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Adrian's try for state volleyball berth blocked by Minneota

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The 2019 Adrian Dragons pose with the second-place trophy Saturday night at the Section 3A tournament in Marshall. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

MARSHALL -- There’s just something about the Minneota volleyball team that’s a thorn in the side of the Adrian Dragons.

For the second consecutive year, the Vikings defeated the Dragons in the Section 3A finals. The latest defeat was a 3-0 sweep Saturday night at Southwest Minnesota State University.

“They are a good team,” Adrian senior Kendra Frodermann said. “They are solid. They have good blocks, they have good hits, they have all around a good team. We put up a fight and we know we put up a fight against them.”

Game scores were 25-13, 25-10 and 25-14.

“They are a good team,” AHS head coach Brittany Jackson said. “Defensively, they are really strong. Tonight they showed up and we just couldn’t quite pull it out.”

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Minneota -- which finished ranked No. 3 in the state -- improved to 30-3 this season and will look to repeat as Class A champions. AHS, meanwhile, finishes 28-3.

“Just to be on it is one of the biggest things in my life,” Frodermann said. “To have all these young kids step up and play a part of their role and have the seniors coming back from last year and the teammates coming back from last year, just to be able to play with them is amazing.”

The Viking attack created issues for the Dragon defense as Abby Hennen, Morgan Hennen, Natalee Rolbiecki and Abby Frie swung away all night.

“They did hit the ball hard and I was impressed,” Jackson said. “I thought we picked up the block and we made them work. But in the end, it’s still whoever wins by more points. They did that.”

Meanwhile, the potent Adrian offense was struggling to find holes against a tough Minneota defense.

“I think that’s what was most difficult, no matter where we were hitting or how we were hitting, it was just coming back at us every single time,” Jackson said. “Usually we get those big momentum hits that kind of give us excitement to get us to the next point. We were not getting those big momentum hits.”

Adrian led 4-1 in the first set before the Vikings went on a 12-2 run. Marisa Lehnhoff had a pair of kills late for the Dragons, but Minneota took the first set 25-13.

The second set saw the Vikings jump out to a 7-2 lead. Lenhoff had a pair of kills and Brianna Reckamp added a spike for the Dragons, but MHS continued to build the lead. Bailey Lonneman had a pair of kills midway through the set, but it was the Vikings who pulled away late.

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“They have a good defense,” Frodermann said. “They are scrappy, they could pick up most of the balls. But once we got around their block, we could hit one of their holes.”

The Dragons continued to battle in the third set and were within two points following a well-place tip by Shawna Rogers. But again, Minneota had the answer to close out the set and the match.

“It’s pretty hard that our season is over,” Frodermann said. “We would have all liked for it to have gone further. We made the sub-section and we came to sections and just to be here and to make it here is a great thing.”

For the Dragons, Saturday marked the end for seven seniors.

“We have a lot of really influential seniors,” Jackson said. “Our captains are probably our biggest motivators and biggest supporters on and off the court. We’ve had some hitters and defensive players who are seniors that have really stepped up. It’s going to be tough to fill their spot. I’m really proud of them and they’ve matured so much, not just in the game of volleyball, but just as people. These are a really great group of girls. I’m sure they’ll be cheering Minneota on, that’s the kind of people they are.”

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The Adrian Dragons' Maddie Wagner (16) leaps to spike the ball past Minneota High School Vikings rival Abby Rost as teammate Brianna Reckamp (4) follows the play during the Section 3A volleyball championship at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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