(Update 11:25 a.m. today)
In a see-saw battle, the Roseville Raiders girls volleyball team lost to Shakopee High School in a five-set match in the first-round of the state Class AAA tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.
Roseville dropped the fifth and deciding set 15-13 after rallying 25-17 to take the fourth set.
Shakopee took the first set 26-24, dropped the second set 25-11, then won the third set 25-19.
(Original post) Led by eight seniors, the Roseville High School girls volleyball team is heading to the state Class AAA tournament after recenty winning the Section 4 AAA title.
First-round action comences at 9 a.m. Thursday (Nov. 8) at the Xcel Energy Center where Roseville's opening-round opponent is Shakopee High School. Go to the Minnesota Sports Network to see live broadcasts of tournament playi on the network's website MnSportsNetwork.com
For the Roseville Raiders, who are 25-5 in match play this season, the state tournament berth "is a dream come true not only for the girls but the coaching staff and community," said Roseville's head coach Greg Ueland.
Here is the roster of the team: Greta Thun, Meghan Koop, Kaitlin Brunik, Laura Crary, Melissa Koop, Jane Becker, Nina Carmichael-Tanaka, Monica Burich, Bre Maloney, Victoria Hites, Haley Kauth, Maria Grasse and Larissa Graham.
Ueland credits the Raiders' stellar season to it being a team with no weaknesses. "We won't blow anyone away, but we are just so fundamentallly strong," he told Roseville Patch this week.
Among the Raiders' strengths are its serving and return of serve, he said. "Very rarely do we get outplayed. Also, the girls are so mentally tough."
Another important attribute: team chemistry. "The girls all accept their role and perform at a high level," said Ueland, who is in his fifth season as the school's coach.
Win or lose, Roseville will play a second match at 9 a.m. Friday. If the team wins Thursday, it will play in the tournament semi-finals.
The Saturday schedule has the winners of the two semi-finals competing at 5 p.m. Other matches include consolation championship at 9 a.m. and third-place match at 3 p.m. All the action will be at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.