ST. PAUL — It wasn’t the ending Kasson-Mantorville had hoped for, but the KoMets ended one of the most successful volleyball seasons in school history in style.
No. 1-ranked and top-seeded K-M battled back from behind in all three sets to beat Concordia Academy 3-0 in the third-place match at the Class AA state tournament on Saturday.
K-M won 25-23, 28-26, 26-24.
The KoMets closed their season — and the high school careers of four outstanding seniors — with a 32-3 record.
Their three losses this year came against the three teams that won state championships — Champlin Park (Class AAA), North Branch (Class AA) and Minneota (Class A).
Saturday’s victory came on the heels of the KoMets’ most emotional match of the season, a five-set loss to North Branch in the state semifinals.
But K-M was able to shake that off and sweep the third-place match against Concordia in three closely contested sets.
Concordia (28-5) led late in all three sets in the match, but K-M’s depth and top hitters came through when it mattered most.
The Beacons led 22-20 in the opening set, but they committed a service error, then K-M’s Emilee Terry recorded three consecutive kills before First Team All-State hitter and Miss Volleyball finalist Peyton Suess ended the set with a kill.
Concordia served to win Set 2 three different times, but K-M answered each time. The KoMets trailed 26-25, but Mya Suess, Peyton Suess and Madison Cummings strung together three consecutive kills to finish the set and give their team a 2-0 lead in the match.
K-M jumped out to a fast 11-3 lead in the third set, but the Beacons came storming back, using a 12-2 run to take a 15-13 lead.
The teams traded the lead and traded points until Concordia held a 24-22 lead. Mya Suess then recorded a kill to start a match-clinching 4-0 run that included an error by the Beacons and kills by Peyton Suess and Cummings to end it.
K-M will say goodbye to seniors Peyton Suess, Caroline Braun, McKenzie Evans and Bailey Berge. They all played in at least three state tournaments and won 78 matches over the past three years.
Terry (14 kills, 14 digs against Concordia) and Peyton Suess (20 kills, 2 aces, 21 digs) were named to the All-Tournament Team.
K-M 3, CONCORDIA 0
Concordia Academy 23 26 24
Kasson-Mantorville 25 28 26
Concordia Academy: Kira Fallert 16 kills, 3 aces, 16 digs; Lydia Lecher 9 kills, 7 digs; Naomi Bunker 7 kills, 3.5 blocks.
Kasson-Mantorville: Caroline Braun 7 kills, 10 digs, 2 blocks; McKenzie Evans 2 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks; Maddie Converse 35 assists, 6 digs; Emilee Terry 14 kills, 14 digs; Mya Suess 7 kills, 4 digs; Peyton Suess 20 kills, 2 aces, 21 digs; Cate Wanous 2 digs, 1 ace; Madison Cummings 3 kills; Anna Braun 9 assists; Bailey Berge 28 digs, 2 aces.