The Mayer Lutheran Crusaders received the top seed in the Class A State Volleyball Tournament which begins Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The No. 2 rated Crusaders swept the defending state champion Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers for the Section 2 Class A title Saturday in Mankato.

There was little doubt they would receive the top seed after top-ranked Faribault Bethlehem Academy was upset in their subsection championship match with the Hayfield Vikings. Mayer Lutheran is 25-6 and has won six straight matches.

The Crusaders lost to conference opponents Belle Plaine in three sets and Jordan in five. They were also beaten by Faribault Bethlehem Academy in five and Maple Lake in four sets. Mayer Lutheran lost to Stillwater Area and Champlin Park in tournament competition.

Their opening opponent will be the Storm of Stephen-Argyle Central with a 29-3 record and a 17-match winining streak. The match is scheduled for 1PM Thursday.

Stephen-Argyle Central lost twice to Roseau in the same tournament and were defeated by No. 10 rated Kittson County Central in four sets. They avenged that loss in the semifinals of the section tournament.

The other 1PM game is the No. 4 seed and No. 7 rated Heritage Christian Academy going up against the Underwood Bulldogs.

The Eagles are 25-10 with losses to Kenyon-Wanamingo in their season opener, Holy Family Catholic in five sets and Southwest Christian in four sets. They also fell to Robbinsdale Armstrong twice in the same tournament and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton twice in different tournaments and Minneapolis Southwest and Champlin Park in other tournament action.

The Underwood Rockets are 24-4 and are riding a seven-match winning streak. All their losses came in tournaments to Minneota, Heritage Christian, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown and Pelican Rapids.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 seed Tracy-Milroy-Balaton will play Kimball Area at 3PM.

The No. 3 rated Panthers are 28-7 with a five-set loss to Hopkins to start their season and a four-set loss to Marshall to end their regular season. In tournament competition they lost to Wayzata, Champlin Park, Mayer Lutheran, East Ridge and Stillwater Area.

The Kimball Area Cubs are 20-13 tournament losses to Wadena-Deer Creek, Braham, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, Heritage Christian, Wabasso, Mabel-Canton, Montevideo, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, and Foley. Five-set losses to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Norwood-Young America, a sweep by Maple Lake and a four-set loss to Litchfield.

The No. 3 seed and No. 5 rated Caledonia Warriors are 28-5 with two tournament losses to Cretin-Derham-Hall and tournament losses to Moorhead and Eden Prairie. The Warriors were swept in their season opener by Winona.

That means they haven't lost to a Class A team all season and are the only team to defeat Class 2A top-ranked Kenyon-Wanamingo, that was in the championship match of the Wabasha-Kellogg Tournament.

The Cook County Vikings are 22-3, losing their opener in five sets to Duluth Marshall, a five-setter to Esko, and in three sets to Hill City in a tournament.

Section 2A Champs Mayer Lutheran- photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Section 2A Champs Mayer Lutheran- photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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