skip navigation

Side Out Classic preview: Court 2

By Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports Media, 08/22/17, 10:00AM CDT


Host Hopkins and powerful Prior Lake conclude big day of volleyball

Court 2 Previews

The Skinny:

9 a.m. — Eastview vs. Edina
Eastview suffered through a tough sub-.500 season a year ago, but now welcomes on board new coach Ryan Dehnel, formerly of St. Michael-Albertville, and a fresh start. Returning veterans such as senior setter Erica Slinde and OH Kati Quaintance, and junior MH Leah Melchior should provide stability, while freshman RH Lauren Crowl is an exciting young talent on the rise.
Edina also has a new coach in Nicolle Higley, so it will be interesting to see how the two teams' systems play out in this one. The Hornets have a terrific right-side hitter in San Diego-bound Lauren Turner, who will get fed by setter Ella Haugen. Junior OH Christine Graf is also a top talent who should have a big year.
Our pick: Eastview in five.

11 a.m. — Osseo vs. Waconia
Osseo coach Mandi Burian begins her third season with the Orioles with high expectations, despite graduating a good senior class anchored by All-State hitter Tina Boe. The Orioles must rebuild their attack, although junior OH/MH Kate Achenbach should be a key in that. Sophomore libero Taylor Quan is a steady force in the back row.
Waconia returns a host of good setters and passers, led by senior Danielle Pioske and sophomore Kali Wolf, each of whom had more than 200 kills and digs last fall. The Wildcats will need to replace both setters (Kalista Jager and Taylor Wolf), who graduated after leading them to 24 wins a year ago.
Our pick: Waconia in four.

1 p.m. — Minnetonka vs. Moorhead
Minnetonka also has the tough task of replacing longtime setter Isabelle Aragon-Menzel, who had started since eighth grade for coach Karl Katzenberger. But she was just part of a huge 10-player senior class that led the way. Now it's up to the young Skippers and senior MH Katelyn Lannom.
Moorhead, on the other hand, does have several key veterans returning coming off a state tournament berth. Setter Kortney Carney and OH Lexi Gilbertson are three-year letter winners and among the top players in Section 8AAA. Juniors Brooke Carney and Brooke Walthall also are returning starters.
Our pick: Moorhead in four.

3 p.m. — Blaine vs. Rosemount
Blaine graduated much of its lineup from an 18-win season, but coach Celeste Gorman doesn't expect a down year. Of course, returning seniors hitters Isabella Erne and Aleaha Mokamba certainly helps buoy the Bengals' prospects.
Rosemount should have a good passing and setting team, with the return of libero Marissa Hinkle (committed to UCLA) and senior setter Maddie Mackinac. Finding top hitting options will be key for coach Smokey Vitek.
Our pick: Rosemount in five.

5 p.m. — Champlin Park vs. Stillwater
Yes, Champlin Park did graduate Miss Volleyball Sydney Hilley. But the Rebels will still be a state championship contender behind a strong junior class that was often overlooked — but will be no longer. Coach John Yunker is back after a brief flirtation with college coaching, and has a great young team anchored by libero Kaitlyn Weimerskirch and DS Bryann Goar, setter Izzy Ashburn, and hitters Emma Schmidt, Sami Hilley, Jordan Stalpes, and Hannah Prasky.
Stillwater is expected to make another jump up from last year's 19 victories, which was largely paced by underclassmen. Hitting shouldn't be an issue for the Ponies with seniors Mikayla Gjerde and Rachel Houle, and sophomore Maddie Whittington.
Our pick: Champlin Park in four.

7 p.m. — Hopkins vs. Prior Lake
Hopkins again hosts the Side Out Classic and again has a team that could return to the state tournament for the third straight season. The Royals return All-State setter Tara Lee and top hitters such as Anna Erickson and rising middle Chudear Tut. They'll be tasked with replacing All-State hitter Jazmyn Martin, now at Minnesota.
Prior Lake has also been to two straight state tourneys and is a favorite to return. Coach Mike Dean will relay on senior libero CC McGraw, outside hitter Haley Stolt, and middles Maddie Bremer and Kayla Bair, all of whom have already committed to colleges.
Our pick: Prior Lake in four.

