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With the Coon Rapids High School sports scene thriving, the time was right for the Cardinal volleyball team to return a tournament to its home floor … and honor one of the women who made it possible.

Coon Rapids hosted the Keller Classic Sept. 6, honoring Sharen Keller, a member of the school’s inaugural Hall of Fame class last fall.

“Coon Rapids is in the midst of an exciting culture shift and we want to be a part of it,” Coon Rapids head coach Jon Enns said. “We wanted to bring back a tournament on our home court so we can showcase our school, our teams and our student-athletes. We want our athletes to be proud of our school and be proud to play on our home court. With Sharen Keller being inducted into the inaugural CRHS Hall of Fame last year, it was only fitting to bring back the tournament named after her.”

Coon Rapids went 2-3 on the day, including wins over Richfield and Kaleidoscope Charter. Pine River-Backus won the tournament, edging Armstrong in a close three-set championship match.

However, the day was not just about wins, but the opportunities now available in dozens of sports because of women like Keller, who coached volleyball for 25 years, as well as coaching softball, basketball, dance, cheerleading, golf and track and field for the Cardinals.

“Sharen showed up promptly for our first match,” Enns said. “We dedicated the tournament to her with her Hall of Fame recognition in front of all the teams and officials. Not only was it important for the CRHS student-athletes, but it was equally important for all the players in the gym to hear how Sharen has contributed to their sports they love to play and to maybe one day follow in

her footsteps.”

Area volleyball recap

Two days prior to its home tournament, Coon Rapids dropped a close four-set conference opener against Blaine, which rallied from a set down for the win.

“Our Blaine match started off great with a strong win in the first set,” Enns said. “A set win has not happened for years. Unfortunately, we lost our top sophomore, six-rotation player Mikayla Wilber, to an ankle injury and couldn’t recover after that.”

Andover nearly knocked off defending state champion Champlin Park in its conference opener Sept. 5, taking the Rebels to a fifth set, where they narrowly prevailed 16-14. The Huskies then went 2-3 at the Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall Sept. 6-7.

Anoka bounced back from a 3-0 defeat against Forest Lake Sept. 5 to sweep Princeton Sept. 9 and improve to 2-1 on the season.

St. Francis fell in its opening two Mississippi 8 matches against North Branch and Monticello and went 1-3 at the Aerie Challenge in Apple Valley Sept. 6-7.

In the MCAA Sept. 10, Legacy Christian swept West Lutheran and PACT swept North Lakes.

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