Area high school volleyball teams suffered a cruel fate, having their season cut short before section tournament play could begin this week.
And that was an especially harsh ending, since all four teams posted strong regular-season records.
For example, Cambridge-Isanti was expected to be busy with five games played in a span of eight days. But two matches scheduled for the end of last week were canceled by COVID-19 concerns, and three contests this week were wiped out by the governor’s order to shut down amateur sports.
The Bluejackets finished with a 6-3 record in Mississippi 8 Conference play. Those six wins were tied for the third-highest total in the league, and C-I’s .667 winning percentage was tied for the second-best mark in the conference.
North Branch endured an especially difficult week, losing two matches before having the rest of its season canceled.
The week began with a narrow five-set loss at Becker on Monday, Nov. 16. In that match the Vikings won the first set 27-25, lost the second set 25-21. North Branch’s 25-19 third-set win was the widest margin of victory in the match, as the Bulldogs took the final sets by scores of 25-23 and 15-13.
Paige Peaslee led four Vikings in double figures with 15 kills; Paige Sheehan finished with 11 kills, Reagan Irons and Lindsey Bunes each had 10, while Lauren Hicks was close behind with nine. Sheehan posted a triple-double with 13 digs and 41 assists.
The following evening North Branch lost at Big Lake by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-23. Peaslee and Irons led the Vikings with eight kills apiece, while Sheehan had 20 assists and Bunes posted 10 digs.
The two setbacks dropped North Branch’s final season record to 8-4. The Vikings tied Monticello for most wins in league play, but the Magic was undefeated on the year.
Braham finished the season with a three-set road sweep of Hinckley-Finlayson on Thursday, Nov. 19. That victory gives the Bombers a 5-3 record in Great River Conference action, which is tied for the second-highest win total in league play.
Rush City, which was unable to play after its 3-1 victory over Braham on Oct. 26, was undefeated in Great River Conference action with a league-best six victories.