Hill-Murray volleyball set for big week

The Hill-Murray volleyball team has faced some of the top teams in the state already this season and is slated to take on a bunch more this week. The Pioneers face one of those ranked teams on Sept. 20 in a Metro East Conference match and will take on a few more over the weekend at a tournament.

Hill-Murray’s only match early in the week is Sept. 20 when it visits North with first place in the conference on the line. The Polars were ranked ninth in the state in Class AAA last week.

Hill-Murray, ranked eighth in Class AA, plays in the Class AA Showcase at the Midwest Volleyball Warehouse in Burnsville on Sept. 23-24. 

Nine of the 10 teams in last week’s Class AA rankings are playing in the Showcase, as are three of the six teams that received votes but did not make the top 10.

The 16 teams in the tournament are divided into pools of four and each team plays the other three teams in the pool in the preliminaries. The winner of each pool advances to the championship bracket, the second-place teams play in the silver bracket and the third-place teams move to the bronze bracket.

Hill-Murray’s pool includes No. 1-ranked Kenyon-Wanamingo, 11th-ranked Jackson County Central and unranked Melrose.

The Pioneers went 1-1 last week after dropping a four-set decision to Cretin-Derham Hall on Sept. 13 and beating Simley in straight sets on Sept. 15.

 

North

The Polars were ranked eighth last week thanks to an 8-0 start to the season. North opened 2016 by beating Moorhead in four sets at the Sideout Classic on Aug. 27. 

North followed that up by beating Totino-Grace, Cambridge-Isanti and South St. Paul all in straight sets. The Polars then won the North-Tartan Tournament on Sept. 10 by sweeping New Life Academy, Woodbury, Edina and Farmington in straight sets.

North went 1-1 last week with a loss to Roseville and a win over Henry Sibley. 

The Polars take on a pair of ranked teams this week, starting on Sept. 20 with Hill-Murray, the eighth-ranked team in Class AA. The winner of that match will have the upper hand in the chase for the Metro East Conference title. The loser will most likely need to win the rematch on Oct. 11 to have a shot at any share of the conference crown.

North then ventures out of conference on Sept. 22 when it visits Wayzata. The Trojans were ranked fourth in Class AAA last week.

 

Tartan

The Titans remained tied for the early lead in the Metro East Conference standings with a 3-1 victory over Hastings on Sept. 15. Overall, Tartan is 5-5.

Among Tartan’s victories this season was a sweep of Glencoe-Silver Lake in the Sideout Classic. The Titans went 2-2 in the North-Tartan tournament on Sept. 10 with wins over Grand Rapids and New Life Academy.

Tartan is in action twice this week, starting with a road non-conference match against Centennial on Sept. 20. The Titans return to conference action on Sept. 22 with a trip to Simley.

 

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

Metro East Conference volleyball standings (through Sept. 15)

 

Hill-Murray  
North  
Tartan    
Hastings    
Mahtomedi    
Henry Sibley    
Simley    
South St. Paul

Conf.

2-0
2-0
2-0
1-1
1-1
0-2
0-2
0-2

Overall

6-3
9-1
5-5
5-5
5-1
0-5
4-4
1-6

Games behind

-
-
-
1
1
2
2
2

 

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