Stewartville vs North Branch Volleyball

Stewartville's Erin Lamb, right, hugs Allie Elliott after their win in the Class AA state volleyball championship match against North Branch on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. (Andrew Link / alink@postbulletin.com)

VOLLEYBALL

State semifinals

At Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul

Final Score: Stewartville vs. North Branch 20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 15-12

What happened: The Tigers were taken to the limit by the Vikings, the match lasting five sets. Stewartville's Erin Lamb and Kaitlyn Prondzinski were big in the final set, Lamb with three kills there and Prondzinski with two. Stewartville struggled in the first set but righted itself after that.

Records: Stewartville finished 30-4 North Branch is 29-5. 

What it means: Stewartville is the state champion in Class AA. The last time Stewartville won a state volleyball championship was in 2014, when it beat Marshall in a five-set thriller. The Tigers have won five state titles in all under coach John Dzubay.

Notes: The Tigers' Lamb, Prondzinski and Lily Welch combined for 51 kills. Jaidyn Brower had 46 set assists. The Tigers had to work around the oustanding play of outside hitter Cianna Selbitschka who had 33 kills. Stewartville graduates four seniors from this team, including All-State player Prondzinski and do-everything player Welch. . .North Branch won the state title a year ago, when it entered as the No. 4 seed. This time the Vikings were seeded third.

 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Stewartville 3, North Branch 2

North Branch 25 19 16 25 12

Stewartville 20 25 25 23 15

North Branch: Paige Sheehan 5 kills, 48 assists, 11 digs; Paige Peaslee 9 kills; Cianna Selbitschka 33 kills, 1 assists, 17 digs, 2 blocks; Haley Hadrava 3 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 2 digs; Reagan Irons 6 kills; Emily Benedict 2 kills, 2 digs.

Stewartville: Jolie Stecher 5 kills, 2 assists, 9 digs, 1 block; Allie Eliott 2 assists, 9 digs; Jaidyn Brower 3 kills, 46 assists, 1 ace, 11 digs; Lily Welch 12 kills 1 assist, 2 aces, 23 digs; Erin Lamb 21 kills, 2 assists, 1 ace, 16 digs, 1 block; Kaitlyn Prondzinski 18 kills, 2 assists; 10 digs.

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