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JCC volleyball team places second at state

Jackson County Central’s quest for a state Class AA high school volleyball championship came up short Saturday afternoon at Xcel Center in St. Paul.

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ST. PAUL -- Jackson County Central ’s quest for a state Class AA high school volleyball championship came up short Saturday afternoon at Xcel Center in St. Paul.

Section 6 champion Sauk Centre Mainstreeters overcame a first-set loss and won the final three to prevail over the Section 3 champion Huskies in the title contest. Scores were 13-25, 25-21, 25-17 and 25-19.

Jackson County Central , playing in its first state tournament since 2003, brought a 29-6 record into the championship match Saturday afternoon and quickly learned to appreciate its runner-up trophy.

“Offensively, they hit some corner shots that we weren’t able to defend. We also missed a lot of serves,” head coach Deidre Wierson said of her Huskies’ championship performance. “It was a pretty big letdown, but after a little bit they were obviously proud to make it that far, and playing well enough to get to that point.”

The Huskies almost didn’t make it to state, having had to trim Paynesville Area in a five-set match to win the Section 3A tournament and make the Twin Cities trip.

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But once at state, Wierson’s netters performed admirably. They opened with a convincing 3-0 quarterfinal victory over Annandale Thursday morning in the state tournament, then beat Mounds Park Academy in four sets Friday morning to advance to the finals.

JCC ’s win over Annandale consisted of 25-15, 25-14, 25-19 straight-set victories. The win over Mounds Park Academy was 25-21, 24-26, 25-13 and 25-14.

In Friday’s semifinal round, Sauk Centre defeated Hawley 3-0 on scores of 25-23, 25-15 and 25-23.

In the championship match, JCC started well with a 13-6 lead in the first set. Senior hitter Sadie Voss, who had 32 spike kills in the Mounds Park Academy match, got the 25th point on a kill.

But Sauk Centre led 7-3 in the second set, saw JCC tie the match 11-11, then scored the next four points to take control.

In the third set, JCC led 6-2 early, but couldn’t hold it.

In set four, the Mainstreeters scored the first four points, fell behind 6-5, then scored 13 of the next 18. JCC rallied back from a 21-15 deficit to come within three points, 22-19, on a Payton Hanson kill from the middle row. But the rally wasn’t sustained.

Voss, who had three blockers put up against her for much of Saturday’s showdown, finished with 22 kills. Emma Haren and Georgianna Wenzel had 10 kills apiece, and Hanson had six. Maci Farmer had 50 set assists for the Huskies.

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Emma Kittelson and Jenna Gapinski-Vogt led Sauk Centre with 11 kills each.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
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