Despite an impressive 23-5 record, Blaine entered the Section 5AAA tournament as the No. 3 seed after losses to the top two seeds, Osseo and Champlin Park, in the regular season.
The Bengals, ranked fifth in the final state coaches association poll, had an interesting match-up in the Oct. 30 section semifinal match at No. 2 seed Champlin Park.
Blaine had a 25-match Northwest Suburban Conference winning streak snapped four matches into the season against Osseo, who swept Blaine 3-0 Sept. 10.
It was the first conference loss for the Bengals since a 3-1 loss to Centennial Oct. 5, 2010. The Bengals won back-to-back conference titles and finished runner-up to the Cougars in 2010.
Osseo earned the top seed with a 24-1 regular season record and the conference title with a perfect 10-0 mark. Champlin Park was 22-6 with a 9-1 conference record to finish runner-up in the conference standings and section seeding.
The Bengals, who played eight teams that were in the final state coaches poll, also placed third in the Apple Valley Eagle and Eastview invitationals in addition to winning the Blaine Invite.
Coming into the Oct. 30 match, the Bengals were hitting .264, while Purdue-bound senior captain Lydia Dimke leads the team with 350 kills, 82 ace serves, 22 solo blocks (47 total blocks), 277 digs (including 25 against Centennial) and 396 set assists.
Senior Jessica Jorgenson added 216 kills including 10, 10 and 14 over the final three regular season matches against Eden Prairie, Anoka and St. Michael-Albertville. She also had 82 total blocks (30 solos) and 59 digs.
Brooke Christenson had 111 kills, 46 blocks and 53 digs, while junior Rebecca Hawkins led the team with 422 set assists and 28 ace serves.
Senior Allison Briski had 253 serve receives and 262 digs. Maggie Berres has 221 digs and a team-high 345 serve receives.
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