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Prep Volleyball: Sebeka serves Menahga playoff exit

By Mike Isola/Beyond the Bleachers

Sebeka, Minn. (October 25)—Heidi Olson clobbered a team-high 13 kills and added 27 digs and six ace serves as No. 1 seeded Sebeka easily dispatched fifth-seeded Menahga 3-0 in Friday’s North Subsection 5A quarterfinals.

The Lady Trojans served up 19 aces in the contest against the surprising Lady Braves, who upset No. 4 Pillager in the opening round on Thursday by a score of 3-1.

Six of Sebeka’s aces came in the 25-14 opening set victory. With Menahga leading 6-4, Olson jumpstarted the Lady Trojans’ five-point run with a kill, then served up an ace to tie the game. Michaela Hesse put Sebeka in front with a kill, followed by another ace from Olson at the service line. Hesse capped the brief run with a block and the Lady Trojans led 9-6.

Menahga rallied to tie the game at 12-12 behind a kill from Lakyn Anderson and an ace serve from Elyse Skoog but the Lady Braves wouldn’t challenge again as Sebeka went on a 13-2 run to put the game away.

Hesse put the Lady Trojans in front for good with a kill. Jordan Lillquist had a pair of block points and Alexis Rathcke had an ace serve to make it 17-14 when Madison Lake took a turn at the service line. The sophomore setter served up the final eight points starting with an ace. Olson had a kill as did Erin Lillquist, whose kill bounced off a Lady Brave defender’s head and out of bounds for a brief comical affect among the crowd. Lake wrapped up the set-winning run with back-to-back service aces.

Sebeka started off the second set where they left off—with a service ace from Rathcke but Menahga wasn’t going to go quietly. The Lady Braves stayed with the host team throughout the game as the score slalomed back and forth with neither team leading by one or two points until the final stretch. Menahga rallied from a 20-18 deficit behind a pair of attack errors from the Lady Trojans and went ahead 22-20 on a block from Kendall Koch and receive error from Sebeka.

Lady Trojan head coach Becca Pulju called time out to settle down her troops and they responded to tie the game at 22-22 with a Jordan Lillquist kill. Menahga went ahead 23-22 off another Sebeka receive error but couldn’t finish off the set as the Lady Trojans’ scored the final three points for the 25-23 victory off a Jordan Lillquist kill, Rathcke ace and Lady Brave attack error.

The third set was all Sebeka as the Lady Trojans opened with a 7-1 lead that Menahga never recovered from. Lake had fifth ace of the night and Jordan Lillquist and Hesse added kills during the opening run. Sebeka would added three more aces en route to building a 16-7 lead before Rathcke toed the service line for the first time in the game. The sophomore outside hitter went 4-for-5 with back-to-back aces to make it 20-7. A pair of kills from Olson and Lake’s sixth service ace of the match made it 23-9.

Menahga’s final two points of the season came off kills from Stacy Holmer and Danielle Novak and Sebeka wrapped up the sweep with a kill from Erin Lillquist and a block from Hesse for the 25-11 final.

Hesse finished with a team-high four blocks in addition to seven kills for the Lady Trojans. Jordan Lillquist had nine kills, 10 digs and two blocks. Lake set up 23 set assists and went 19-for-20 with six aces from the service line. Elyse Helland contributed nine digs and had two aces while Rathcke went 12-for-14 with four aces.

Elyse Skoog had a team-high six kills and Danielle Novak five kills for Menahga, who finished with a 5-22 record. Alayna Lake led the Lady Braves in digs with 17, with Jodi Skoog adding 14 and Elyse Skoog 10.

Sebeka (22-8) will face No. 2 Onamia in the subsection semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Long Prairie.

North Subsection 5A Quarterfinals

No. 5 Menahga at No. 1 Sebeka on October 24

Lady Trojans defeated the Lady Braves 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-110

Sebeka Stats

Kills—Madison Lake 3, Jordan Lillquist 9, Heidi Olson 13, Erin Lillquist 3, Michaela Hesse 7

Digs—Alexis Rathcke 3, Lake 1, Jordan Lillquist 10, Olson 27, Erin Lillquist 6, Hesse 1, Elyse Helland 9, Courtney Huttunen 5, Grace Lien 1

Serving—Rathcke 12-for-14 with 4 aces, Lake 19-for-20 with 6 aces, Jordan Lillquist 7-for-8, Olson 12-for-13 with 6 aces, Erin Lillquist 6-for-6 with an ace, Hesse 1-for-1, Helland 10-for-11 with 2 aces

Blocks—Lake 1, Jordan Lillquist 2, Olson 1, Hesse 4

Set Assists—Lake 23, Jordan Lillquist 1, Olson 1

Menahga Stats

Kills—Lakyn Anderson 1, Elyse Skoog 6, Stacy Holmer 1, Danielle Novak 5, Leah Schwartz 3

Digs—Anderson 7, Elyse Skoog 10, Kendall Koch 1, Holmer 1, Jodi Skoog 14, Caroline Koch 1, Novak 2, Alayna Lake 17, Schwartz 6, Olivia Yliniemi 1

Serving—Not available

Blocks—Kendall Koch 2

Set Assists—Anderson 15, Lake 1

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