Bethlehem Academy volleyball soars to semi-finals
Efficient offense fueled by very good defense. This is how I would describe the Faribault Bethlehem Academy sweep of Breckenridge in the quarterfinal of the State Class A tournament.
There was a large crowd from both schools in attendance, adding to a great atmosphere at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.
The Cardinals overtook the Cowgirls with scores of 25-12, 25-15, 25-14 in 66 minutes.
BA was the No. 4 seed, ranked No. 9 in the latest Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Class A poll. Breckenridge ranked # 6, was seeded # 5.
Bethlehem Academy head coach Chris Bothun managed to get some reserves in the game, which is always nice. Unlike larger schools in the state, smaller schools have three consecutive game days if they don’t lose their first two.
Class 4A takes Friday off to prepare for the last day. Class 3A schools were off Thursday after opening on Wednesday.
The Cardinals were hitting all cylinders with a 0.308 team winning percentage. They had 49 assists against the Cowgirls 29, 79 digs at 69, 4 blocks at 2 blocks, 47 assists at 26.
Attack percentages per set for Bethlehem Academy were 0.280 with 17 kills first, 0.429 with 16 kills second, and 0.244 with 16 kills.
Breckenridge reached 0.077 with 8 kills in the first set, 0.171, 14 kills in the second and 7 kills and 0.050 in the third.
Juniors Jaden Lang, Reagan Kangas and senior Ellie Cohen were the players of the match in our Malecha’s Auto Body Crunch Time Faribault. Lang hit 0.778 with 7 kills and two assists.
Kangas scatters the ball so well from anywhere on the floor in a calm manner. She finished with 43 assists (the team had 47). Cohen appeared in the state the last time the Cardinals were there and led the team with 16 kills while hitting .302 in BA’s state opener Thursday.
Junior Kate Trump slapped the Cowgirls for 15 kills while hitting .400 and amassing 11 digs. Trump and Mia Potter had delivery of the Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy of Owatonna match.
Trump landed at least 4 kills on a tough shot she perfected that was picked for a match delivery. Potter was also chosen for this honor thanks to 35 picks in the match.
Trump finished with 15 recoveries while hitting 0.400. Her classmate Lindsay Hanson had 11 kills on a .206 hit.
Senior Jennifer Robert beat two aces for BA.
The Cardinals will play the No.1 seed and No.1 seeded Mayer Lutheran for the third time this season. Maybe the third time it’s the charm.
It won’t be easy, they are so athletic and have faced everyone on their roster in a South Ridge of Culver sweep. The scores were 25-4, 25-10, 25-16. The 49-minute game was completely dominated by the Crusaders who had a team strike percentage of 0.368.
Eleven different players recorded a kill for Mayer Lutheran. Lily Wachholz leads the way with 7 while hitting 0.750. Passer Emma Lade had 21 assists and 5 serving aces.
The Crusaders had 9 blocks, South Ridge zero.
The Bethlehem Academy will have to go up a notch to overtake Mayer Lutheran. The Cardinals lost to them the third game of the season at home and also fell in a tournament, but had a decisive victory in that game.
The semi-finals match is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. It will be broadcast on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, the KDHL app.
There was an upheaval in the action of the Class A quarterfinals. Unranked Walker-Hackensack-Akeley swept away the third seed, the fifth ranked Legacy Christian Academy 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 in 82 minutes.
The other No.2 seed and Minneota No.2 defeated Badger / Greenbush-Middle River 25-15, 25-13, 25-11 in 59 minutes.
The Vikings played against everyone while reaching .351 with 43 kills against .115 and 26 kills for their opponent.
Minneota v Walker-Hackensack-Akeley will follow the BA semi-final against Mayer Lutheran.