The official statistics for Faribault Bethlehem Academy showed 20 ace serves in a sweep of the Houston Hurricanes at Van Orsow Thursday night.

Scores were 25-4, 25-10, 25-8.

The Hurricanes finish their season 5-15.  The Cardinals are 17-11.

Houston spent two hours on a school bus to travel to Faribault for a match that lasted 43 minutes and 30 seconds.   Then they had to jump on the bus to go back home on a school night.

In my opinion, this is the lunacy that a 20 team section brings to the sport.

Bring back the Subsections in Section 1 please.  The east and the west.  If you don't like that then have a north and south.

I asked BA Head Coach Chris Bothun what she thought about the arrangement and she really didn't seem to care one way or the other.  When she played for the Cardinals I believe there might have been the Districts and Regions.  Just a difference in names.

A couple years ago coaches wanted to move to the total section arrangement with the belief you have a better chance of getting the best teams in the finals.  So often they said the best teams one year might be in the east and another year in the west and they would face either other in a Subsection Final instead of the Section Final.

Meanwhile you get a team traveling four hours on the road to play a 43 minute and 30 second match.

Houston was the #17 seed.  They defeated Southland on the road in a play-in match Monday to earn the trip to Faribault and play Section 1A top seed Bethlehem Academy.

There were three other play-in matches.  Randolph swept Schaeffer Academy and made a long trip to #2 seed Mabel-Canton.  The Rockets won the first set 25-16 before the Cougars reeled off 25-7, 25-9, 25-10 wins.

#14 Glenville-Emmons swept #19 MSAD to earn a trip to #3 seed Kenyon-Wanamingo.  About an hour bus ride to KWHS to play a 25-8, 25-9, 25-9 less than an hour match.

#13 Kingsland defeated #20 Lyle-Pacelli so they could travel to #4 seed Spring Grove.  The Knights lost 25-20, 25-14, 25-14.

I really felt bad for the people who supported the Hurricanes by traveling to Faribault for the match.  In the Subsection format they would probably have a maximum 1 hour ride to their competition.  More likely the ride would be about 30 minutes.

In the Kenyon-Wanamingo sweep the Knights had 12 ace serves led by freshman Carmen Nerison with 7.

K-W had great balance offensively with a total 33 kills.  Tessa Erlandson, Stella Rechtzigel and Leah Berg each had 8 kills while Julia Dahl added 7.

The Knights had 8 blocks led by Stella Rechtzigel with 4, Norah Rechtzigel added 2 ace blocks.

Nerison finished the night with 30 set assists.  Dahl and Erlandson set the digs pace with 12 and 11 respectively.  The team had 38 digs.

Bethlehem Academy plays Rushford-Peterson 10 Saturday morning in Rochester.  The #9 seed Trojans downed #8 Grand Meadow in five sets.

Kenyon-Wanamingo goes up against #6 seed Alden-Conger 11:30 Saturday morning at the Rochester Mayo Civic Center.  They swept Leroy-Ostrander.  Set scores were not reported.

#2 seed Mabel-Canton will have #7 Hayfield at 10 Saturday morning.  The Vikings defeated Lanesboro in four sets.  Hayfield led 25-17, 25-20 before the Burros kicked up a 25-18 win. The Vikings closed out the match 25-21 in the fourth set.

The other match Saturday in Rochester at 11:30 a.m. will be #4 Spring Grove versus #5 Fillmore Central.  The Falcons swept Wabasha-Kellogg 25-11, 25-14, 25-19.

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