Playing in the state volleyball tournament for the seventh consecutive year, Eagan is one victory away from playing for the state championship, also for the seventh straight year.
The Wildcats (30-0) swept first-time state tourney qualifier St. Louis Park 25-16, 25-12, 25-16 in a quarterfinal match Wednesday morning at Xcel Energy Center.
Eagan, the No. 1 seed, will play fourth-seeded Minnetonka in the semifinals at 9 a.m. Friday. No. 2 seed Wayzata plays North St. Paul, an upset winner over Lakeville North, in the other semifinal. The Class 3A championship match is 5 p.m. Saturday.
Even though the Wildcats rarely trailed at any point in their match, Eagan coach Kathy Gillen said her team looked tight. But they were able to rely on a deep roster and a strong all-around performance from their best player, junior Kennedi Orr.
Orr had 15 kills, 23 assists and five service aces. At one point in the second game, Eagan won 11 consecutive points with Orr serving.
Sienna Ifill added 10 kills for the Wildcats. Lauren Miller had 15 assists. Kaylyn Madison and Simara Amador led the Eagan defense with 15 and 14 digs.
North St. Paul, playing at state for the first time, made runs late in each of the first two games in surprising third-seeded Lakeville North. North St. Paul led by 10 points in the third game, then clinched after holding off a Panthers’ rally.
Lakeville North will play Elk River in a consolation semifinal at 11 a.m. Friday. The consolation final is 9 a.m. Saturday.
Ella Thompson had 12 kills and Abby Jandro 27 assists for Lakeville North (23-9).
Check back for more about the state Class 3A tournament at www.sunthisweek.com.