MARSHALL - Day 2 of the Molten Southwest Minnesota Challenge volleyball tournament left local teams in competition with plenty to be pleased with and some areas to focus on improving.
After starting out 2-0 on Friday, the Marshall Tigers went 2-1 on Saturday to finish in third place with a 4-1 overall record - the Tigers' best finish at their home tournament since winning it in 2009.
The Minneota Vikings shook off their first loss of the season on Friday (2-1 to Wayzata) with three straight wins on Saturday to take ninth place overall, while the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panthers went 3-0 on Saturday as well after going 0-2 on Friday.
Photo by Travis Andries
Marshall’s Kenzie Beekman hits the ball over a Waconia blocker during The Southwest Minnesota Challenge’s match for third place on Saturday at Marshall High School. The Tigers won 25-22, 25-17.
Marshall started out its day with a convincing 25-19, 25-14 win over Champlin Park, setting up a showdown with Class AAA No. 1 Lakeville North. Against the Panthers, however, the Tigers spotted the opposition an early lead in the first set and were unable to take advantage of their own in Set 2, falling 25-18, 25-20.
"We played three very good teams today," Marshall head coach Dan Westby said. "Champlin Park is a very good team. I thought we came out and really took care of things against them.
"In our second match today, against Lakeville North, I guess the disappointing part was we got down 7-1 to start the match. That's just too big of a hill to overcome against a good team like that," he added. "In the second set we had a nice lead, we were up 12-4 and made some errors. Pretty soon it's 12-11. We just can't allow anyone to go on a run like that, especially a good team like that."
After falling to Lakeville North for the third time in a row, the Tigers battled back to claim third place overall with a 25-22, 25-17 win over Waconia. The Wildcats defeated Marshall twice in 2012, handing Marshall two of its 5 losses for the year, but could not slow down the Tigers attack on Saturday. Sydney Griffin and Kenzie Beekman combined for 23 kills in the two sets, with Griffin leading the way with 13.
"To our kids credit, we showed some resolve coming back and playing Waconia," Westby said. "We were able to limit those kind of stretches in that match and Waconia is a good team as well. When you look at the caliber of the teams that were here this weekend, to go 4-1 is not disappointing. We just need to continue to get better."
With two more tough tournaments on the schedule and lofty goals for the postseason, the Tigers are hoping that their experiences from the weekend will carry over into the remainder of the year.
"That feeling of knowing what its like to play against good teams is something we feel is a huge benefit for us," Westby said.
Marshall returns to action Tuesday, heading west to South Dakota to take on Sioux Falls Roosevelt. The Rough Riders were also in the field at the Southwest Challenge and placed sixth.
After finishing a 1-1 on Friday, the third-ranked (Class A) Minneota Vikings rallied for an undefeated final day of the tournament, defeating three Class AAA teams in the process and claiming ninth place overall.
"(Friday) night was our first loss and you never know how they're going to respond to that. I thought we came back and handled it very well," Minneota head coach Steph Hennen said. "We played terrific defense, especially this last match. We were getting to our spots, we were getting to our lines, we were reading much better. I'm just so proud of my kids. They had a great tournament. That Wayzata match we were right there, we just couldn't close it out."
Minneota began its day with a 25-18, 25-14 win over Owatonna before fending off New Prague 25-23, 25-17.
The Vikings also had to dig deep in their final win on Saturday, rallying from an early deficit in their second set against Lakeville South. After taking Set 1 25-18 from the Cougars, Minneota had to erase an eight-point margin en route to winning 25-23.
"Everyone is tired by this point in the day," Hennen said. "You're a little bit beat up, you're sore, but I thought after the timeout that they came back and did very well."
Minneota actually finished with a better record in the 2013 Southwest Challenge (4-1) than they did in 2012 (3-2), but finished two places lower in the standings after taking seventh a year ago. Still the Vikings were impressive, nearly getting the best of the five Class AAA schools that they faced on the weekend.
"We saw a lot of great things out of our kids this weekend, but we saw a lot of things that we have to work on too," Hennen said. "It was great and that's what you play in these type of tournaments for. I think the tough competition makes us better and stronger down the road."
Minneota will look to parlay their tournament success into regular season success, starting with Camden Conference rival Canby on Tuesday.
After going 1-1 on the first day of competition, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton went 1-2 Saturday to finish in 23rd place. The Knights lost to East Ridge (25-17, 25-18) and Andover (25-22, 25-17) before rallying to defeat Hutchinson (25-23, 25-19). RTR is back in action on the road against Dawson-Boyd on Tuesday.
