“The girls admitted to me they were a little nervous at the start.” Not exactly the thing that Shakopee head coach Matt Busch wanted to say after the Sabers win over the 8-seed Chaska Hawks 18-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-20 Friday night in Section 2AAA quarterfinal in Shakopee. It was a match up of youth versus experience with fourth-ranked in Class AAA Shakopee Sabers having eleven seniors and juniors against Chaska’s seven freshman and one eight grader.
Chaska would come out guns blazing in the first set jumping out to a 7-1 lead with a quick set and kill attack from freshman setter Makayla Wenzel to senior middle hitter Kelly Riesgraf that was able to get the kill down before Shakopee’s block could get up. Attacking errors would also doom Shakopee as they could not get back-to-back points until the score was already 19-9. Shakopee would get four straight points forcing Chaska to use a timeout before they went back to Riesgraf to win the first set 25-18.
The second set would start off close with Chaska lead 10-8 before a big 13-3 run by Shakopee to put them up 21-13 including a huge block by setter Maggie Holcombe. Shakopee would get kills from junior Carlee Hoppe and senior Claire Sames to help seal the deal with a 25-16 win in the second set.
Another close start would get a very important third set going before a 5-0 run on the serve of senior Kari Monnens to put Shakopee up 8-3. The score would be tied 11-11 before a 35 hit rally would finally end with Shakopee getting the point and gave them the lead they would not lose. Chaska would remain close, but could only get within two three times. Shakopee would use senior Rachel Rhinesmith as an outside attacker and was able to put many balls away including the point that won the third set 25-22.
The fourth set would see Chaska jump out to an early 7-4 lead thanks to the outside attack from freshman outside hitter Erin Schindler. Shakopee would have the biggest run of the night of 11-0 on the serve of senior Kari Monnens to put Shakopee up 15-7. Chaska would not go away as they would close the score to 16-12, Shakopee before coach Busch would use a timeout and told the girls, “This will be our final huddle of the match.” Chaska would keep the score close, but 4-0 run on the serve of senior Alex Berger would put Shakopee up 23-16. The Sabers would get the final point on a service error to win 25-20.
Shakopee improves to 24-3 on the season and will host Waconia in the Section 2AAA semifinal. A rematch of last year when Waconia defeated Shakopee, but this year the match will be in Shakopee. Chaska ends the season with a record 15-14.
By: Adam Bartels