Hayley Fruin will be the first person to tell you that she's a very fortunate coach. She has been in charge of the Minneota volleyball team for three years, and the Vikings recorded their second consecutive Class 1A state championship on Saturday.
Their 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown capped a spectacular 33-3 season; the Vikings’ only loss to a Class 1A team came at the hands of BOLD in a tournament, with the other defeats against Class 3A teams
Northfield and New Prague.
The 2018 and 2019 titles aren’t the only Minneota state championships Fruin has had a hand in. When the Vikings won their first volleyball title in 2006 she was a member of the team.
And here’s something that portends well for Year 4 of the Haley Regime: The Vikings will return in nearly full force in 2020. The only senior who played significant minutes in the tournament was Morgan Hennen, with classmates Reese Gillund and Madison Sorenson providing strong competition in practice and great bench support.
"I've had Morgan on my team for four years,” said Fruin, who coached the B squad before becoming head coach. “She started on the B squad my first year and I give her a lot of heck because we're related, but she's a great kid. We’re going to miss her.
“Madison Sorensen is just a big goofball and I love that kid. She’s always providing so much energy to this team and I think that can go unnoticed; people don't realize how much the bench plays into it. And then we have Reese and she's doing the same thing. Everybody knows their role and everybody bought into it. And I know for a senior it might be hard if you're not playing, but those two kids, day in and day out, they're giving it their all in practice and making these kids better, and also on the bench when we're a little bit exhausted, they're always yelling and cheering for the next point.”
Stewartville outlasts North Branch in 2A
Stewartville won its fifth state title and first since 2014 with a five-set victory over defending champion North Branch in Class 2A. Both teams played five sets in Friday’s semifinals and the Tigers came out on top Saturday 20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 15-12.
Wayzata Claims 3A Title
The final match of the volleyball season was emblematic of the state tournament, a five-set marathon that went back and forth before Wayzata defeated Eagan 25-20, 14-25, 21-25, 25-19, 16-14 for the Class 3A championship. Of the six semifinals and three championships matches during the state tournament, five of the nine went to five sets in one of the most exciting tourneys in memory.
The title was the first for Wayzata, which was the state runner-up in 2009 and 2010. Eagan, losing for the only time all season, was playing in its 12th state championship match. The Wildcats have now been the state runner-up for three years in a row.
Wells Fargo All-Tournament Teams
Class 1A: Claire Vekich, Greenway; Emma Kniefel, Kinsey Cronin, Medford; Toryn Richards, Ellie Ready, Delaney Donahue, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown; McKenna Yost, Abby Hennen, Natalee Rolbiecki, Morgan Hennen, Minneota.
Class 2A: Mikayla Coops, Morgan Kruger, Belle Plaine; Kira Fallert, Concordia Academy; Logan Sherman, Marshall; Lily Welch, Erin Lamb, Kaitlyn Prondzinski, Stewartville; Paige Sheehan, Cianna Selbitschka, Paige Peaslee, North Branch.
Class 3A: Halle Wolfe, Lakeville North; Skyler Germann, Minnetonka; Lauren Stenman, Jenna Rubbelke, North St. Paul; Elizabeth Helmich, Olivia Johnson, Sophie Jesewitz, Wayzata; Abby Moe, Sienna Ifill, Kennedi Orr, Eagan.
Fifth place: Greenway defeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 25-17, 25-21, 25-18
Third place: Medford defeated Fosston 25-16, 25-16, 25-17
Championship: Minneota defeated Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 25-19, 25-19, 25-20
Fifth place: Marshall defeated Watertown-Mayer 25-19, 25-21, 25-15
Third place: Belle Plaine defeated Concordia Academy 26-28, 17-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-9
Championship: Stewartville defeated North Branch 20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 15-12
Fifth place: Lakeville North defeated St. Louis Park 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18
Third place: North St. Paul defeated Minnetonka 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 25-9
Championship: Wayzata defeated Eagan 25-20, 14-25, 21-25, 25-19, 16-14
--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.