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 5A saw Kimball reach the state tournament a year ago…
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 5A saw Kimball reach the state tournament a year ago despite a 16-13 regular season record. If there’s something to be said about the section, it’s that the last team to go to state in back-to-back seasons was Nevis, which went to state in 2013 and 2014. Since then, it’s been a different team each time. It seems likely that that trend will continue.
Favorite: Rush City
The Tigers look like the favorite right now to emerge from Section 5A and get to the state field. They’ve won 11 matches in a row, seemingly peaking at the end of the season. Aside from an early-season loss to Onamia, their only losses are to Rocori and Southwest Christian. Taylor Williams is one of the top setters in the state and the combination of Shawna Mell and Jamie Guptill up front makes life extremely difficult for the opposition.
Next Up: Onamia, Pine River-Backus, Royalton
Onamia is the only team in the section to beat Rush City – a 3-2 win in the first match of the season – and has put together a terrific season to this point. The Panthers have just four losses on the year – two to Pine River-Backus – and will likely clinch a regular season Great River Conference Title.
Pine River-Backus got off to a rocky start, going 3-5 to start the season. since mid-September, the Tigers are 16-1. Their lone loss is to state-ranked Mabel-Canton. Bailey Wynn is a player to watch for the Tigers.
Royalton is 16-5 on the season and has just one loss to a section opponent.
In the Hunt: Braham, Nevis
Braham went into the section tournament a year ago with a losing record and advanced all the way to the section final. So anything seems possible. This Bomber team will finish the regular season just above .500. Emily Lindquist is a top-notch outside hitter and player to watch in the tournament.
Nevis has 16 wins on the year but doesn’t have a great deal of exposure to many of the top teams in the section. The Tigers have been a consistent factor in Section 5A – even if they haven’t gone to state in a few years – and with Andrea Dudley leading the way as a setter, they’ll be a tough out again this year too.
***Photo Courtesy of the Post Review***