Waterville-Elysian-Morristown scored the last five points of the fifth set to defeat two time defending Section 2A Champion Mayer Lutheran and punch their ticket to next week's MSHSL State Volleyball Tournament.

It was an amazing comeback by the Buccaneers at Mankato East High School.  First they had to win the last two sets to advance and second Mayer Lutheran was two points away from repeating as Section Champions.

I asked Buccaneers Head Coach Crystal Lamont after the match what she told her team when she took a time out down 13-10 in the fifth set.  "I told them to dig deep and trust each other.  Toryn Richards served those final 5 points and Trista Hering had 4 blocks in the fifth set, two during that run.

The Crusaders won the first set 25-20.  Waterville-Elysian-Morristown captured the second set 25-17 thanks in large part to 11 errors by Mayer Lutheran.

The Crusaders won the third set 25-20 despite 10 more errors.  W-E-M picked up the fourth set 25-19 to set up the fifth set showdown between #1 rated Mayer Lutheran and #2 ranked Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.

Hering, a senior, finished the night with 12 big blocks against a frontline for Mayer Lutheran that can be 6'2, 6'2, 6'1.  I say can be because unfortunately for the Crusaders 6'2 senior Claudia Stahlke could not play full time due to a leg injury.  She's heading to Arizona to play volleyball next year.

Before they could win set 5 the Buccaneers had to win set 4 and senior Delaney Donahue came up big in that set.  I had Donahue with 6 kills in that set and three ace serves.  The official stats for the night were 12 kills and 3 ace serves.  Donahue also tallied 19 digs.

Junior Toryn Richards finished with 17 kills on .362 hitting and 14 digs.

Junior Kylie Pittman had 9 kills, 22 digs for Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.  Junior setter Ellie Ready did an outstanding job of getting the ball to the right people at the right time with 40 set assists.

My unofficial notepad had Mayer Lutheran with 38 total errors and W-E-M 22 total errors on the night.

The Buccaneers finished the night with 16 total blocks.  7 solos for Hering.

Earlier in the day another Gopher Conference team, Medford punched their ticket to state for the second consecutive year with a five set win over Mabel-Canton in Rochester.

W-E-M should be the top seed in Class A next week.  Medford will more than likely be one of the top 5 seeds when you consider the section they came out of and the fact they are in the same conference with Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.