Someday, an SEC team will beat Mabel-Canton in an SEC league game. It will happen, someday. Lanesboro hoped that day would be in 2021. Last year they took M-C to five sets. Earlier in the season, Julie Schreiber’s Burros had M-C down big in games two and three, but fell in three sets. The re-match saw the Burros (6-1, 13-3) come in with maybe their strongest team in recent memory while #4 in Class A M-C (8-0, 16-3) still sat perched as the SEC’s top-kahuna. A classic game ensued. Each of the first three sets in Mabel went extra volleyball. Set one had 13 ties. Lanesboro twice fought back from down three (15-12, 19-16) to tie. Late, M-C had to re-group, as the Burros led 23-21. Lanesboro was at set point (24-23). The Cougars staved it off, and then got a kill from Kinley Soiney followed by a combo-block from Soiney and Molly Lee for the 26-24 win. M-C won despite being out-killed 15 to 7. Game two saw the Burros pull a rarity. Typically, when M-C starts super-fast, it is over. Lonnie Morken’s group jumped out 13-4. But a six-point Jensyn Storhoff serving session (a 7-0 run total) annulled a chunk of that lead, as the Burros closed to down 13-11. They trailed by four points as late as 23-19. But a 4-0 run, one capped by a Storhoff ace, made it 23-23. Kaci Ruen’s back-row kill put Lanesboro at set point, 24-23. M-C staved off three total set points. Lanesboro staved off three set points. With it 29-29, Ellie Anderson scored a kill, and K-Ruen followed with ace. Coming back from down nine, Lanesboro evened the set, 31-29! Things continued down the same road in game three. The game’s 13th tie was at 24-24, as M-C survived another set point (down 24-23) via Saijal Slafter kill. A Slafter ace block of a big K-Ruen attack put the Cougars at set point. Junior stand-out Sophie Morken then iced the set with a savvy placement kill, as M-C went ahead 2-1 via a 26-24 win. And in game four, the tenseness finally had a survivor. M-C kept its tenor. Lanesboro treaded in the deep water until late, as the match was tied 16-16. But the home Cougars finished on a 9-2 run. Sophie M. had four placement kills in that span. They took the game 25-18, the fantastic match 3-1 (26-24, 29-31, 26-24, 25-18). Sophie M. (team-bests 22 kills, .392 hitting, and 33 digs, 18-20 serving) led M-C. She errored twice on 51 attacks. From there, the Cougars got balance from Lee (10 kills, 23 digs), Slafter (8 kills), Soiney (7 kills, 4 ½ blks), and Emily Carolan (6 kills, 8 digs). Sahara Morken put up a lot of assists and served perfectly (49 assists, 17 digs, 29-29 serving, 2 aces). McKenzie Kelly (14 digs, 15-16 serving, 2 aces) helped. Lanesboro was led by K-Ruen, who led all hitters (24 kills – at least five in each set, 20 digs, 3 blks), Jessie Schreiber (17 kills, 19 digs, 3 blks, 14-15 serving), who played the first match-up recovering from a sprained ankle, Tessum (35 digs), who topped 1,000 career digs in the match, and Cambern (6 kills, 43 assists, 20-21 serving, 20 digs). Ancillary players Skyler Check (16 digs), Ellie Anderson (5 kills), Storhoff (17-19 serving, 2 aces, 6 digs), and Lynsey Ruen (9 digs) also stepped up. M-C was 97 of 104 serving (93.3%) with 6 aces. They had 53 kills at a .184 hitting (21 errors) and 100 digs. Lanesboro was 84 of 98 serving (85.7%) with 8 aces. They had 57 kills at a .134 percentage (26 errors) and 131 digs. Five girls had at least 16. M-C out-scored Lanesboro 106 to 97. The Burros had 12 more combined service/hitting errors than M-C. The Cougars also beat Houston (See Volleyball). They (10-0, 18-3) lead the SEC-East over SG (6-1, 10-6) and Lanesboro (6-2, 14-7).