RAHS volleyball reaches section final four

Brian Meyers
sports writer

Over the past two seasons, the Roseville Area High School volleyball hasn’t lost a set in the section playoffs. The Raiders will try to keep that streak intact this week when it plays in the Section 4AAA semifinals.

Roseville recorded three consecutive three-set sweeps en route to a berth in the 2012 state tournament and began defense of that section title on Thursday with a three-set sweep of Henry Sibley, 25-18, 25-11, 25-11.

Next up for the second-seeded Raiders is a showdown with third-seeded Cretin-Derham Hall, the same team they beat in last year’s semifinals. Roseville beat Cretin 3-2 in a regular-season match on Oct. 8.

Roseville and Cretin-Derham Hall shared the Suburban East Conference championship with identical 8-1 league records. Roseville’s lone SEC loss came at the hands of East Ridge two days after its win over Cretin.

Roseville (18-10) started the season with a four-game losing streak as it tried to find its footing following some turnover from last year’s team. Of the Raiders’ 10 losses, three came against teams (Osseo twice, North St. Paul) seeded No. 1 in their respective sections, two were to teams (Champlin Park, Moorhead) seeded No. 2 and two more were to No. 3 seeds (Hopkins, Blaine).

The other semifinal on Tuesday pits top-seeded North St. Paul against fourth-seeded Stillwater. Both semis take place at North St. Paul High School with Roseville and Cretin starting at 6 p.m. and North St. Paul vs. Stillwater to follow.

The two winners meet in the championship match on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Washington Technology Magnet School (formerly St. Paul Arlington High School). The winner on Thursday advances to the Class AAA state tournament Nov. 7-9 at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.

Concordia Academy

For the fourth consecutive season, the Beacons have advanced to the third round of the section playoffs. When they travel to Hill-Murray this week, they’ll be trying to end a two-year losing streak in the section semifinals.

Concordia Academy (22-6-2) faces the Pioneers (25-4) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday with a berth in the Section 4AA final on the line.

The Beacons reached the semifinals with a pair of three-set victories last week. Concordia, the third seed, thumped 14th-seeded St. Croix Prep 25-4, 25-5, 25-9 on Oct. 23 and followed that up with a 25-23, 25-17, 25-12 win over sixth-seeded Holy Angels on Friday.

Hill-Murray also dispatched its two playoff foes in straight sets last week. The second-seeded Pioneers dumped 15th-seeded Washington Magnet School 25-4, 25-10, 25-7 in the first round and 10-seeded St. Paul Central 25-9, 25-13, 25-18 in the quarterfinals.

The other semifinal on Tuesday has fourth-seeded Minnehaha Academy (20-9-1) visiting top-seeded and fourth-ranked St. Croix Lutheran (30-1).

The two semifinal winners meet for the section title on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Bloomington Kennedy High School.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.
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