Court 2 Team Capsules

School Name Conference Sect Overall Record Coach
Blaine Northwest Suburban 7AAA 18-10 Celeste Gorman
Champlin Park Northwest Suburban 5AAA 31-3 John Yunker
Eastview South Suburban 3AAA 11-17 Ryan Dehnel
Edina Lake 6AAA 13-10 Nicolle Higley
Hopkins Lake 6AAA 30-3 Vicki Seliger Swenson
Minnetonka Lake 2AAA 17-15 Karl Katzenberger
Moorhead Independent 8AAA 25-8 Char Lien
Osseo Northwest Suburban 5AAA 24-4 Mandi Burian
Prior Lake South Suburban 2AAA 27-7 Mike Dean
Rosemount South Suburban 3AAA 14-15 Smoak Vitek
Stillwater Area Suburban East 4AAA 19-10 Robert Fisher
Waconia Wright County East 2AAA 24-5 Katie Keogh

Court 2 — 40 players to watch

School Name Pos Ht Gr All-State College
Blaine Aleaha Mokamba OH/RH 5'9 12
Blaine Isabella Erne OH 5'8 12 St. Cloud State
Champlin Park Bryanna Goar LI 5'9 12 Northern State
Champlin Park Emma Schmidt OH/RH/DS 6'1 11
Champlin Park Hannah Prasky MH 6'0 10
Champlin Park Izzy Ashburn OH/S 5'10 11
Champlin Park Jordan Stalpes OH/DS 5'9 10
Champlin Park Kaitlyn Weimerskirsch LI 5'6 11
Champlin Park Sami Hilley MH 5'10 10
Eastview Erica Slinde S 5'10 12
Eastview Kati Quaintance OH 5'9 12
Eastview Lauren Crowl RH 5'11 9
Eastview Leah Melchior MH 6'0 11
Edina Christine Graf OH ' 11
Edina Ella Haugen S 5'9 11
Edina Lauren Turner RH ' 12 San Diego
Hopkins Anna Erickson OH 6'1 11
Hopkins Chudear Tut MH 6'2 10
Hopkins Jane Nelson OH 5'10 12
Hopkins Tara Lee S 5'11 12 Class AAA All-State HM
Minnetonka Katelyn Lannom MH ' 12
Moorhead Kortney Carney S 5'10 12
Moorhead Lexi Gilbertson OH 5'9 12
Osseo Kate Achenbach OH/MH 6'1 11
Osseo Taylor Quan LI/DS 5'6 10
Prior Lake CC McGraw LI 5'9 12 Class AAA All-State Minnesota
Prior Lake Haley Stolt OH 5'11 12 Bemidji State
Prior Lake Hannah Reis LI 5'7 12
Prior Lake Kayla Bair MH 6'2 12 Class AAA All-State Michigan
Prior Lake Maddie Bremer MH 6'0 12 Northern Colorado
Rosemount Madeline Mackinac S 5'10 12
Rosemount Marissa Hinkle LI 5'7 11 UCLA
Stillwater Area Maddie Whittington MB 6'3 10
Stillwater Area Mikayla Gjerde OH 5'11 12
Stillwater Area Rachel Houle RH 6'0 12
Waconia Danielle Pioske OH 5'7 12
Waconia Ellie Dammann MH 6'0 10
Waconia Estelle Marker MH 5'8 12
Waconia Kali Wolf OH 6'2 10
Waconia Lyndy Elvebak LI/DS 5'6 12

Side Out Classic news

Connect with the Breakdown on social media

Click on the links below to visit our social media sites, from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube to Instagram and more.