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Minnesota state volleyball: T-M-B takes third with win over Heritage Christian

ST. PAUL -- Tracy-Milroy-Balaton brought home the bronze with  victory over Heritage Christian in the third-place match at the Minnesota Class A state volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It was the second consecutive year the two teams faced off for third place, with Heritage Christian topping T-M-B in five sets in their 2015 encounter.

The Panthers cruised to 25-19 and 25-11 wins in the first two sets, before taking a back-and-forth third set 26-24 to seal the match and claim third place in the state.

T-M-B and Heritage Christian tied the score 11 times in the definitive third set. The teams found themselves even at 1, 2, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 24. But with the matched knotted up at 24, the Panthers got two straight points on kills by Kaylee Kirk and Sydney Lanoue to seal the victory.

Lanoue led the Panthers with 14 kills and tied for the team lead with 19 digs with Lexi Tauer. Tauer had five service aces.

Gabbie Gervais led T-M-B with 32 set assists.

Kendra Ludeman had 10 kills, while Evelyn Dolan had six, Gervais had five, Kirk had four and Sidney Karbo had one.

Dolan had a solo block and a block assist, while Ludeman, Kirk and Lanoue all had block assists.

Maddy Torve led Heritage Christian with 11 kills and Bella Lien followed with 10. Lien had four block assists and Jordyn Allen had three.

Torve also led with 16 set assists. Sarah Suits had six and Lien had five. Suits led Heritage Christian with 20 digs, Torve had 11 and Lien had 10.

The Panthers finish the season 30-8 overall. The third-place finish marked the second time in three years they placed at the state tournament, following a second-place finish in 2014. And it was the third-straight state tournament appearance for the team.

Seniors Gervais, Tauer, Ludeman and Hannah Jensen all played the final match of their prep careers at the state tournament.