East Ridge upsets, Woodbury upset in volleyball sectionals
Based on the seedings, odds were that one of the two District 833 volleyball teams would see its season come to an end in the Section 4AAA quarterfinals on Thursday night.
However, when the dust had cleared from a pair of five-game matches, the team favored to fall was still standing -- while the squad figured to win was the one that lost.
East Ridge, seeded fifth in the sectional, overcame a two-game deficit on the road to defeat No. 4 seed Cretin-Derham Hall and advance to the semifinals -- however, Woodbury, seeded third and playing at home, could not put away a tenacious Roseville club as the sixth-seeded Raiders pulled off the upset.
Raptors coach Katie Plummer certainly seems to have the number on the team she played for as a high schooler as the Cretin alumnae led her squad to the second win of the season over the Raiders on their home floor.
While the first meeting in late September was dramatic enough with East Ridge overcoming a two-games-to-one deficit, this time around the Raptors trailed 2-0 after Cretin ground out the first two games by scores of 26-24 and 25-19.
However, with their proverbial backs to the wall, Plummer's troops rallied to take games two and three -- 25-20 and 25-22 -- before pulling out the fifth-game tiebreaker, 15-11, to once again stun their hosts.
Junior defensive specialist Cassie Yurick accounted for a team-high 27 digs in the victory, while outside hitter Kristen Jorgensen put up 43 assists and fellow junior outsider slammed down 22 kills. Another junior defensive specialist, Erica Bohlke, tallied three service aces in the defining victory.
East Ridge (16-11) advances to play at Suburban East Conference champion and top sectional seed Stillwater (24-4) on Wednesday, Nov. 5 in the Ponies' home gymnasium. The Ponies topped the Raptors in a three-game sweep in September.
An upset against Stillwater would propel the first-year Raptors into the sectional final on Friday, Nov. 6 against either No. 2 Hill-Murray or No. 6 Roseville at St. Paul Arlington High School.
The Royals will not be making the trip to Arlington for the first time in the Wally Bomgren coaching era as Woodbury came up short against Roseville in a back-and-forth five-game match in The Lion's Den on Thursday.
Visiting Roseville (18-10) took the lead after game one, winning 25-21, before Woodbury countered with a game two victory by the same score.
The Raiders roared to a 25-13 win in the third game, yet again the Royals powered back to draw even with a 25-18 win in game four.
However, Woodbury, with several players having recently recovered from the flu, didn't have enough left in the tank to pull out the final game -- dropping the match as Roseville celebrated advancement with a 15-9 triumph.
The Royals, who lost several top players to East Ridge in the off-season, will be on the outside looking in next week when the sectional plays out in St. Paul. Woodbury's 2009 campaign came to a close with an even 14-14 record.