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JCC wins state volleyball opener, 3-0

Strong starts and a versatile stable of hitters helped the Jackson County Central High School volleyball team to a convincing 3-0 victory over Annandale Thursday morning in the first round of the state Class AA tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

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ST. PAUL -- Strong starts and a versatile stable of hitters helped the Jackson County Central High School volleyball team to a convincing 3-0 victory over Annandale Thursday morning in the first round of the state Class AA tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

JCC beat Annandale 25-15, 25-14, 25-19 to advance into Friday’s semifinal action against Mounds Park Academy beginning at 9 a.m., again at Xcel. Mounds Park Academy (27-4) beat top-seeded Southwest Christian 3-2 in another quarterfinal match Thursday, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-11.

Sadie Voss had 14 kills, Emma Haren and Peyton Hanson had six kills each, and Georgianna Wenzel had five kills to go along with two blocks as the Huskies turned back the Cardinals on Thursday. Maci Farmer chipped in with 29 set assists and had three kills of her own as JCC improved to 28-6 on the 2021 season while dropping Annandale to 25-5.

In winning the Section 3 tournament, Jackson County Central had to go five tough sets to turn back Paynesville Area. But the Huskies were able to keep Annandale at bay for three straight.

Coach Deidre Wierson’s Huskies started well, moving out to a 5-0 lead in the first set in St. Paul, forcing the discombobulated Cardinals to take an early time-out. But it didn’t help as the Huskies moved to 8-0 before allowing their rivals to finally get on the scoreboard. Fighting back to within 9-5, Annandale then fell further behind after Farmer and Wenzel delivered back-to-back ace hits for 17-8 en route to the 10-point win.

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In the second set, Annandale led 3-2 but allowed JCC to win six of the next seven points. The Huskies led 14-9 midway through, allowed Annandale to creep to within 16-13 but rallied to the end. A Farmer ace tip made it 21-14, and a Haren ace tip made it 23-14. Annandale got no closer.

JCC led 4-2 to begin the third set, saw Annandale tie 4-4, then scored eight of the next 10 points for a 12-6 advantage. The Cardinals came to within 12-9 as JCC took a time-out to regroup, and another Cardinal point at the conclusion of a long rally brought them to within 14-11 with a much-needed jolt of confidence. JCC scored three of the next four points to regain momentum, however, and never looked back.

This marks JCC’s first state tournament volleyball berth since 2003.

In other state tournament action on Wednesday, the Marshall Tigers defeated St. Paul Highland Park 25-14, 25-4, 25-10 in the Class AAA first round and will play Grand Rapids, a 3-1 winner over Monticello, in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m. at Xcel.

Randi Wendorff had 11 kills for Marshall against Highland.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
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