Fillmore Central, FBA to meet again

There's a new power on the southeastern Minnesota volleyball landscape. It's Fillmore Central.

Fillmore Central's Sara Schultz digs a ball during Section 1A East finals against Mabel-Canton on Thursday at the Mayo Civic Center.

There's a new power on the southeastern Minnesota volleyball landscape. It's Fillmore Central.

For the second straight year, the Falcons were overpowering in the Section 1A East finals, dismantling historic power Mabel-Canton 3-0 at Mayo Civic Center Arena on Thursday night.

Fillmore Central will next face Faribault Bethlehem Academy in the Section 1A championship at 1 p.m. Saturday, a rematch from a year ago when the Falcons prevailed.

FBA lost its first game to Hayfield on Thursday in the Section 1A West title match, then won the rest.

A year ago it was Fillmore Central beating M-C 3-1 in the subsection finals. This latest win over the Cougars wasn't just a sweep, but a lopsided one as the Falcons took advantage of their senior-led team, paced by middle hitters Sammi Bakke and Leah Scheevel, and setter Morgan Malley.


No. 2 seed Fillmore Central (24-7 overall) won 25-15, 25-13, 25-15.

"It's a luxury to have those three," Fillmore Central first-year head coach Travis Malley said. "Those three have been starting for us since they were freshmen. They have a great feel for each other."

Bakke insists that it isn't just the three of them that connect so well. She says that it is their entire team, but especially their five seniors, with Sara Schultz and Kaitlynn Aug rounding out that experienced and athletic group.

It was a pack of these same girls who helped lead Fillmore Central to a second-place state tournament finish last year.

Thursday night, top seed M-C had no answer for them.

Bakke finished with 13 kills and Scheevel nine. Malley made sure they got into their hitting groove with 29 precise sets. Sophomore middle hitter Kendyl Bennett added seven kills, and was 13-for-13 serving with two aces.

"We communicate so well, and our passing was great tonight," Bakke said.

M-C coach Lonnie Morken gave full credit to Fillmore Central


"You've just got tip your hat to them," said Morken, whose Cougars finished 31-5. "There were some things we thought we could exploit, but it never happened. Fillmore Central played great."

Fillmore Central 3, Mabel-Canton 0

Fillmore Central#25#25#25


Fillmore Central:Paige Bennett 7 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces; Sara Schultz 20 digs; Tayah Barnes 4 kills, 20 digs; Sammi Bakke 13 kills, 2 blocks; Morgan Malley 4 kills, 29 assists, 9 digs, 2 aces; Taylor Sprenger 7 digs; Shelby Ebner 2 assists, 5 digs, 2 aces; Leah Scheevel 9 kills, 2.5 blocks.

Mabel-Canton:Sara Vettelson-Trutza 11 kills; Coranda Vickerman 13 digs; Savannah Slafter 10 digs.


FBA does it again


Make it 13 straight subsection championships for No. 1 seed and top-ranked Faribault Bethlehem Academy.

And make it a still spotless record this season against Class A competition.

No. 2 seed Hayfield was the Cardinals' latest victim, though it didn't come without an initial scare from the Vikings in the Section 1A West championship.

Hayfield was on its game early and fought to a 27-25 win in Game 1. It also led the second game 14-9, before FBA seized control. The Cardinals won the final three games 25-19, 25-21, 25-13 to push to the Section 1A championship once again.

Now FBA is looking to get to state for the 11th time in the last 13 years.

Hayfield, which finished 18-11, still went away feeling like it gave the Cardinals something to think about.

"I was happy with our output," Hayfield coach Jeremy Struck said. "We played with them and that was fun to watch. But as the match wore on, (FBA) was able to put the ball where our people were not."

FBA got a monster game from setter Payton Nutter. The sophomore had 17 kills, 36 assists and two service aces. Hayfield was paced by setter Maggie Streightiff. The freshman had seven kills, 13 digs and 12 assists.


Faribault BA 3, Hayfield 1


Faribault BA#25#25#25#25

Hayfield:Carrie Rutledge 7 kills, 17 digs, 4 blocks; Maggie Streightiff 7 kills, 13 digs, 12 assists; Katelyn Bjornson 6 kills; Johanna Bungum 8 kills; Kaila Meyer 15 assists; Kerstin DeNeui 15 digs; Savanna Cordle 4 blocks.

Faribault BA:Payton Nutter 17 kills, 36 assists, 2 aces; Teddy Campbell 11 kills; Lauren Mathews 15 kills; Madi Strodtman 8 kills; Hannah Robb 3 assists.

What To Read Next
Get Local