Volleyball | Spartans 3-peat as Exchange Club champs

Rochester Mayo made too many serving errors, fell behind early and generally didn't play its best volleyball of the season Saturday morning at the National Volleyball Center.

Rochester Mayo made too many serving errors, fell behind early and generally didn't play its best volleyball of the season Saturday morning at the National Volleyball Center.

And yet the Spartans emerged as champions for a third straight year from the 16-team Exchange Club Fall Invitational tournament.

"I'll take it," said Mayo head coach Deb Frederick, after the Spartans came from behind to beat Glencoe-Silver Lake in the title match, 17-25, 25-21, 15-13.

Besides dropping the first set, Mayo trailed 4-1 and 9-5 in the deciding third set, before rallying. The Spartans scored the last three points, with senior outside hitter Anna Winter providing a deceptive tip kill from the left side for match point.

Mayo won this tournament for the seventh time in 17 years and extended Rochester teams' title streak to six straight years; Century won it in 2010, and John Marshall took it in 2011 and '12.


"I don't know that our goal coming in is to defend the (tournament) title; the goal is to defeat the next opponent," Frederick said. "You can't worry about (winning the title) because you are not there yet."

Mayo (23-2) ran its season winning streak to 16 with one regular-season game remaining Thursday at Century. The Spartans won their first three matches in this tournament by 2-0 sweeps.

"We came out flat (against GSL), not like we normally do," Frederick said. "We missed way too many serves; we average five or six (serving errors) per match, and we made that many in the first set."

Winter finished with 14 kills and eight digs, junior Kate Holtan had 11 kills and 13 digs, and sophomore Lexie Lang had 28 assists to lead Mayo. Senior Kat Mass and junior Kiarra Harden combined for five blocks in the middle.

Mayo hasn't played from behind a lot this season, and Frederick said it was reassuring that her players didn't seem to panic.

"I think for us, we just need to stay on the same level of intensity throughout a match," she said. "They had the composure to come back; they knew they could do it."

Glencoe-Silver Lake (24-5) is a Class AA program without a lot of height, but the unranked Panthers proved scrappy again in their fourth tournament appearance.

"We finished third last year and second once, so we're getting closer," said GSL head coach Lori Schwirtz.


Schwirtz said GLS is "small but mighty" and is known for its defense. The Panthers are also a veteran bunch with six seniors and six juniors, all of whom were on last year's 21-win team. GLS fell in the Section 2AA quarterfinals last year to Belle Plaine, which three-peated as the section champ.

"We came out strong and put Mayo back on its feet a little bit, but they got stronger as we went," Schwirtz said. "It was a great championship match."

GLS travels 2 1/2 hours one way for this tournament and Schwinke said it's worthwhile for the competition it provides.

"We played our last three matches against triple-A schools — John Marshall, Century and Mayo — and that's a great way to get us ready for the section tournament," Schwirtz said.

GSL had a comeback win of its own in the Pool A title match, dropping the first set in a 2-1 win over Century. GSL won the second game.

"It's a tournament where we can bond, because it's an overnighter, and the girls always look forward to the competition we'll face," Schwirtz said.

Century takes third, reaches 20 wins

After dropping a close three-game match to GSL in the Pool A first-place match on Saturday, Century came from behind against Hayfield to win third place, 19-25, 25-12, 15-10. The Panthers went 3-1 and ran their season record to 20-5.


Century coach Britany Weidman said she was happy with how the Panthers played. The loss to GSL was "the best volleyball" she has seen her team play all season.

"We lost a tough three-game match to Glencoe-Silver Lake to go to the championship game, so it was hard for the girls to come out the next match with the energy they needed to beat a solid team like Hayfield," Weidman said.

"But they were able to pull it together in the second set of the consolation match and pulled out the win behind the leadership of our captains and seniors."

Weidman believes the Panthers "are going to surprise" in the section playoffs, thanks partly to the return of junior setter Sydney Kruisselbrink from an injury that has kept her out all season.

JM beats Lourdes for seventh

John Marshall went 2-2 in the tournament, finishing with a close 2-0 win over Lourdes in the seventh-place match, 25-21, 25-23.

" It was a good weekend for JM with some very close losses," JM coach Jessica Stellmaker said. "We played Glencoe Silver, who was in the championship game, very well. Losing in three and the second and third game could have gone either way."

Abol Barnaba led JM in the tournament with 33 kills and 10 blocks. Jaden Jurgenson had 88 set assists, and Kia Schepp had a team-high 55 digs.




Pool Play finals

First place

Pool A: Glencoe-Silver Lake def. Century 25-14, 30-28, 15-8

Pool B: Mayo def. Hayfield 25-21, 25-17

Third place

Pool A: Forest Lake def. John Marshall 25-22, 25-21


Pool B: Sauk Rapids-Rice def. Lourdes 25-16, 20-25, 15-3

Fifth place

Pool A: Irondale def. Pine Island 23-25, 25-20, 15-12

Pool B: Plainview-Elgin-Millville def. Dover-Eyota 25-17, 25-19

Seventh place

Pool A: Fillmore Central def. Kingsland 25-13, 25-18

Pool B: Blue Earth Area def. Patrick Henry 29-27, 25-15

Championship finals


First place

Mayo def. Glencoe-Silver Lake 17-25, 25-21, 15-13

Third place

Century def. Hayfield 19-25, 25-12, 15-10

Fifth place

Forest Lake def. Sauk Rapids-Rice 20-25, 25-15, 15-8

Seventh place

John Marshall def. Lourdes 25-21, 25-23

Ninth place

Plainview-Elgin-Millville def. Irondale 25-17, 20-25, 15-5

11th place

Dover-Eyota def. Pine Island 25-16, 25-20

13th place

Fillmore Central def. Blue Earth Area 25-6, 25-20

15th place

Kingsland def. Patrick Henry 25-21, 5-25, 15-10

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