M-C netters are runners-up at Star of the NorthM-C netters are runners-up at Star of the North

Stars of the North runners-up Mabel-Canton finished second in the annual statewide Stars of the North Volleyball Tournament this past weekend. In front, from left, are Avery Davis, Kaylor Soiney, Jordyn Newgard, Kenidi McCabe and Emily Carolan. In back are coach Bethany Moen, Vincent Torgerson, Lauren Wyffels, Sarina Stortz, Payton Danielson, Molly Lee and coach Lonnie Morken.
Chad Smith

Mabel-Canton volleyball had a great run through the Star of the North Volleyball Tournament in Rochester on June 15 and 16. The yearly tournament is put together for girls 18 and under to get in some off-season work. The Cougars won eight of the nine matches they played, coming up short in the title match against Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.

In pool play, Mabel-Canton defeated all six opponents: Dassel-Cokato 25-14, 25-11; Kittson County Central 25-21, 25-17; Hayfield 25-14, 25-11; Wadena-Deer Creek 25-17, 25-22; the Hornets 25-6, 25-7 and Sauk Center 25-20, 25-23.

A perfect record of 6-0 in pool play without dropping a set placed Mabel-Canton into the Gold Tournament bracket, where they went 2-1. In the quarterfinals, the Cougars defeated Spring Grove (25-13, 25-6) before a semi-final win over Sauk Center (25-22, 24-26, 16-14.)

In the championship finals, they fell to W-E-M 25-12, 25-10

The Cougars’ longtime coach Lonnie Morken said the team played some pretty solid volleyball all weekend against some good competition.

“Kittson (County Central) had an all-state middle that was a challenge, and Sauk also had a really tall middle that caused problems,” Morken said. “But overall, it was a great tournament for us. 

“Our older players won the Star of the North two summers ago, and this was the third time we have taken second,” he added.

"This is a fun tournament because you get to play some teams you don't normally see in the spring or fall. W-E-M played great defense and offense and completely served us off the court. They exposed some weaknesses in our game that we will improve on by this fall.”