Here’s a brief summary of the opening day of the state volleyball tournament: 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 (etc.), “Cleveland Rocks,” five Diet Cokes, two pretzels. And now, the details …
--Of the 12 matches held on Day One, 10 were 3-0 sweeps. No games went to five games and the only four-gamers were Mayer Lutheran’s victory over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Sauk Centre’s win over defending state champ Marshall. That really helped keep things on schedule, which is never guaranteed.
--“Cleveland Rocks” was the tune of the day. We heard some exceptional pep bands, including the electrified and electrifying Ada-Borup rock & roll pep band (which was short a few musicians because they stayed home in order to not miss football practice). The Marshall band could probably get work entertaining deer hunters, considering that almost all of them wore blaze orange (it’s a school color, too). Kudos to the bands from Andover and Esko for hitting all the right notes on “Cleveland Rocks.”
--After several people asked me about the day’s Diet Coke count, I made an executive decision to reinstate the ever-popular DC Count. The DC: 5 for the day, 5 for the tournament.
--I also snuck in two pretzels – one cinnamon, one cheese. After all, you don’t stay in this kind of condition by eating nothing but fruits and vegetables.
--Here’s the Friday lineup for the Class 2A semifinals: Hutchinson vs. Stewartville at 5 pm. And Wadena-Deer Creek vs. Sauk Centre at 7 p.m.
--I drove up north to visit the Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball team earlier in the week, and the result was a in-depth story here on the Journal. Looks like the story unleashed a pretty strong media force when the Wolverines arrived in the Twin Cities. I chatted with coach Sue Volkmann before WDC’s quarterfinal match and she said they had been kept busy much of the day with interviews, as well as cameras following them wherever they went. Glad I could help spread the word.
That’s it for Day One. If you want to keep up with the volleyball tourney in real time (and see lots more photos), click on the MSHSL Facebook page as well as MSHSLjohn on Twitter.
5:15 P.M. UPDATE
We have made our way through the Class 1A volleyball semifinals, and this division also gave us the best match of the day so far.
With all four 3A matches and three in 1A decided by 3-0 scores, it appeared that a theme was developing. Then came Mayer Lutheran and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. They split the first two games, ensuring at least a four-gamer. Mayer Lutheran came out on top in a very exciting contest, 27-25, 17-25, 25-22, 26-24.
So Friday’s 1A semifinals look like this: Minneota vs. Martin County West at 1 p.m. and Wabasha-Kellogg vs. Mayer Lutheran at 3 p.m.
The Class 2A quarterfinals have just begun on one court, with Hutchinson facing Visitation. Stewartville and Esko (great nickname, Eskomos) will start soon, and the final two matches of the day will pit Wadena-Deer Creek vs. Delano and Marshall vs. Sauk Centre.
More tidbits …
--Ada-Borup’s student buses left for St. Paul at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and headed back north right after the match. The Cougars will have a busy day on Friday, with the volleyball team playing in the consolation bracket in St. Paul at 1 p.m. and the football team meeting Goodridge-Grygla in the Nine-Man football state quarterfinals at the Fargodome at 2 p.m.
--Best costumed fans: several boys from Mayer Lutheran, who dressed as gorillas, a banana and cheerleaders (skirts and all).
--Another killer rendition of “Cleveland Rocks,” this time by the Esko band. And the Eskomos have the cleanest, whitest tuba you will ever see outside a clean, white tuba factory.
--Back by popular demand, the Diet Coke count: 4 for the day, 4 for the tournament.
The 3A semifinals are all set, with Friday’s matches looking like this: Lakeville North vs. Centennial at 9 a.m., Wayzata vs. Waconia at 11 a.m.
The Class 1A quarterfinals have begun here at the X. Minneota is leading Win-E-Mac 1-0 and Martin County West is ahead of Ada-Borup 1-0. The Ada-Borup rock & roll pep band is here with us, which is always a treat.
Also on hand is one of my youngest journalistic colleagues, Ada-Borup student Nick Wagner. Nick is one of the superstars of the MSHSL’s new Student Sports Information Directors program. He and his fellow student SIDs at Ada-Borup are posting great stories and photos on their website. To see their work, go to the top of this page, click on the “Schools” link and then click on “Ada-Borup.” It’s terrific stuff.
Two more vignettes from Day One:
--A player was looking for a place to throw away her gum before taking the court. She opened up the lid of what looked like a trash receptacle. Oops, it was a container filled with ice.
--Waconia students held up a series of handmade signs that read “BELIEVE.” After the Wildcats’ victory, they put down four letters and the newly rearranged sign read “LEE” … in honor of coach Jim Lee.
More to come …
11:50 A.M. POST ...
Hello from downtown St. Paul. I’m sitting courtside at Xcel Energy Center for the opening day of one of the most exciting events in our high school universe, the state volleyball tournament.
This is always high-flying fun, with big, enthusiastic crowds, pep bands that keep the joint jumping and some absolutely fantastic athletes playing on two courts in one of the finest arenas in the world.
The Class 3A schools kick off the day, and the winners so far have been Lakeville North and Centennial. The Panthers defeated East Ridge in the first round and Centennial got past Rochester Mayo. As I type this, Waconia is battling Moorhead and Wayzata is facing Andover.
Two things that happened shortly after I got here this morning let me know where I was. 1) A volleyball bounced off my head. 2) I heard a band playing “Cleveland Rocks.”
As the Waconia Wildcats were waiting to enter the court and warm up, they were standing in a corridor just off the floor. I walked through them down the narrow hallway when coach Jim Lee stopped me. He introduced me to his team and said some nice things about the work I do on behalf of the MSHSL and high school activities. I told the girls that they were lucky to have a great coach like Mr. Lee and I wished them luck.
A few minutes later, the Wildcats were warming up when one of them hit a ball, uh, out of bounds. It sailed to the side of the court – where I was sitting – and softly conked me on the head. No harm done. My head is a lot harder than that.
One of the first tunes cranked out by the Andover band was “Cleveland Rocks” … always a personal favorite. On the other end of the Xcel Center, the Waconia orchestra gave us “Living On A Prayer."