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Prep report: Panthers prevail in marathon section volleyball quarterfinal

South Ridge and Carlton went five sets, with the Panthers prevailing 15-11 in the finale.

Prep Report.jpg
Prep report
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In a race to 15 points to save their season, South Range got to the finish first and advanced to a Section 7A volleyball semifinal after outlasting Carlton 3-2 (25-15, 23-25, 17-25, 25-22, 15-11) in a quarterfinal match on Friday in Culver.

Mercedes Lawrence and Kaitia Klemetson made big contributions at the net, with Lawrence recording a game-best 15 kills and two blocks and Klemetson pitching in with 11 kills and three blocks. Svea Snickers had a vital all-around performance for the Panthers, adding 13 kills and 19 digs. Adella Olesiak was a defensive demon, leading South Ridge with 36 digs.

Rylee Young dished out 40 assists for the Panthers, who will meet an undefeated Ely team as north and south cross over for the section's final four on Wednesday night in Hibbing at 7:15 p.m.

Ely swept North Woods 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-16) to continue its tournament run.

Floodwood 3, Cromwell-Wright 1

Kylie Hart was unstoppable for the Polar Bears, posting 41 kills in a four-set (19-25, 25-19, 25-10, 25-10) victory. Hart also had 11 digs.

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Kenzie Kiminski was Floodwood's dig leader with 26 and contributed 12 kills of her own, while Nakaiyah Nimene had nine kills and nine digs.

The Polar Bears will play in the opener of Wednesday's 7A doubleheader against Nashwauk-Keewatin, which knocked off Chisholm 3-1 (26-24, 14-25, 25-16, 26-24).

Section 7AA

Esko made the first big move in the Section 7AA bracket, as their 3-0 (25-15, 28-26, 25-20) sweep at Pine City marked the first win by a road team in the tournament thus far.

Esko will face Greenway on Wednesday night in the second of two semifinals (7:15 p.m.) at Hermantown High School after the Raiders dismissed Aitkin 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-18) behind 13 kills from Kyra Williams. Greenway had several contributors, as Jocelyn Mikulich and Miranda Gernander posted 13 digs apiece, while Ava Johnson added nine kills and eight digs. Lydia Johannsen recorded five blocks, while Lexi Hammer dished out 28 assists.

The early (5:15 p.m.) semifinal on Wednesday in Hermantown will feature Rush City and International Falls after Rush City swept Proctor out 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-12) and the Broncos overcame a two-sets-to-none deficit to defeat Mesabi East 3-2 (18-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-8, 15-6).

Christian scored four goals and Peterson had assists on all seven goals East scored.
Cromwell-Wright claimed the Polar League's small-school conference title on Friday.
Cole Lahti scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half.
University of Minnesota head football coach P.J. Fleck and members of his staff were in attendance.

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P.J. Fleck was one of multiple coaches in attendance for the Eskomos' game against Aitkin on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
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