Hill-Murray athletics have quite a week

What a week it was for the Hill-Murray athletic department. Three different teams at the private Maplewood school picked up big victories last week. Here’s a rundown.

 

Girls soccer

After a one-year hiatus, the Hill-Murray girls soccer team returned to the state tournament last week. Making its third trip to state in four years, the fourth-seeded Pioneers faced fifth-seeded Waconia in a Class A quarterfinal on Oct. 27 at St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium.

Hill-Murray will finish its season with two games at U.S. Bank Stadium thanks to its quarterfinal victory over Waconia. The Pioneers scored the only goal of the game less than two minutes into the second half.

Freshman Katherine Schindler’s shot, off of a pass from junior Ella Hulsey, beat Waconia goalkeeper Erin Larson inside the near post. 

Hill-Murray netminder Elise Potvin finished with two saves to record the shutout victory.

The win sent the Pioneers to the state semifinals on Halloween afternoon against top-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s, a 6-0 winner over St. Cloud Apollo in the quarterfinals. The semifinal match was played after the deadline for this edition of the Review.

The other semifinal featured Mankato West against Dover-Eyota. The semifinal losing teams played for third place on Nov. 1 while the semifinals victors meet for the state championship on Nov. 3 at 12:30 p.m.

 

Volleyball

The Pioneers’ volleyball team rolled to a comfortable victory in the first round of the Section 4AA playoffs on Oct. 26. Hill-Murray, the No. 2 seed, swept 15th-seeded St. Croix Prep 25-9, 25-10, 25-12.

Hill-Murray is the defending section champion and is trying to reach the state tournament for the third time in four years. A year ago, the Pioneers finished as the consolation champions at the state tournament.

The second step on Hill-Murray’s trail to state was a section quarterfinal match on Oct. 28 against 10th-seeded St. Paul Academy, an upset winner over seventh-seeded St. Paul Johnson in the first round. Results of the section quarterfinals were not available for this edition of the Review.

The section tournament continued with the semifinals on Nov. 1 and the section championship match on Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. at Bloomington Kennedy High School.

The top seed in Section 4AA is Holy Angels, which also rolled to a convincing first-round victory. The Stars swept 16th-seeded Twin Cities Academy and in the process lost only 20 points in three sets.

 

Football

For the second consecutive year, the Hill-Murray football team entered the post-season as the lowest seed in its section and pulled off a first-round upset. This year, the sixth-seeded Pioneers surprised No. 3 seed St. Paul Johnson 55-26.

The victory was Hill-Murray’s second of the season and the 55 points were by far the most scored by the Pioneers in a single game this year. In eight regular-season games, Hill-Murray scored a combined 83 points.

The last time Hill-Murray scored 50 or more points in a game was in 2014 in back-to-back games. The Pioneers closed out the regular season that year with a 52-point performance in a win over Tartan and then put up 54 in the first round of the playoffs in a victory over Johnson.

Hill-Murray has now beaten St. Paul Johnson in the section playoffs in three of the past four seasons.

The win this time around sent Hill-Murray to the section semifinals and a game against second-seeded New Life Academy, which received a bye in the first round. The Pioneers were trying to beat the Eagles in the post-season for the second year in a row after upsetting them in the section quarterfinals in 2015.

Results of the section semifinals were not available for this edition of the Review.

The two semifinal victors meet for the section championship on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the home field of the higher-seeded team. The other semifinal pitted top-seeded and No. 1-ranked South St. Paul against fifth-seeded Simley, a 40-6 winner over St. Paul Harding in the quarterfinals. 

Simley was the lone team that Hill-Murray defeated during the regular season.

 

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

 

 

 

  

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