Sara Schultz keeps her eye on the line as a ball goes out of play.
Sara Schultz keeps her eye on the line as a ball goes out of play.
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What a remarkable accomplishment for the Fillmore Central volleyball team! First time to the state tournament and the gals bring home the silver medals and the second place trophy. Some would say, "unbelievable," but it wasn't; given the talent pool the girls were working with, a first place finish would have been believable.

It was such a great feeling watching the girls play at the state tournament, knowing that "they fit," that being at the 2013 state tournament is exactly where the girls belonged this year. The senior leadership of Taylor Case and Tori Peterson is just what the underclassmen needed, and their combined efforts made them a team to be reckoned with at a state level.

In addition to the accomplishments of the team, which were definitely recognized by a state-wide audience, the representation by the high school band and the fans of the three communities (Preston, Fountain and Harmony) was certainly applauded by the media and everyone that was in attendance at the state tournament. I saw the entire tournament, from start to finish, Class A through Class AAA, and maybe, maybe, Eagan (Class AAA) rivaled the enthusiasm (and size) shown by the Fillmore Central team, band and fans.

Fillmore Central, which was seeded No. 1 by the Class A tournament coaches, opened the tournament against Ada-Borup. The gals lost the first set 25-19, but once they figured out the net was the same height at the Xcel Center as it was in Preston or Harmony, they got down to business and won the next three sets, 25-16, 25-14, 25-21. Four gals, Sammi Bakke (12), Tori Peterson (13), Leah Scheevel (12) and Taylor Case (17) were in double-figures with kills against the Cougars. Bakke led the hitting with an average of .320. Case led the team with 25 digs, eight-for-eight in serve receive and was 11 for 12 at the service line. Sara Schultz had 22 digs, 35 of 37 in SR and was a perfect 20 for 20 at the line, with a pair of aces. Tayah Barnes was 22 for 23 at the line and 19 for 23 in serve receive, along with 10 digs. Larissa Armstrong was six for seven in SR and four for four at the line. Morgan Malley led the team with 46 set assists and delivered two ace serves. Peterson also had a pair of ace serves.

In the semi-final win over Win-E-Mac (3-1: 25-13, 27-25, 22-25, 27-25), Case had 22 kills (.259), Scheevel had 10 kills, and Peterson knocked down 18 (.286 hitting). Serving was right on, with Schultz (16/16), Case (12/12), Barnes (25/25) and Bakke (17/17) delivering 100 percent. Peterson missed just one, at 17/18. Tops in serve receive were Armstrong (19/19), Schultz (23/24) and Case (12/12). Case led the "digging crew" with 26, followed by Barnes (15), Schultz (14) and Malley (10). Malley had 52 set assists. Scheevel had two ace blocks and four assists. Peterson and Malley each had three block assists, while Bakke had two assists and one solo.

In the championship match, Fillmore Central ran into a very hot team in Southwest Christian, losing in three sets, 22-25, 17-25, 16-25. The Falcons had their poorest hitting match of the season, with an average of .036. Case led the team with nine kills, Scheevel had six, Peterson added five and Bakke had four. Barnes and Malley also had two kills each. Serving was good: Bakke (12/12), Malley (10/10), Peterson (8/9), Barnes (9/9), Case (9/9) and Schultz (6/7). Case led the team with 17 digs.

In the final match, it was just a case of too much SW Christian. They just proved to be the better team in this match-up. The Falcons had defeated them earlier in the season, when they won the Class A Showcase in Burnsville.

Three of the Falcons did make the All-Tournament team: Peterson, Case and Malley.

The Falcons finished their season with a very impressive 35-3 record, and a ton of memories. Watch for the season wrap-up next week.