Cougars advance to subsection championship
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:23 AM
Second-seeded Mabel-Canton netters began post-season play at home on Thursday of last week, then moved to Rochester for the semifinals of the 1A East Subsection Tournament on Saturday.
Belle Sand takes to the air to show the Houston Hurricanes her fine form as she taps the ball over the net in last week’s second round of tournament play. Also shown are Sara Lind, partially hidden, and Carly McCabe.
M-C vs. Houston
After taking a 19-10 lead in the first set at Thursday night's match up with the Houston Hurricanes, the Cougars held off a Hurricane comeback which cut the margin to four. The Cougars then scored six of the last eight points. The first frame was won by M-C 25-17, while sets two (25-11) and three (25-9) fell in place as well, but not without a fight.
"They did a very good job blocking and they were very scrappy in the back row," M-C Coach Lonnie Morken noted. "I thought our serving was very good and we only had seven hitting errors. Overall it was a very good first-round playoff game. It's nice to be one of the top four seeds because you get to host the quarterfinal game and give the girls an extra home game."
Sara Lind recorded 10 kills on 17 attempts, scored a block and contributed seven digs. Belle Sand had nine kills (with no errors), 11 digs, two scoring blocks and two ace serves. Lydia Geving added seven kills, five aces and fie digs. Carly McCabe set 26 assists, served three aces and killed two shots herself. Christine Lee served three aces and had seven digs. Coranda Vickerman had two aces and nine digs. Sara Vettleson-Trutza added three kills and one ace block.
Abbey Loken led the Hurricanes with eight kills, 12 digs and one ace block. Natalie King added four kills and two blocks. Kelly Jerviss had three kills. Alexa Horihan set 15 assists.
As a team, the Cougars achieved a rock-solid 29 percent hitting efficiency rating.
M-C vs. Goodhue
Third-seed Goodhue fell two days later, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20.
"Goodhue really concerned me," Morken noted. "I have known for years how strong this senior class is. They have been injured some the past two seasons and weren't able to show their full potential. I knew they had two strong outsides, a very good setter and libero, and their whole team was athletic."
M-C controlled the tempo in the first set, winning in spite of a late run by the Wildcats.
The next frame saw the Cougars jump out to an 8-2 advantage. But after a time-out, Goodhue roared back to take a 15-14 lead. M-C responded by calmly taking back the lead,and the teams battled to the wire. A Wildcat hitting error gave the set to the Cougars.
The third set found Goodhue up 13-8 when Morken called time out. Lee then stepped to the line and gave M-C a big run and the lead, 15-14. The Cougars and Wildcats went toe to toe from there on out. When Courtney Graves took her turn at the line, M-C enjoyed a slim 20-17 lead, but she served three points including an ace.
"They sided out to get to 23-18 and they scored one more point with the serve," Morken reported. "Four straight side outs and the match was over. I was really proud with how we responded to adversity. We knew we were going to be pushed and it wasn't going to be easy. Christine Lee really played well in the back row and I thought Lydia (Geving) did a great job serve receiving. Christine had a career high with 20 digs."
Sand and Lind each had 11 kills. Lee, McCabe and Vickerman each recorded three ace serves. Lind and Vettleson-Trutza scored with two ace blocks apiece, while Sand added one. McCabe's sets totaled 29, but tough defense limited hitting efficiency to 18 percent. She had four kills, while Geving added six. Vettleson-Trutza added five kills.
Goodhue senior outside hitter Mikayla Miller had 28 digs, 13 kills, one ace and one block. Classmates Meredith Watson and Kali Ryan had six kills each. Setter Mikayla Tipcke had 34 assists, 16 digs, one kill. Shelby Hinsch added five kills, two blocks and three digs.
M-C meets top-seeded Fillmore Central on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mayo Civic Center. The match is for the 1A East Subsection Championship, with the winner moving on to challenge the West Champ in the Section 1A finals on Nov. 2. A state tournament bid awaits the victor.