VB: Wolverines to square off with defending state champion
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines completed the first step by winning their Class A quarterfinal match with the Ada-Borup/Norman County West Cougars on Nov. 9 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Now, the Wolverines prepare for their toughest test of the season when they take on the tournament’s No. 1 seeded team in the Mayer Lutheran Crusaders. Like the Wolverines, the Crusaders advanced to the semifinals with a 3-0 victory over Cook Country. The Crusaders enter the contest with a 30-2 record overall. The Crusaders are no stranger to the big stage, they are the defending state champions. The Crusaders defeated Caledonia in last year’s championship, 3-1.
It’s a challenge the Wolverines are ready for. In the post game press conference, senior Casey Volkmann and sophomore Kennedy Gravelle said they are looking forward to the opportunity to match up with the Crusaders.
“It’s really exciting having to play the No. 1 team and trying to go up to their level and play against them,” Gravelle said. “We haven’t seen any of their games, so it will be hard to adjust right away, but hopefully we will be able to fight against them.”
Volkmann, Gravelle and Ellie Miron led a strong offensive attack in the win with Ada-Borup/Norman County West and they will need to do the same against the Crusaders. The Crusaders were led by Madison Hucky, who finished with 10 kills in the win over Cook County. Sophia Heuer finished with 9 kills, while Olivia Tjernagel added seven and Madi Beck finished with six.
The Crusaders return 11 players from last year’s team and have played a very strong schedule throughout the season. Their two losses came from Maple Lake and Eagan during the season. Both Wadena-Deer Creek and Mayer Lutheran share one common opponent and that’s Underwood. The Rockets were defeated 2-0 by Mayer Lutheran in mid-season invitational. Mayer Lutheran defeated the Rockets, 25-15 and 28-26. The Wolverines defeated the Rockets in the Section 6A Championship, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-21.
Wadena-DC’s setter Ashley Adams hit a career milestone in the victory over Ada-Borup/NCW, she recorded her 1,000th assist in the win. She dished out 30 assists in the victory. Another key to the victory for the Wolverines was their dynamic block.
The Wolverines will take a 26-6 record into their match with Mayer Lutheran, while the Crusaders enter with a record of 30-2. The first serve is set for 1 p.m. from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Nov. 10.