Kaitlynn Aug tips the ball over the net for the Falcons in section play vs. Faribault Bethlehem Academy. SAM CLEMENS/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS
Kaitlynn Aug tips the ball over the net for the Falcons in section play vs. Faribault Bethlehem Academy. SAM CLEMENS/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS

Thursday night the Fillmore Central girls volleyball team downed Mabel-Canton, 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-15) and claimed the 1A East Sub-section crown for the second year in a row.  Saturday, in the Section 1A championship match, the Lady Falcons lost their bid for a return ticket to the big dance in St. Paul, losing to the Cardinals of Bethlehem Academy, 3-0 (29-27, 25-22, 25-15).

“I want to congratulate BA,” said Fillmore Central head coach Travis Malley. “They have a terrific team. I thought we came out and played great volleyball today. I am so proud of the girls. They played with great passion and heart today.”

Bethlehem Academy got the No. 1 seed in the state tournament pairings and is scheduled to meet up with Kittson County Central in first round action on Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Excel Energy Center.

Sub-section champions

Scoring-wise, Fillmore Central didn’t have any trouble with Mabel-Canton, sweeping the Cougars in three sets.  There were many stars in the match, including Sammi Bakke (13 kills, .458 hitting, 10/10 serving, 2 blocks, and five digs), Morgan Malley (29 set assists, nine digs, 8/9 serving, 2 ace serves and four kills), Leah Scheevel (9 kills, .364 hitting, 2 1/2 blocks), Sara Schultz (16/17 serving, one ace, 20 digs, and the “web-award,” going 22/22 in serve receive), Shelby Ebner (10/12 serving, 2 aces, 5 digs, 3/3 SR), Tayah Barnes (12/12 serving, four kills, .250 hitting, 20 digs, 12/14 SR, all while fighting strep), Kaitlynn Aug (kill, 0.5 block), Kendyl Bennett (1 kill, .500 hitting), Paige Bennett (13/13 serving, 2 aces, seven kills, and six digs) and super fired-up supporters on the bench that fueled the winning fire.

Section runner-up

Fillmore Central played pretty good volleyball against Bethlehem Academy.  It was simply a matter of BA playing better.

In the first set, the Falcons had built up a 18-11 lead, only to have the Cardinals come back and take the lead at 24-23.  The score was deadlocked at 27-27 when BA scored two straight and took the first game in overtime.

In the second set, the Falcons, again, had an early lead, but BA came back once again to take the lead at 13-12, and never looked back.

In the third, and what turned out to be, the final set, Fillmore Central took a 1-0 lead, but that was the only time in the third set that the Falcons were out in front.  The Cardinals held a 13-4 lead at one time, and pretty much held that much of a lead the rest of the match.

Scheevel led the team with 11 kills and hit .200 for the championship match.  Seven other Falcons got into the scoring, including Bakke (5K), Malley (4K), Aug (4K), Kendyl Bennett (3K), Schultz (2K), Barnes (1K), and Paige Bennett (6K). The two kills for Schultz were the first for her this whole season. She was also 13/13 at the service line, 27/28 in serve receive (SR) and came up with 14 digs.

Also doing a great job at the service line were Bakke (9/9), Malley (11/12), Ebner (8/9), Barnes (12/12) and Paige Bennett (12/12).  The Lady Falcons only missed two serves, going 65/67 in the match.  Serve receive was also very good, 71/78: Malley (4/4), Scheevel (1/1), Aug (1/1), Taylor Sprenger (12/13), Ebner (7/8), Barnes (18/22) and Paige Bennett (1/1).

Dig leaders were Barnes (16), Schultz, Malley (11) and Ebner (10). Malley had a team high 28 set assists.  Malley finished her high school career with over 3,000 set assists. 

Five seniors finished up their volleyball careers for Fillmore Central: Bakke, Malley, Scheevel, Aug and Schultz. Pretty impressive resume’: Two Three Rivers crowns, two sub-section championships, section crown, section runner-up trophy and a second place finish at the state tournament.