Roseville volleyball takes fourth place at state

The Roseville Area High School volleyball team was finally able to accomplish its goal of winning a championship-round match at the state tournament. In their third trip to state in as many seasons, the Raiders picked up a victory in the first round last week.

Roseville opened the tournament with a five-set victory over Champlin Park, then lost to Chaska in the semifinals and Eden Prairie in the third-place match. The fourth-place finish in the tournament was the highest for the Raiders in their three most-recent state appearances.

Beating Champlin Park in the quarterfinals was the main goal for the weekend and the Raiders accomplished it, although it wasn't easy. Roseville won the first two games but the Rebels stormed back to take games, three and four. The fifth and deciding set was tight most of the way, but Roseville eked out the victory to win the match 26-24, 27-25, 22-25, 18-25, 15-13.

"There's so much satisfaction and relief and happiness and excitement," said senior co-captain Nina Carmichael-Tanaka. "Especially in five sets, you know you really earned it. It just means a lot."

Relief seemed to be a common emotion following the victory.

"It honestly is a big relief," said Roseville head coach Greg Ueland. "For three years in a row, we've had tight, tough matches and it's fun to finally win one of those. The girls are ecstatic about that."

Following a tight game one, Roseville found itself in a hole in game two. Champlin Park led by as many as seven at 22-15 before a furious rally by the Raiders tied it at 23-23. Champlin served for the set at 24-23 and 25-24, but Roseville fought off those points and won the match on a hitting error by the Rebels.

The momentum from the game-two rally was short-lived, however, as Champlin Park took an 8-7 lead in game three and never gave it up. The Rebels did the same in game four and appeared to have all of the momentum heading into set No. 5. Despite the circumstances, Roseville found a way.

Alivia Garbe broke the final tie of the set with a kill and a Champlin Park attack error gave Roseville the match.

"We're just good at playing in those big points," said senior co-captain Monica Burich. "We're a team that rises to the occasion. We had confidence, which is important, and we wanted to go out swinging."

The victory sent Roseville to the semifinals and a match against top-seeded Chaska. The Hawks had swept the Raiders in a regular-season tournament back in September and did the same again this time. Chaska won the match 25-18, 25-16, 25-23.

Ueland compared Chaska to a college team with the tempo it utilizes on offense.

"They run that super-fast tempo and we don't see high school teams like that," Ueland said. "Very few high school teams play at that tempo. They remind me a of a college team."

In addition to being effective in racking up points, Chaska's game also takes its opponent out of its game. Roseville struggled to get many points from its offense.

Roseville managed only 21 kills against Chaska while the Hawks amassed 55.

The loss sent Roseville to the third-place match on Saturday against Eden Prairie. The match started at 3 p.m. and was the only state-tournament match for Roseville in the last three years that didn’t start at 9 a.m.

The Eagles handed Roseville a 25-15, 25-22, 25-18 loss. The Raiders finished their season with a record of 26-6.

Burich was named to the Class AAA all-tournament team thanks to her 57 kills in the three matches. She led Roseville in kills in all three matches and had 28 against Champlin Park.

Sophomore setter Bre Maloney amassed 114 assists, including 61 in the Champlin Park match. Junior libero Haley Kauth led the team in digs with a three-match total of 58.

Brian Meyers can be reached at or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


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