Top-ranked Lakeville North showed why it deserves the recognition as one of the state’s top programs after handing unranked and unseeded Anoka a 3-0 loss in the Class AAA state volleyball quarterfinals Thursday morning at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Panthers swept the Tornadoes who appeared at state for the first time in nine years by scores of 25-16, 25-22, 25-14. This is Lakeville North’s sixth time since 2005 and third straight since splitting with Lakeville South. North made 10 appearances.
The Panthers hit .583 in the first set but couldn’t sustain that hot start in the second and third games while Anoka struggled to get the ball consistently to its middle hitters. As a result, the team hit .100 for the game, compared to Lakeville North’s .322.
After a quick first game, Anoka pushed the Panthers in game 2 never trailing my more than a couple points till the end. Anoka led 2-1, but Lakeville North led from that point on, despite committing eight errors compared to Anoka’s four errors.
Anoka’s Kassi and Kelci Green each had seven kills followed by Mikayla Hong’s six kills. Abbie Sis had 15 assists and Cece Rand led the way with six digs.
Lakeville North’s standout hitter Alyssa Goehner had a match-high 17 kills and nine digs.
Setter Erica Handley had 35 assists and four other Panthers had six kills to spread the attack around.
Anoka moves on to the consolation bracket semifinals to face Roseville at 9 a.m. Nov. 9.