The Medford Tigers incredible run at the Class A Minnesota State High School Volleyball Tournament enters the title match tomorrow at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  The Tigers dropped the first set to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 25-22 and frankly it was amazing it was that close.  Medford didn’t let that effect them, winning the next three sets 25-19, 25-21, 25-16.

Following the match Tigers senior Rachael Luebbe told the media it felt “unreal” to be playing for a state title.  Junior libero Kiley Nihart said, “We just play volleyball and don’t really think about anything but playing together.”  Head Coach Missy Underdahl echoed those sentiments saying, “I guess from what everybody’s telling us we’ve been pulling off some pretty big upsets.”  She added, “I’m proud of these girls for staying calm.”  Junior setter Morgan Langelag told KDHL after the match, “Our fans have provided us great energy to feed off.  I just love my teammates.”

The Tigers face #1 ranked and tournament #1 seed Minneota in tomorrow’s Class A State Championship.  The Vikings lost their opening set to Ada-Borup before reeling off three straight wins.

When examining the final statistics the Jaguars probably wondered how they lost with 60 kills to Medford’s 49. More digs (78 to 77) and blocks (5-3).  It’s the points that count and BBE gave away 9 points on service errors and had 27 hitting errors.  The Tigers tallied 16 hitting errors and scored 8 points on ace serves with just one service error.

Medford junior Emma Kniefel smacked 19 kills and hit .364 with 14 digs. Senior Luebbe did not have a kill in the first set but stroked the final kill for the win and finished with 11 and a hitting percentage of .300.  Sophomore Kinsey Cronin collected 11 kills with a .242 attack percentage.

Nihart had 21 digs and Langeslag 39 assists and 13 digs.

Unfortunately we will not be able to broadcast tomorrow’s match but I know all of Medford will probably be there.  Will the Medford Tigers come home with the glass slipper and achieve the third state title for a Gopher Conference Team in the past 5 years?

Medford Warms Up. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld