Roseville rolls into state volleyball tournament

After beating the same opponent in the previous three section finals, the Roseville Area High School volleyball team saw a different squad on the other side of the net in the Section 4AAA championship match last week. While the opponent changed, the outcome did not.

Roseville rolled to a four-set victory over Totino-Grace on Nov. 5 at St. Paul Washington Technology Magnet School to clinch a spot in this week's state tournament. The Raiders won the match 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 25-14.

Roseville head coach Greg Ueland admitted that it was strange not seeing North St. Paul in the section final after playing the Polars the previous three years.

"It was weird, I'm not going to lie," Ueland said. "But it was a fun challenge. We knew all along Totino was going to be one of the teams we were going to have to watch for."

Totino-Grace, which moved from Section 5AAA to Section 4AAA this year, was the No. 2 seed and beat third-seeded North St. Paul in four games in the semifinals. The Eagles (23-8) also advanced to the section final last year in 5AAA but lost in three games to Champlin Park.

Roseville, the No. 1 seed, advanced to the finals with a three-set victory over Stillwater in the semifinals.

Roseville trailed just briefly early in each of the first two games against Totino-Grace but quickly took control. The Raiders led by as many as five points in game one and closed out the set on a kill by senior Sara Hain. Roseville's largest lead in game two was seven points and Hain also closed out that set with a kill.

Game three was a different story as Roseville led only once (at 6-5) and couldn't get any kind of a surge going. Totino-Grace led by no more than five at any point but played well enough to keep the Raiders at arm's length for most of the set.

Ueland said his team's play took a dip in the third game but also credited Totino-Grace with turning things around.

"Honestly it was a combination of us not executing the little things like we did earlier and I also think Totino raised the level of play," Ueland said. "They brought it and didn't back down."

After a quick talk between games, the dominant Roseville reemerged for the fourth set. The Raiders scored the first three points of the set, gave up the next three and then went on a tear from which Totino-Grace would not recover.

"I told the girls after game three sometimes as a coach I need to just let you have fun and play," said Ueland. "That's just what they needed."

Following that 3-3 tie, Roseville outscored the Eagles 22-11 the rest of the way to close out the set and the match.

Junior Alivia Garbe finished off the Eagles with kills on the final two points of the match. She led all players with 33 kills, which is a career high.

For seniors like Hain, Haley Kauth and Kat Becker, this is their last run in high school volleyball so there was extra motivation heading into the section final.

"This one feels the best out of all of them," Kauth said. "It's my senior year so it's when I have the most passion. I wanted this so bad and I know the team did too."

Kauth showed how much she wanted it by scoring a point with her forehead in the fourth set. About midway through the set, Kauth took a spike off the noggin and the ball ended up going over the net and landing in the back corner for a Roseville point.

"I kind of had a headache after that one," said Kauth. "It was a kill. I don’t normally get kills like that. It was a dig and a kill at the same time."

Roseville and seven other teams will vie for the Class AAA state title starting on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. Junior setter Bre Maloney knows the Raiders will be ready to make a run.

"I think our team was really focused this year on getting here and winning,” Maloney said. "It was awesome to accomplish that goal and now we're ready to move on to the state tournament. We're ready to play. We're ready to fight for as far as we can go."

The Class AAA quarterfinals are Thursday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and the semifinals on Friday are at those same times. The Class AAA championship match is Saturday at 5 p.m.

Concordia Academy

The Beacons played on Friday for a berth in the Class AA state tournament. Because of an early deadline, results of the Section 5AA championship match between Concordia Academy and DeLaSalle were not available for this edition of the Review.

Concordia was looking for its second consecutive trip to state and 12th time overall. Last year the Beacons went 1-2 in the state tournament and finished sixth.

Concordia Academy and DeLaSalle met in the regular season and the Beacons dominated in the three-set victory.

The Beacons reached the section final by beating Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 25-11, 25-14, 25-18 in the semifinals on Nov. 2.

Brian Meyers can be reached at or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Section 4AAA volleyball playoffs

First round
Match 1 — Mounds View def. Woodbury 25-14, 25-14, 25-21
Match 2 — Centennial def. White Bear Lake 25-21, 25-11, 25-11
Match 3 — Spring Lake Park def. Tartan 25-18, 25-22, 25-21
Match 4 — Mahtomedi def. Irondale 25-20, 25-21, 25-18

Match 5 — Roseville def. Mounds View 25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 25-12
Match 6 — Stillwater def. Centennial 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20
Match 7 — Totino-Grace def. Spring Lake Park 25-23, 25-19, 25-18
Match 8 — North St. Paul def. Mahtomedi 25-16, 25-13, 25-20

Match 9 — Roseville def. Stillwater 25-15, 27-25, 25-15
Match 10 — Totino-Grace def. North St. Paul 29-27, 25-15, 18-25, 25-21

Championship match
Match 11 — Roseville def. Totino-Grace 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 25-14

Section 5A volleyball playoffs

Match 12 — Concordia Academy def. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 25-11, 25-14, 25-18
Match 13 — DeLaSalle def. Dassel-Cokato 26-24, 21-25, 25-15, 25-17

Championship match
Match 14 — Concordia Academy vs. DeLaSalle


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