Grand Meadow (10-3, 13-12) and LeRoy-Ostrander (10-3, 18-9) entered the final short week of the regular season tied atop the SEC-West. Each had one SEC game left. Each won said contest. The teams are co-SEC-West champs, losing to each other and to East powers Mabel-Canton and Spring Grove in league play. Matt Rosaaen’s Larks had a bit tougher assignment, Lanesboro (7-6, 14-8). Matches between the squads went five sets each of the last three years. The Larks bucked that trend with a 3-0 sweep (25-16, 25-17, 25-19), avenging last year’s regular-season-ending 3-2 loss. Haylie Paul (12 kills), Lexy Foster (10 kills, 5 digs, 15-16 serving, 4 aces), and Lauren Queensland (9 kills, 13 digs) led the ‘O’. Hallie Hendrickson (32 assists, 10 digs) racked up the assists. Cheyenne Bakken (11 digs) and Gracie Foster (11 digs) gave GM four with double digit denials. Rylee Schaufler (4 kills, 7 digs) helped.
Lanesboro was led by Ellie Howard (16 digs), Claire Keasling (19 assists), and Jenysn Storhoff (8 kills). The Burros (7-7, 14-9) are 1A’s 11-seed, and will play at 6-seed Faribault B.A. (13-14). Meanwhile, Lindsey Milks’ L-O group had it easier, sweeping through winless Schaeffer Academy 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-9). Hitter Benita Nolt had 21 kills to lead the way. It was her fifth 20-kill SEC match of the year and she is over 300 total kills. Jenna Olson (30 assists, 6 digs) continued to rack up the helpers. She has over 600 assists. Kaci McKenzie (6 kills, 18-19 serving, 4 aces), Brooke Jasper (4 kills, 8 digs, 3 aces), Maria Almaraz-Nolt (4 kills, 8 digs), and Keira Lewison (20-20 serving, 3 aces) helped.
L-O, by tiebreaker, moved on to the SEC East-West Showcase game versus Mabel-Canton (read further). Grand Meadow (10-3, 14-12) is 1A’s 10-seed, will play at 7-seed Rushford-Peterson (4-6, 14-12).