Bethlehem Academy Volleyball Flies Into Semifinals
Efficient offense fueled by very good defense. That's how I would describe the Faribault Bethlehem Academy sweep of Breckenridge in Class A Quarterfinal State Tournament action.
There was a great crowd from both schools in attendance adding to a terrific atmosphere at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.
The Cardinals did fly by the Cowgirls with scores of 25-12, 25-15, 25-14 in 66 minutes.
BA was the #4 seed, ranked #9 in the final Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Class A poll. Breckenridge rated #6, received the #5 seed.
Bethlehem Academy Head Coach Chris Bothun was able to get some reserves into the match which is always nice. Unlike the biggest schools in the state the smallest schools have three consecutive days of matches if they don't lose their first two.
Class 4A gets Friday off to prepare for the final day. Class 3A schools had Thursday off after opening on Wednesday.
The Cardinals were hitting on all cylinders with a team hitting percentage of .308. They had 49 kills to the Cowgirls 29, 79 digs to 69, 4 blocks to 2 blocks, 47 set assists to 26.
Attack percentages by set for Bethlehem Academy were .280 with 17 kills first, .429 with 16 kills second and .244 with 16 kills.
Breckenridge hit .077 with 8 kills in the first set, .171, 14 kills second and 7 kills and .050 in the third.
Juniors Jaden Lang, Reagan Kangas and senior Ellie Cohen were our Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Faribault Players of the Match. Lang smacked .778 with 7 kills and two block assists.
Kangas disperses the ball so well from anywhere on the floor in a calm manner. She finished with 43 set assists (the team had 47). Cohen appeared at state the last time the Cardinals were there and led the team with 16 kills while hitting .302 in BA's State opener on Thursday.
Junior Kate Trump lassoed the Cowgirls for 15 kills while hitting .400 and amassing 11 digs. Trump and Mia Potter had the Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy of Owatonna Delivery of the Match.
Trump had at least 4 kills on a difficult slice shot she has perfected that was chosen for a Delivery of the Match. Potter was also chosen for that honor thanks to delivering 35 digs in the match.
Trump finished with 15 digs while hitting .400. Classmate Lindsay Hanson had 11 kills on .206 hitting.
Senior Jennifer Robert pummeled two ace serves for BA.
The Cardinals will play #1 seed, #1 rated Mayer Lutheran for the third time this season. Maybe the third time is the charm.
It won't be easy they are so athletic and played everyone on their roster in a sweep of South Ridge of Culver. Scores were 25-4, 25-10, 25-16. The 49 minute match was totally dominated by the Crusaders who had a team hitting percentage of .368.
Eleven different players recorded a kill for Mayer Lutheran. Lily Wachholz leading the way with 7 while hitting .750. Setter Emma Lade had 21 set assists, 5 service aces.
The Crusaders had 9 blocks, South Ridge zero.
Bethlehem Academy is going to have to step it up another notch to get past Mayer Lutheran. The Cardinals lost to them the third match of the season at home and also fell in a tournament but did score a set victory during that match.
The Semifinals match is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start. It will be broadcast on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, the KDHL app.
There was an upset in Class A Quarterfinal action. Unranked Walker-Hackensack-Akeley swept #3 seed, #5 rated Legacy Christian Academy 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 in 82 minutes.
The other match #2 seed and #2 rated Minneota bested unrated Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 25-15, 25-13, 25-11 in 59 minutes.
The Vikings played everybody while hitting .351 with 43 kills compared to .115 and 26 kills for their opponent.
Minneota versus Walker-Hackensack-Akeley will follow the BA against Mayer Lutheran semifinal.
This is interesting.
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