Image Credit: Gordy Kosfeld

The #1 rated Class 2A Southwest Christian lost in five sets to Mounds Park Academy in Quarterfinal Round State Tournament action today at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

#2 seed Cannon Falls also fell in a five set thriller after having a 2 sets to 1 lead.

Cannon Falls led in nearly all statistical categories.  More kills, more digs, more sets.

The difference was the ability by Hawley to put up a block on the Bombers top hitters 6'1 senior Halle Hustad and 6'0 sophomore Maddie Burr,

Cannon Falls also had more errors in the match which usually determines the winner.

The Nuggets won the first set 25-21.  Cannon Falls evened up the match with a 25-18 second set victory before appearing to find their rhythm in a dominant 25-13 third set.

The Bombers had opportunities in the fourth set but mistakes crept in to their play allowing Hawley to win 25-23 sending the competition to a fifth set.

Toward the end of the 4th set and throughout the final set Cannon Falls lacked energy.  Head Coach Melissa Huseth would call timeouts and flash a smile, jump up and down encouraging her team to pick up the energy but they looked their confidence was taken away.

Volleyball is such a momentum sport.  It's one of the things I love about it.  You can gain it and lose it in a heartbeat.  Sometimes you just can't get it back.

Both teams came into the match with 27-5 records.  I remarked to Coach Huseth Hawley didn't play in the Hiawatha Valley League against the powers of Stewartville, Kasson-Mantorville and Byron.

The Nuggets had just 4 kills in the 5th set and won because of their tenacious block. They may not have scored directly off it every time but the Bombers had 10 hitting errors in the deciding set.

Cannon Falls had 60 total digs, Hawley 45.  The Bombers had 56 set assists to 43 for the Nuggets.

Cannon Falls collected 87 digs compared to 64 for Hawley.

Blocks were 13 to 10 in favor of the Nuggets.  It isn't the number necessarily but when they got them. Late in the fourth set carried into the fifth set.

The Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy of Owatonna Deliverers of the Match were Seniors Hustad and Winchell as well as sophomore Burr.

Burr crushed 25 kills while hitting .250.  Hustad smacked at a .212 clip with 17 kills.

Add up all the errors Cannon Falls finished with 52, Hawley 47.

The match lasted 1 hour 52 minutes.

The Bombers play Greenway at 11 Friday morning in the Consolation Bracket while Hawley faces Sauk Centre in the Semifinals.

Right before Cannon Falls took Court 1 Mounds Park pulled off a major upset of Southwest Christian. Scores were 26-24 Mounds Park, 25-20 Southwest Christian, 25-22 Mounds Park, 25-18 Southwest Christian before Mounds Park closed out the match 15-11.

The other quarterfinal matches in Class 2A, #4seed, #2 rated Jackson County Central swept the Annandale Cardinals while the #3 seed Mainstreeters of Sauk Centre got by Greenway in 4 sets.