In Elk River’s first state tournament match in history, the Elks couldn’t handle one of the favorites to win the Class 3A state volleyball title.

No. 2 Wayzata (29-3) defeated No. 7 Elk River (16-16) 3-0 on Thursday in the Class 3A quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It was the Elks’ first state tournament match in school history.

Elk River head coach Theresa Brummer said the Elks put in a good effort on Thursday even though they lost.

“We’re hoping to put up a tougher fight against Wayzata,” Brummer said. “We knew it was going to be a hard match for us, but the girls did put a lot of good things on the court.”

The Elks got off to a good start in the first set, scoring the first two points of the set and held a 10-9 lead. However, the Trojans responded, winning 15 of the next 20 points to win the first set 25-14.

The second set was much closer, as both teams traded points back-and-forth. However, Wayzata prevailed 25-23. 

Wayzata head coach Scott Jackson said Elk River deserves to be playing at the Xcel Energy Center in the state tournament.

“Elk River is worthy of the position they are in here today,” Jackson said. “They’ve got good players at every position. Theresa [Brummer] is a great coach. I’ve known her forever. What a great experience for them to be down here for the first time ever.”

In the third set, Wayzata dominated early, but Elk River clawed back. The Trojans ended up winning the set 25-16 and the match 3-0.

Brummer said the Trojans were more consistent than the Elks.

“I think we made a lot of our own errors that took us out of the match,” she said. “They force you into errors. They’re very consistent in what they do. We didn’t put the ball away when we had opportunities.”

The Elks season is not over yet, but time is running out. Elk River will play in the Class 3A consolation tournament with a chance to bring home at least one award back to Elk River High School. 

Brummer said she told the Elks to be proud of what they have accomplished so far this season and not hold their heads low in defeat.

“We earned the right to be here. We worked hard to get here,” she said. “You can mourn [a loss] for a little bit, but we always get in that circle and we highlight what things went right and we're going to carry that with us into the next match.”

Lakeville North shuts out Elks in consolation semifinal

The Elks’ carriage turned back into a pumpkin on Friday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

No. 3 Lakeville North (24-9) defeated No. 7 Elk River (16-17) 3-0 in the semifinal of the 2019 Class 3A state tournament, ending the Elks’ Cinderella season. This was head coach Theresa Brummer’s best season since she assumed the position in 2013.

The Panthers took the first set 25-10 and the second set 25-12. The Elks battled back in the third set and faced a Lakeville North match point multiple times. However, the Panthers rattled off to clinch, winning the set 25-23 and the match 3-0.

Errors may have cost the Elks the match. Elk River had 21 service errors, while the Panthers had only 13. Afterwards, the Elk River fans who made the 45-minute drive to St. Paul applauded the team.

Offensive Player of the Match

Lakeville North outside hitter Maddy Hornyak had five kills in the second set and eight kills in the third. Hornyak had 291 kills in the regular season and 34 in the section tournament.

Defensive Player of the Match

Panthers libero Halle Wolfe had 12 digs in the second set and 18 in the third. Wolfe had 359 digs during the regular season and 44 during the section tournament.

What’s next

Elk River’s 2019 season is over. The Elks finished the regular season with a record of 13-15 and had a postseason record of 3-2.

Lakeville North was will face No. 8 St. Louis Park (25-7) in the consolation final on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Xcel Energy Center.

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