Lion girls finish second at M-C tournament

The Spring Grove bench reacts to a winning play on the court against Mabel-Canton. From left are Addyson McHugh, Kelsey Bratland, Kenadee Gerard, Julia Halverson, Paige Jahnke, Piper Thompson and head coach Kelsey Morken. Behind are assistant coaches Taylor Elton (seated) and Julianna Lile. Photo by S. Lee Epps

Spring Grove finished as runner-up among seven teams at the annual Mabel-Canton Classic on Saturday of Labor Day weekend. The Lions won the first five matches of pool play before running into state-ranked No. 6 Mabel-Canton. The girls then faced the Cougars again in the championship match.

The Lions improved to 7-0 on the season before the two losses to the home team. Each match went two sets with total points used to break 1-1 ties. Spring Grove split sets only with Grand Meadow and won on total points.

There were some very close sets with the Lions taking a 28-26 win versus Lanesboro and a 26-24 decision over Kingsland. SG prevailed 25-22 and 25-21 versus Rushford-Peterson. And there was a 25-23 loss to Grand Meadow.

But undefeated Mabel-Canton (10-0) breezed throughout, including both matches against second place Spring Grove.

SG 2, Houston 0 (25-15, 25-15)

The Lions served 13 aces with only one misfire (98%), and with 25% hitting efficiency, out-hit the Hurricanes 22 kills to 10.

Grove used to 9-0 run to take set one and a 7-0 streak to nail down set two.

Rachel Normann assisted on 18 of the 22 kills. Addyson McHugh put away 8 kills; Amelia Solum added 7 kills and led the defense with 9 digs.

Houston (3-7) would win one tourney match and drop six

SG 1, Grand Meadow 1 (SG 25-15, GM 25-23)

The Lions led throughout the first set but led only 15-14 before closing with a 10-1 run.

 Spring Grove appeared safe in set two with a 21-11 lead, but the Superlarks finished with a 14-2 run. The match went to the Lions with an eight-point margin in total-points (48-40).

It was a scoring stalemate at the net; SG had one more kill (21-20) and the Larks had one more block (3-2).

Both served six aces, but the Lions had three fewer serving errors.

Solum, McHugh and Brielle Neeley had six kills each.

The Larks would finish in third place and leave with a 7-3 season record.

SG 2, Lanesboro 0 (28-26, 25-14)

The first set was a barnburner. The Lions led most of the way, but the Burros caught up at 24-24 and would lead 26-25. But SG scored the final three points with a Julia Halverson kill and two VaNessa Peterson ace serves.

Lanesboro did not hit nearly as well in the second set, and the Lions served 8 aces to win 25-14.

McHugh had 9 kills and 3 ace serves. Solum added 8 kills and dug 20 times. Halverson had 3 kills, 3 ace serves and 12 digs.

Lanesboro would finish fifth and go home with a 5-5 season mark.

SG 2, Kingsland 0 (25-14, 26-24)

After being in control of set one, Spring Grove trailed 23-20 late in set two. But the Lions scored six of the final seven points.

Grove hit much more efficiently in set one (24%) than they did in set two (12%). The Lions served 5 aces but had 7 errant serves.

Solum led with 9 kills on 20 attacks. Halverson and Peterson each had 9 digs.

Kingsland (2-7) would lose all six tournament matches.

SG 2, Rushford-Peterson 0 (25-22, 25-21)

Both sets were close at the end. The Lions raced ahead 10-1 in set one but would eventually trail 19-17 and 22-20 before scoring the final five points.

In set two, five lead changes preceded a 17-17 tie. Grove scored the next four points and would go on to win by four.

McHugh was the kill leader with 12 and served 2 of the team's 3 aces. Solum had 7 kills and a team-high 12 digs. Normann assisted on 15 of the 22 kills and dug 9 times.

Mabel-Canton 2, SG 0 (25-12, 25-12)

The Cougars led set one 12-10 before scoring 13 of the final 15 points. M-C separated in set two with an early 6-point run.

SG served only one ace (Halverson) with 6 errors. The Lions attacked with 0% efficiency with 10 kills and 10 errors. McHugh had 5 kills.

Mabel-Canton 2, SG 0 (25-13, 25-8)

The championship match saw the Cougars jump out to big leads in both sets, 16-3 and 15-4.

Spring Grove managed only 7 kills with 10 hitting errors. Solum had 3 kills with only one misfire and led the defense with 11 digs. Peterson dug 9 times and Paige Jahnke 8.