'Giant slayer' FC volleyball team off to the 'big dance'
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 6:27 AM
This past week the Fillmore Central volleyball team won the 1A East Sub-Section crown and the Section 1A championship with wins over No. 7 ranked Mabel-Canton (3-1: 18-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19) and No. 4 state ranked Bethlehem Academy (3-1: 25-17, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21).
The Fillmore Central volleyball team celebrates as they defeated Mabel-Canton for the subsection title on Thursday night, Oct. 31. A similar scene took place on Saturday morning when the Falcons defeated Fairbault’s Bethlehem Academy for the section title and a trip to the state tournament. The Falcons will play their first tournament game against Ada-Borup on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. CRAIG MOORHEAD/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS
With the win over BA, Fillmore Central (33-2) will play Ada-Borup (23-8) in the quarterfinals at the state tournament Thursday, Nov. 7, 1 p.m. Fillmore Central got the No. 1 seed in the tournament. No. 4 Win-E-Mac (30-3) plays No. 5 Nevis (22-9-2) in the other half of the top bracket. In the bottom bracket, No. 2 Minneota (29-3) takes on Carlton (26-5) and No. 3 Southwest Christian (28-5) meets Martin County West (26-6).
The Lady Falcons have put together a very impressive resume of wins over ranked teams so far this season, and they're hoping that they're not done yet! Here are the teams that Fillmore Central has defeated, and their ranking/status: Bethlehem Academy (No. 4, two-time defending state champion), Mabel-Canton (No. 7, as high as No. 5), Goodhue (honorable mention, as high as 11th), Chatfield (1AA runner-up, ranked as high as ninth in AA), Win-E-Mac (currently No. 6, No. 4 when FC beat them, 2013 state entry), Southwest Christian (No. 3, No. 1 when the Falcons defeated them, state 2013 entry), Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (currently No. 9, 3A runner-up, lost to Minneota is sub-section finals) Nevis (currently No. 10, No. 7 when FC met them in the Showcase Classic, 2013 state entry), Dawson-Boyd (state honorable mention), Mayer Lutheran (honorable mention, as high as 12th, lost to Southwest Christian in sub-section finals), Kenyon-Wanamingo (honorable mention, lost to AA entry Belle Plaine in the Section 2AA finals), Goodhue (honorable mention, as high as No. 11) and Wabasha-Kellogg (ranked as high as No. 9 early in the season).
Of course, none of this matters...what matters is Ada-Borup.
Sammi Bakke had the hot hand in the championship match against Bethlehem Academy. Bakke had 14 kills and hit .619, with just one error in 21 attacks. She also came up with a team high 2.5 ace blocks.
Leading the team in kills with 20 was Taylor Case. Case had just three hitting errors in the contest and hit .293, with 58 attacks. She also served 24 of 24 and recorded a team high 25 digs.
Tori Peterson also had 14 kills and was 13/14 in serving. No one on the team had more than one serving error: Morgan Malley (13/13), Tayah Barnes (15/16), Larissa Armstrong (5/5), Bakke (8/9) and Sara Schultz (17/18).
Fillmore Central had seven different girls with kills. Adding to the total of 62 kills, and a hitting efficiency of .241, were Leah Scheevel (7), Malley (4), Barnes (2) and defensive specialist Schultz (1). Schultz only had one attack so she ended the match with a hitting efficiency of 1.000. Oh, and she also had 24 digs. Malley set up 52 kills and added 1.5 blocks.
Serve receive went to four players: Schultz (28/30), Barnes (19/21), Armstrong (11/12) and Case (8/9).
"It was a great win over BA," said coach Denise Case. "We hit the ball well from all directions, which was a key to our success. I just couldn't be more proud of these young athletes, they've played well all season and they aren't done yet."
Sub-section win over M-C
Mabel-Canton came out of the gate fast and won the first set, 25-18, but Fillmore Central came back and won the next three sets, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19.
In an email from M-C head coach Lonnie Morken, he said "I was impressed with their poise. I thought if we could come out and win the first set, we would win the match. However, they did not get rattled. Their setter, Morgan Malley, really is the glue to their team. She's constantly talking to their hitters and is an excellent leader. I also thought Leah Scheevel really gave them a boost. There is so much attention on (Taylor) Case and (Tori) Peterson and when they have a third attacker come to life, they are very difficult to stop. I would like to congratulate Fillmore Central and wish them luck at the state tournament."
Getting kills in the match against the Cougars were Case (21), Peterson (8), Malley (5), Scheevel (16), Barnes (6) and Bakke (4). As a team, FC hit .268. Leading the way in that category were Case (.404), Malley (.211), Scheevel (.278), Barnes (.353) and Bakke (.200). Also at the net, the Falcon blocking leaders were Peterson (1.5), Malley (1.5), Scheevel (3) and Bakke (1).
On defense, Schultz was the leader with 29 digs and 25/26 in serve receive. Also coming up great on defense were Case (17 digs, 7/7 SR), Peterson (9/9 SR, 1 dig), Barnes (16 digs, 9/10 SR), Armstrong (10/10 SR, 11 digs), Malley (7 digs) and Bakke (4 digs). Scheevel even got in on the defense, going 1/1 in SR (her first of the season), and came up with a couple of digs.
A couple of team wins, that's for sure. One thing that I've noticed, especially after seeing all of the individual stat sheets during the season...everyone contributes to this team, even those that don't play much, or at all, in the matches. This team would not be this team if they didn't have good practice players, to make the starters work harder. And on the court, you don't stop this team when you stop one player. Someone is always coming through, stepping up, when one player is down, or when one player is stopped.