Volleyball: Stewartville strong to the finish again

ST. PAUL -- The Stewartville volleyball team prefers to end it seasons with a win, and more often than not that's the way it has gone at the state tournament.

ST. PAUL -- The Stewartville volleyball team prefers to end it seasons with a win, and more often than not that's the way it has gone at the state tournament.

Stewartville edged Rocori in five sets in the Class AA third place match on Saturday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.

Stewartville won the first, third and fifth sets, with a 15-11 score in the fifth, and claimed the third-place trophy for the eighth time. The Tigers finished with a 25-9 record.

Senior middle hitter Jenna Willenborg had 21 kills and four blocks, and junior middle hitter Libby Christenson had 16 kills and four blocks. Sophomore Julianne Waugh had six of the Tigers' eight ace serves, and she and senior Tara Rogers both had a team-high 29 digs.

Rocori (29-3) was led by junior outside hitter Breanna Shouviller with 15 kills, and junior libero Abby Lieser with 38 digs.


Stewartville was at the state tournament for a 23rd time since 1987, and the Tigers remarkably won two-of-three at state for the 21st time. They have never gone 0-2 at state.

Stewartville's state tournament trophy count now stands at four first places, five seconds, eighth thirds, one fourth, four fifths and one sixth.

This state tournament will be remembered as the first one that was not coached by John Dzubay, although he was technically still the head coach of the team.

Scott Willenborg, a longtime junior high and junior varsity coach in the program, took over the varsity this season when Dzubay served a suspension for alleged violations of Minnesota State High School League bylaws.

Dzubay was suspended for the first five regular-season matches, and also for all of the postseason tournament matches. He was not allowed to have contact with the team, nor could he attend playoff matches as a spectator, despite a plea to the Stewartville school board from a player on the team.

Five seniors played their last match for Stewartville, Jenna Willenborg, Rogers, Emily Branstad, Karissa Kime and Amanda O'Connell. Willenborg and Kime were named to the 10-player Class AA all-tournament team.


Stewartville 3, Rocori 2


Stewartville #25#23#25#20#15

Rocori #23#25#14#25#11

Stewartville (25-9)(Kills-aces-blocks) - Jenna Willenborg 21-1-4; Libby Christenson 16-0-4; Tara Rogers 10-0-1; Julianne Waugh 4-6-3; Kaitlyn Prondzinski 4-0-0; Karissa Kime 4-1-5; Amanda O'Connell 1-0-0; Totals 60-8-9.0. (Assists) - Karissa Kime 45. (Dig leaders) - Julianne Waugh 29; Tara Rogers 29; Emily Rinken 24; Karissa Kime 21; Emily Branstad 14; Amanda O'Connell 9

Rocori (29- 3)(Kills-aces-blocks) - Breanna Schouviller 15-0-3; Eleanor Holthaus 12-1-2; Morgan Holthaus 12-3-4; Ashlan Svihel 8-0-1; Maddie Karls 5-0-2; Chelsea Schroeder 1-0-0; Ashley Stang 1-0-2; Abby Anderson 0-1-0; Totals 54-5-8.0. (Assists) - Morgan Holthaus 24; Eleanor Holthaus 20. (Dig leaders) - Abby Lieser 38; Eleanor Holthaus 24; Morgan Holthaus 22; Abby Anderson 21; Chelsea Schroeder 16; Maddie Karls 8.

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