Postseason play is right around the corner. With sections set to start in less than two weeks, PrepDig is breaking down each section with teams and players to watch. Section 4AA is one of the best in the state as…
Postseason play is right around the corner. With sections set to start in less than two weeks, PrepDig is breaking down each section with teams and players to watch.
Section 4AA is one of the best in the state as it’s got not only two top-shelf clubs, but also a handful of very competitive teams through the middle. That could set up some potentially juicy early-section matches.
Realignment strengthened Section 4 as Concordia Academy – which finished second in the state tournament last season – moved from Section 5 into Section 4. Holy Angels and Hill-Murray are both among the state’s best as well.
Favorite: Holy Angels
The Academy of Holy Angels earned the No. 1 seed in Section 4 thanks to a regular season in which the Stars won 24 matches and lost just three. They picked up wins over top-level teams like Kasson-Mantorville, Greenway and Concordia Academy. Marquette commit Ellie Koontz is one of the top players in the state and with quality hitters like Lauren Jasper, Julia Mitchell and Lauren Link, the Cadets have plenty of firepower. And setter Emma Benz does a great job setting things up for all those talented hitters.
Next Up: Hill-Murray, Concordia Academy
The Pioneers ended the year ranked No. 6 in the Coaches Poll and certainly earned it with a strong finish to the regular season. Wins over Rochester Century, Cretin-Derham Hall and Glencoe-Silver Lake as well as matches against the likes of Lakeville North, Maple Lake and North St. Paul give the Pioneers a lot of experience against top teams. Alina Gartner is a terrific setter and hitters like Claire Westby and Lauren Hinrichs can make life difficult for any opponent.
The Beacons advanced to the state title match a year ago and while they don’t seem to have quite that much juice this season, they’ve got plenty of talent to get back to state. They’ve played a strong schedule and have wins over quality squads like Faribault, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Hill-Murray. They also gave Holy Angels a great match at the beginning of October. Rachel TerHaar is a fantastic libero and Sarah McTaggart is a player to watch in the middle.