Seven matches, 21 sets.
The Legacy Christian Academy volleyball team secured its first conference title in a decade in convincing fashion, completing a run of not dropping a single set in Minnesota Classic play all season by sweeping Spectrum Oct. 1.
“It has been a really fun and productive season,” Legacy Christian head coach Rolly Rudzitis said. “The team is young, but they work very well together. This is our first conference title since 2009, so that is quite an accomplishment. We lost a couple of competitive teams to another conference, but still had some of them on our schedule and lost to only one. New Life Academy and Mounds Park Academy are the teams to beat in our section and I think we will have a great chance to come out on top this year. I anticipate some very good, competitive volleyball.”
The Lions have competed with a roster that is full of young talent, yet short on depth. However, that has provided a chance for the group to experience almost all reps with one another on the floor, helping accelerate development.
“We don’t have many players to choose from and our bench is even younger, so we basically are playing the same seven all year,” Rudzitis said. “That has made them mentally and physically tough and hopefully that will carry them through the playoffs.”
The Lions have gone 16-12 overall with only one match remaining in the regular season, including a 7-1 mark against Section 4A competition that will likely leave the team with one of the top seeds after New Life Academy and Mounds Park Academy.
With a talented young roster, there are still plenty of big matches ahead, later this season and in years to come.
“Many of these young athletes competed through the year and so have very good skills for being a young team,” Rudzitis said. “We have only one senior that has played for just two years, but is an excellent athlete. Two of our juniors have been on the varsity since eighth grade and one of our sophomores, Tezra Rudzitis, has been setting varsity since eighth grade. Tezra is the standout player this year and leads the team with the most kills and most assists. This is her first year hitting, but she is a natural and is tough to beat. Unfortunately, she sprained her ankle in the Apple Valley Tournament this past weekend and is out for awhile. We hope to get her back by the second round of playoffs. If so, we have just as good a shot to make the state tournament as any.”