WATERVILLE, Minn. (KEYC) — The Waterville-Elysian-Morristown and Minneota volleyball programs met for the Class A State Championship one year ago.
In that match-up, Minneota beat the Buccaneers 3-0.
This season, the Vikings and Bucs held the top two rankings in Class A through the entire abbreviated campaign.
Now, teams typically stuck to competing against conference opponents here in 2020, but Minneota and WEM found a way to make this state title rematch happen.
”We had scheduled it for after Thanksgiving, then when we heard the season was going to be cut short, I promised the girls I would do anything I could to get that game moved up. We were excited to get it scheduled for the girls,” Head Coach Crystal Lamont said.
On Friday night, No. 1 Minneota and No. 2 WEM met with the winner being put at number one in the state’s final volleyball rankings.
That’s where WEM capped off its unbeaten season with a 3-1 victory over the Vikings, in a match that felt like a state title game.
“It was different from all of our other games, we had a fan section, it was loud, intense, very special,” senior Kylie Pittman said.
The Buccaneers won that match even though Lamont was in quarantine, cheering on her team from home.
”It was heartbreaking,” Lamont said. “It was very stressful to have so little control sitting at home, but I know we prepared them for the moment. All I wanted was for the girls to have the opportunity to play. I was glad it was me and not them.”
This group took advantage of that chance, and in a season without playoffs, WEM finishes as the number one team in Class A.
”I definitely think it’s the best accomplishment a team can get in this weird season. We didn’t get a section or state tournament. Being able to be ranked first at the end of the season proves that we were the best. Even if there was no state tournament. We proved to everyone we were the best,” senior Toryn Richards said.