montevideo (26-2)..................................25 17 25 25

(Key: good-attempts-aces)


Serving: Ashley Lensing 16-19-1, April Hansen 20-22-0, Katie Gruber 8-9-0, Sarah Gruber 7-9-0, Heidi Lensing 11-11-1, Emily Roelike 14-14-1 ... Setting: S.Gruber 63-73-19, Jenny Hieserich 31-34-8 ... Hitting: A.Lensing 20-23-9, Hansen 28-35-9, K.Gruber 11-15-6, S.Gruber 7-8-0, Lindsay Goodwin 9-10-1, Jena Schroeder 9-11-3, H.Lensing 28-30-13, Roelikle 2-4-0 ... Blocking (aces): A.Lensing 3, Hansen 1, K.Gruber 3, Schroeder 1, H.Lensing 2 ... Digs: A.Lensing 2, Hansen 13, K.Gruber 5, S.Gruber 2, H.Lensing 15, Roelike 20


Serving: Dani Jensen 18-20-4, Brook Moseng 11-11-1, Ashley Roder 5-5-0, Karie Blommel 7-7-1, Kat Schwachtgen 17-17-3, Calie Roggatz 18-18-0, Kaylee Johnson 9-13-0 ... Setting: Jensen 54-59-18, Moseng 4-4-0, Roder 2-2-1, Blommel 3-3-0, Schwachtgen 4-4-1, Roggatz 48-50-11, Johnson 1-1-1, Taylor Skoglund 2-2-1, Amanda Boike 1-3-1 ... Hitting: Jensen 11-12-1, Moseng 30-31-10, Roder 3-3-1, Blommel 23-25-5, Schwachtgen 11-15-5, Roggatz 7-7-3, Johnson 2-3-0, Skoglund 21-23-5, Boike 7-7-1, Kara Nelson 1-1-0 ... Blocking (aces): Jensen 2, Blommel 1, Schwachtgen 2, Roggatz 1, Skoglund 4, Boike 1 ... Digs: Jensen 13, Moseng 20, Roder 14, Blommel 6, Schwachtgen 3, Roggatz 12, Johnson 13, Skoglund 2, Boike 1, Nelson 7

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