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton also went 3-0 on Saturday, defeating Canby, Eastview and Southwestern United en route to claiming 25th place in the 32 team tournament. The Panthers opened up their day with a 25-10, 25-13 win over Canby then hung on for a three-set win over Eastview (of Apple Valley) 23-25, 25-17, 18-16. TMB finished its tournament with another three-set thriller, this time dispatching of Section 3A-South opponent Southwestern United 19-25, 25-14, 15-12. The Panthers will resume their season on Tuesday, hosting Lakeview for a Camden Conference contest.
Canby followed its defeat at the hands of TMB with a 25-20, 25-9 victory over Yellow Medicine East. The Lancers were outlasted by West Fargo (N.D.) in their final game of the tournament 25-9, 25-16 to finish the Southwest Challenge 1-4. Up next for Canby is a rivalry game with Vikings on Tuesday in Minneota.
Yellow Medicine East went winless for the tournament, falling to Eastview (26-24, 25-15), Canby and Bloomington Jefferson (25-19, 25-16). The Sting are back on the court Tuesday for a West Central Conference match at Benson.
Lakeview North, winners of the past three Southwest Challenges, had their tournament winning streak snapped with a three set loss to Chaska in the championship match.
Southwest Minn. Challenge
MARSHALL INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Champlin Park19 14
Serving (good-att-aces): Callie Graff 10-11-2, Kenzie Beekman 5-5-1
Kills: Beekman 10, Sydney Griffin 7, Graff 4
Digs: Hannah Bennett 13, Beekman 8, Griffin 6
Set assists: Rachel Sanow 13, Griffin 9
Blocks: Beekman 2, Griffin 1, Graff 1, Emma Doyle 1
Lakeville North25 25
Serving (good-att-aces): Lexi Saugstad 10-10-1, Grfifin 10-10-0
Kills: Beekman 11, Griffin 6, Graff 2
Digs: Griffin 12, Bennett 10, Beekman 7
Set assists: Sanow 11, Griffin 8
Blocks: Beekman 1, Marah Mulso 1
Serving (good-att-aces): Bennett 12-12-2, Graff 9-9-1
Kills: Griffin 13, Beekman 10
Digs: Bennett 13, Beekman 7
Assists: Sanow 11, Griffin 6
MINNEOTA INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Serving (att-good-aces): Taylor Reiss 11-11-1, Molly Hennen 10-10-1, Payton Boerboom 7-7-0, Shelby Corbin 7-7-0
Kills: Reiss 13, Hennen 6
Digs: Corbin 13, Hennen 13
Set Assists: Megan Larson 22
Blocks: Reiss 2, Larson 1, Krista Maeyaert 1
Serving (att-good-aces): Hennen 13-13-2, Reiss 7-7-1
Kills: Reiss 13, Hennen 9
Digs: Reiss 12, Corbin 9
Set Assists: Larson 23
Blocks: Reiss 2, Larson 1
Serving (att-good-aces): Reiss 13-13-1, Boerboom 11-11-0, Corbin 9-9-1, Hennen 8-8-1
Kills: Reiss 6, Larson 6, Corbin 6
Digs: Boerboom 12, Hennen 7
Set Assists: Larson 28
Blocks: Reiss 2, Hennen 1, Corbin 1
TMB INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Serving (att-good-aces): Anna Peterson 18-19-4, Sammie Gervais 4-4-3, Kassidy Przymus 6-6-1, Gabbie Gervais 5-5-1
Kills: Przymus 14, S. Gervais 8, Sydney Lanoue 5
Digs: Peterson 7, G. Gervais 6
Set Assists: G. Gervais 17
Blocks: S. Gervais 3, Lanoue 2
Serving (att-good-aces): Sara Stoneberg 20-20-3, Przymus 15-15-1, G. Gervais 6-6-1, Peterson 6-6-1
Kills: S. Gervais 9, Jessie Nelson 8, Przymus 6, Lanoue 6
Digs: Peterson 9, Przymus 8, Stoneberg 7
Set Assists: G. Gervais 26
Blocks: Nelson 2, G. Gervais 1, Stoneberg 1, Lanoue 1
Serving (att-good-aces): G. Gervais 12-12-3, Przymus 10-10-3, S. Gervais 10-10-3, Stoneberg 9-9-1
Kills: Przymus 8, Nelson 5, Lanoue 4, S. Gervais 4
Digs: not reported
Set Assists: G. Gervais 22
Blocks: S. Gervais 3, Nelson 2
CANBY INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS, not reported
West Fargo25 25
YME INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS, not reported
Bloomington Jefferson25 25
RTR INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS, not reported
SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT
West Fargo ND2021
West Fargo ND2525
Final Round Scores
West Fargo ND2525
Top 4 and Bracket Winners
Tournament champion: Chaska
Tournament runner-up: Lakeville North
Third-place winner: Marshall
Fourth-place team: Waconia
Ninth-place team: Minneota
17th-place team: Perham
25th-place team: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton