6AA Championship Pequot Lakes at Sauk Centre
It was a championship match for the ages for the 6AA title as top seed Sauk Centre advanced in a thrilling five setter vs. #2 Seed Pequot Lakes.
The match was as back and forth as the individual sets. Set one went to the Mainstreeters after seven ties and three lead changes. Neither team led by more than five in the opener. A 6-0 Sauk Centre run put them up 20-15 and they kept the Patriots at bay with a 25-22 win. The Patriots committed six serving errors in the set.
Pequot Lakes evened the score in set two, scoring 9 of the last ten points on their way to a 25-17 win. Just like the first set, we saw seven ties and three lead changes.
Set three was wild with 12 lead changes and five ties. Neither team led by more than three. It was tied at 22 when Sauk Centre tallied the last three points for another 25-22 win.
With their back against the wall, the Patriots showed their fight in set four. Down 9-6, Pequot Lakes used a 14-5 run to lead 20-14. Sauk Centre cut the lead to 21-19, but Pequot Lakes scored four of the last five to win 25-20 and force the decisive game 5.
The fifth and final set showed how much volleyball can be a game of runs. Sauk Centre struck first, bursting out to a 7-1 lead. Pequot Lakes, after burning both time outs, scored seven straight for an 8-7 lead. The Mainstreeters responded with six in a row and lead 13-8. With playing to 15 in the final game, it looked bleak, but Pequot Lakes found a way again. Five straight for the Patriots tied the set at 13. However, the tall players at the net for Sauk Centre were in the right spots, and with three ace blocks, the Mainstreeters won the title 16-14.
Six of Sauk Centre’s points in the final set were scored on ace blocks, and they had only one service error the entire match.
Pequot Lakes finishes 24-7 and will graduate five seniors. Sauk Center takes with them to state a 29-match winning streak and a 30-1 record.
Team Stats: Serving – SC 104/105 (99%), 7 aces; PL 94-108 (88%) 6 aces; Blocks – SC 14, PL 12
PL Leaders: Abi Martin 58 assists, 26/29 serving, 2 aces; Maci Martini 24 kills, 3 blocks, 20/21 serving, 2 aces; Ella Kratochvil 19 kills, 2 blocks; Camille Haman 9 kills, 3 blocks; Joselyn Rinio 6 kills, 2 blocks
SC Leaders: Victoria Jennissen 9 kills, 8 blocks; Jenna Gapinski-Vogt 13 kills, 4 blocks; Emma Kittelson 9 kills, 3 blocks; Cierra Kortan 5 kills, 28/28 serving, 2 aces; Abbie Meyer 14 assists, 20/20 serving, 3 aces; Ella Froseth 21 assists, 13/14 serving, ace
Postgame Interview with PL Coach Chris Ganley: