Waterville-Elysian-Morristown swept fellow Gopher Conference member Medford in the MSHSL Class A State Volleyball Tournament today in St. Paul.  Scores were 25-21, 25-20, 25-20. It was the fourth meeting between the two teams this season and the Buccaneers have won each time.  In 11 sets the Tigers were able to win one.

It will be the top seed and defending State Champion Minneota Vikings and second seed Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers in the title match scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. first serve.  #3 seed Medford plays #5 seed Fosston for the third place trophy at 11:00 a.m.  If on time coverage on POWER 96 Radio, 95.9 FM will begin 10:45 a.m. with the third place match followed by the championship coverage at 12:45 p.m. also on POWER 96 and the FREE POWER 96 app worldwide.

Statistically the semifinal match between the two Gopher Conference schools was very close.  The Bucs with two more kills, two more assists, one less block and seven fewer digs.  The difference appeared to be behind the service line.  WEM had 8 ace serves and Medford 1.

In the first set at Xcel Energy Center today the Tigers had 12 kills while hitting .182.  The Bucs had 9 kills and hit .097. My notepad had 12 errors for Medford and 6 errors for WEM.

The second set the Buccaneers had 14 kills and hit .060 while Medford stroked 9 kills at a .048 clip.

The third set both teams had 13 kills with WEM a .233 attack percentage and Medford .122.

MSHSL statistics for the match were WEM with a .129 attack percentage and Medford .112 overall.

Bucs Head Coach Crystal Lamont told us following the match her team has to be more efficient Saturday if they want to head home with the Championship trophy.  They finished the three set match with 20 hitting errors, 5 service errors, a receiving error and 3 total blocking errors.   Not to mention in the net, double hits and other mistakes.

The Tigers had 21 hitting errors, 6 service errors, 8 serve receive errors and 4 total blocking errors.

There were a few really fun back and forth volleys in the match.  In the end the Tigers had 14 fewer points and 10 more total errors.

Individually for Medford senior Emma Kniefel led all attackers on the floor with a .344 hitting percentage and 13 kills.  Kniefel also received 22 serves with no errors.  Junior Kinsey Cronin collected 7 kills on .000 hitting.

Senior Alyvia Johnson had 6 kills with a 0.95 attack percentage.  Senior setter Morgan Langeslag had 29 assists, 11 digs.  Senior libero Kiley Nihart led all players on the floor with 21 digs and had an ace serve.

For the Bucs junior Kylie Pittman recorded 15 kills while hitting .233, with 4 ace serves, 12 digs.  Senior Delaney Donahue hit .107 with 7 kills, 2 ace serves, 7 digs. Junior Toryn Richards hit .031 with 8 kills, 2 ace serves, 7 digs.  Junior setter Ellie Ready had 32 assists, 11 digs.  Senior Trista Hering hit .333 with 6 kills, 3 blocks.

Coach Lamont told us Minneota reminds her of her own team with a lot of athletes on the floor.

Frankly, Fosston reminds me a lot of Medford so we could have back to back five set thrillers tomorrow.