wem vball

The Waterville-Elysian-Morristown volleyball team, pictured celebrating earlier this season, is slated to start play in the Class A state tournament Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The last time the Buccaneers were in the state tournament, was 2015, when they won a state title. (Daily News file photo)

In terms of state success, the Class A state tournament volleyball bracket possesses it in spades.

In addition to top-seeded Minneota, which is ranked third in the state in the final rankings and is the defending state champs, there are three other former state champs in the eight-team field. That includes second-seeded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, which returns to state for the first time since it won the state title in 2015.

Fifth-seeded Fosston is in a similar but more elongated boat, with a state title in its last state appearance in 2004, while the Greyhounds also won crowns in 2001 and 2002. Unseeded Greenway is the final former state champ, although the Raiders haven’t competed in the state tournament since 2001 and won the title back in 1985.

One of the non-champs, third-seeded Medford, lost to Minneota in last year’s state finals. Medford’s first-round opponent, unseeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, is also without a state title but claimed fourth in last year’s state tourney.

The two remaining schools — fourth-seeded Mounds Park Academy and unseeded Henning — are making the first state appearance in their program’s histories.

There’s been plenty of recent success as well, with Minneota losing only three times all year — to Class AAA No. 2 Northfield, Class AAA traditional power New Prague and an uncharacteristic loss to Class A BOLD. Included in that resume are sweeps of Medford, Class AAA No. 8 St. Michael-Albertville, Class AAA No. 10 Champlin Park and Class A No. 8 Kenyon-Wanamingo.

For WEM, only a pair of blemishes dot the schedule in the form of a 3-1 loss to Kenyon Wanamingo and a 2-1 setback to Class A No. 1 Mayer Lutheran in the finals of the Class A showcase on Sept. 21. WEM then toppled Mayer Lutheran 3-2 in the Section 2A finals, and also sports a pair of sweeps against Medford.

While Medford struggled against the tournament’s top two seeds, it plowed through a treacherous Section 1A tournament to reach this stage, first edging Kenyon Wanamingo 3-2 in the section semifinals and then knocking off Class A No. 6 Mabel Canton 3-2 in the finals.

Mounds Park Academy finished the regular season outside of the Class A rankings despite its high position in the QRF, and won the Section 4A tournament without running into a ranked opponent. The Panthers were swept by Medford in the regular season.

Rounding out the five seeded teams is Fosston, which also ended the season outside the Class A rankings and traveled through the Section 8A tournament without meeting a ranked opponent. Fosston was swept by both Medford and Minneota in the regular season.

CLASS A AT A GLANCE

No. 1 Minneota

Record: 30-3

QRF ranking: No. 3

Last 10 matches: 9-1

Cumulative set scores: 77-8

No. 2 WEM

Record: 32-2

QRF ranking: No. 2

Last 10 matches: 10-0

Cumulative set scores: 83-11

No. 3 Medford

Record: 24-8

QRF ranking: No. 6

Last 10 matches: 9-1

Cumulative set scores: 65-23

No. 4 Mounds Park Academy

Record: 25-4

QRF ranking: No. 4

Last 10 matches: 8-2

Cumulative set scores: 68-15

No. 5 Fosston

Record: 28-6

QRF ranking: No. 9

Last 10 matches: 9-1

Cumulative set scores: 76-23

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (unseeded, matched with Medford)

Record: 23-8

QRF ranking: No. 23

Last 10 matches: 10-0

Cumulative set scores: 67-21

Henning (unseeded, matched with WEM)

Record: 24-7

QRF ranking: No. 16

Last 10 matches: 8-2

Cumulative set scores: 67-16

Greenway (unseeded, matched with Minneota)

Record: 16-4

QRF ranking: No. 11

Last 10 matches: 8-2

Cumulative set scores: 74-13

Reach Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106. Follow him on Twitter @NFNewsSports. © Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Reach Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106. Follow him on Twitter @NFNewsSports. © Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved. 

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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