The MSHSL State Volleyball Tournament will be without some familiar teams this year.

In Class A top ranked Minneota (30-4) was defeated by Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (27-6) in their Section 3A final in a 5-set thrller.

The Vikings opened the match with a 25-15 win before the Knights won 25-23 and 25-16.  Minneota forced a 5th set with a 25-22 victory setting up the incredible 5th set marathon that ended with a Knights 27-25 victory.

In 5th sets teams go to 15 with the rule you have to win by 2 points.

Mabel-Canton is the Section One representative after sweeping Fillmore Central (22-8) with ease 25-19, 25-22, 25-13.  The Cougars saw the Falcons make too many mistakes in the match.

The incredible serving the Falcons displayed against both Kenyon-Wanamingo and Bethlehem Academy did not happen against Mabel-Canton.  Fillmore Central finished the match with 3 ace serves, 9 serve errors, and 7 serve receive errors.

The Falcons also had 7 blocking errors, 9 hitting errors in a match where Mabel-Canton showed after their 5-set Semifinals survival to get there they were the more comfortable team.

The Cougars have no seniors on their squad.  They are seeded #3 in the Class A State field after receiving the #2 state ranking in the final Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association rankings.

Mabel-Canton (32-2) opens state action on Thursday, November 9, 2023 against Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (21-7) at 7:00 p.m.

On the same side of the bracket #4 ranked Mayer Lutheran (26-6)  is the #2 seed and competes against Ely (23-5) at 7:00 p.m.

The top seed Russell-Tyler-Ruthton opens at 5:00 p.m. against Pine River-Backus (19-8).

At the same time #4 seed New Life Academy (19-11) and #5 seed West Central Area (23-9) School square off.

In Class 2A, defending champion Cannon Falls took a two sets to none lead in their final against Caledonia 25-17, 25-18 before the Warriors achieved 25-11, 25-15, 15-8 victories to advance to state.

The Bombers finished their season 14-16 after Division 1 bound hitter Madison Burr injured her knee early in the season.  She got back just in time for the playoffs but still had some rust from the long layoff.

Burr was huge in getting Cannon Falls back to the title match but the Bombers just couldn't get momentum back in the title match.

#1 rated Southwest Christian (25-5) is the top seed in Class 2A and opens on Thursday, November 9, 2023 against Wadena-Deer Creek (22-9).

On the same side of the bracket at the same 1:00 p.m. time #4 seed and #7 rated Rush City (28-2) faces Annandale (22-8).

#2 seed, #4 rated Pequot Lakes (27-5) has a tough draw in their 3:00 p.m. match with #10 rated Redwood Valley (23-2).

Section One Champion Caledonia (27-5) was rated #5 in final MVCA poll and received the #3 seed.  Their 3:00 p.m. match is against Concordia Academy (20-10), a veteran state tournament team.

In Class 3A, the Byron Bears dispatched Kasson-Mantorville in four sets Saturday in Rochester.  The KoMets opened with a 25-19 win before the Bears reeled off 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 victories.

The #5 ranked Bears lost in last year's Section final to the #7 rated KoMets in a 5-set thriller.  They were determined not to let that happen again.

It will be the first trip to the State Volleyball Tournament since 2009 for Byron.

Kasson-Mantorville ended their season with a 21-5 record,  Byron is 23-4 and opens state action on Wednesday November 8, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. on Court 1 against Monticello (19-11) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Top seed is top ranked, two-time defending State Champion Marshall (26-5).  The Tigers open with DeLasalle (14-14) at 5:00 p.m.

Marshall captured a state record 8th title last season breaking a tie with Faribault Bethlehem Academy, Chaska, Robbinsdale Armstrong, Eagan and Tracy-Milroy.

This is Marshall's 32nd trip to state.

The other match at that time is #4 seed, #10 ranked Detroit Lakes (24-7) and Grand Rapids (20-9).

#2 seed, #2 rated Delano (28-2) will open at 7:00 p.m. against Mahtomedi (17-13).

Delano defeated #3 rated Big Nine Conference Champion Northfield (22-8) in their Section 6AAA title match in 5-sets. Score in the fifth was 16-14.

Class 4A, New Prague (25-4) swept Lakeville North (23-8) for the Section 1 title meaning no Lakeville school at state for the first time in a while.  Scores were 25-16, 25-15, 25-15.

The Trojans are rated #4 in final MVCA poll and received the #2 seed at state.  New Prague opens against Minnetonka (16-14) at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

#1 seed, #1 rated defending champion Wayzata (31-0) enters opens action 1:00 p.m. against Edina (12-17).

The other 1:00 p.m. match features #8 ranked, #4 seeded Eagan (22-8) against Anoka (26-3).

The other 3:00 p.m. match is #7 ranked Rogers (28-3) going up against Stillwater Area (19-9).

Wayzata has lost 7 matches since 2019,

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper


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