Last year the Kenyon-Wanamingo Knight volleyball team entered the State Tournament the #1 rated team in Class 2A.

This year they will play the defending State Champion and unbeaten Maple Lake Irish when they open the tournament today at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The match will be broadcast on POWER 96 Radio 95.9 FM.  It's also available worldwide at and people can listen by downloading the FREE Radio Pup app on their favorite mobile device.

The Irish are blessed with height and athleticism and six of their top eight players are seniors.

5'8 senior outside hitter Linsey Rachel is 18 kills away from 2,000 and has nearly 1,800 digs.  She is second on the team in ace serves with 35 this season.

5'11 senior hitter Amber Klug 800 career kills, 1,300 set assists and over 200 career blocks.

6'2 senior middle hitter Brynn Paumen is about to break the season blocks record for the school despite missing the last month with a back injury.  Entering the State Tournament she has 123 blocks this seaason.

All six starters have over 100 kills this season.

Similarly Kenyon-Wanamingo has shown great offensive balance but the area of the game where they have really improved from week one to heading into the State Tournament is in their block.

At times they've had a triple block at the net that has proved to be very effective against some very good hitters.

I have a hunch Head Coach Jen Nerison and her team are fine with going into their opening match a huge underdog because they can play relaxed an just have fun.

All the pressure is squarely on the shoulders of the defending State Champion Irish because they are expected to repeat and finish a dream season undefeated.

Wouldn't it be rewarding to be the first team to knock off the defending State Champions?

K-W Volleyball at Subsection Final in New Prague. Photo By Gordy Kosfeld