Morgan Malley and Fillmore Central teammate Sammi Bakke block a Lewiston attack.  DAVID PHILLIPS/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP
Morgan Malley and Fillmore Central teammate Sammi Bakke block a Lewiston attack. DAVID PHILLIPS/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP
Last year Fillmore Central and Mabel-Canton met in the sub-section semi-finals with the Cougars coming out on top, three sets to two. This year they're meeting in the sub-section finals.

Fillmore Central is seeded No. 1 this year, Mabel-Canton is No. 2. Both teams have won more than 30 matches as Fillmore Central is 31-2 and Mabel-Canton is 32-3. Both teams have played a very upbeat schedule this year. Both teams participated in the Class A Showcase Tournament in Burnsville. Fillmore Central won that tournament, Mabel-Canton was fourth. But, the Cougars played without their seniors in tournament play, on the second day of the tournament.

Head coach for the Fillmore Central Falcons is Denise Case. Coach Case is in her fourth year as Fillmore Central's coach, and has built the Falcons into a program that needs to be reckoned with, state-wide. Head coach for the Mabel-Canton Cougars is Lonnie Morken. Coach Morken has been with the Cougars for 20 years and has developed a program at MC that receives state-wide recognition every year.

So, putting it all into perspective, as "Luther" would ask...what does this mean? It means we should have a very competitive, highly spirited, and intense match, in the 2013 1A East Sub-section championship! Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Rochester Civic Center Thursday, Oct. 31...no tricks, just lots of treats, in the form of excellent high school volleyball. If you can't get to the match in Rochester, you can listen to all the action on KFIL-FM (103.1). KVGO-FM (104.3) will be covering the East 1AA match-up between Chatfield and Dover-Eyota.

Coach Case was asked her thoughts on the upcoming match with Mabel-Canton, if there is any special motivation, or is last year's loss in the semi-finals motivation enough?

"I think the girls are up for the challenge. They have been playing good volleyball, well-balanced, serving good. We need to come out strong with 'serve receive' with a team like Mabel-Canton, who are a strong serving team. We have to put last year's game where it belongs. We have learned from it, that the game is not just physical, but a mental game. It's made us stronger. We are a better team this year because of it. The girls are working hard every day to prepare for the next, and the next game happens to be Mabel-Canton.

"I think, both physically and mentally, we are more prepared this year. Taylor (Case) has been hitting well for us and her defense has been great. Tori (Peterson) coming back from her injury, and doing a great job again on the right side, which balances us out. Leah (Scheevel) and Sammi (Bakke) in the middle, making things happen there, to make our offense strong, and blocking to help out with the defense. Sara (Schultz), Larissa (Armstrong) and Tayah (Barnes) really covering that back row and digging up the ball, so we can set up an attack. It's like a well-oiled machine, hitting on all cylinders. We know it is one game at a time, play our hardest, and stay focused."

While all the focus is on the upcoming match with Mabel-Canton, we surely can't forget that the gals picked up a couple of wins over Spring Grove (3-0: 25-11, 25-11, 25-17) and Lewiston-Altura (3-0: 25-12, 25-20, 25-16), to get to the sub-section championship match.

Spring Grove highlights...Team serving: 71/73 (97.3 percent)...Individual serving: Peterson 13/13, Case 10/10 (3 aces), Morgan Malley 2/3, Barnes 17/18, Armstrong 2/2, Schultz 18/18, Bakke 9/9 (ace). Kills (hitting): Case 22 (.366), Peterson 9 (.446), Leah Scheevel 5 (.500), Barnes 2, Bakke 3. Set assists: Malley 33. Ace blocks: Peterson 1/2, Malley 1, Scheevel 1 1/2, Bakke 2. Digs: Case 13, Peterson 3, Malley 5, Barnes 7, Armstrong 2, Bakke 2, Schultz 11. Serve receive: Case 8/8, Peterson 1/1, Barnes 7/8, Armstrong 4/4, Schultz 15/17.

Lewiston-Altura highlights...Serving: Case 9/11, Peterson 14/16 (4 aces), Malley 8/10 (3 aces), Barnes 11/11, Armstrong 3/3, Bakke 11/11(2 aces), Schultz 12/12. Kills (hitting): Case 15 (.433), Peterson 5, Malley 5 (.625), Scheevel 6, Barnes 1, Bakke 9 (.571). Set assists: Malley 30, Schultz 1. Ace blocks: Case 1/2 , Malley 1/2 , Scheevel 1 1/2 , Bakke 1 1/2. Digs: Schultz 13, Case 10, Peterson 3, Barnes 8, Armstrong 5, Bakke 1.