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Sports from the week of November 9, 2005


Tholen has all-state finish

TholenJillian Tholen closed out a stellar prep cross country career with a seventh-place finish at the state.

Over coming a foot injury that sidelined her from several October meets, the senior toured the 4,000 meter course with a time of 15:07.5. Her time was nearly 22 seconds faster than her time in sections.

Tholen’s brother, Ryan, finished 86th in the boys’ 5,000 meter race with a time of 17:42. The state competition was the freshman’s first.

“Jillian has struggled this year with injuries but she really pulled it together this weekend,” said Panther Coach Marie Clauson. “Jillian went out fast with the pack right behind the leaders. She only let one person pass her the entire race. I am very proud of Jillian, many people would have given up after all her struggles this year-but she didn’t. She had a great final race. It was a wonderful way to end a high school career.”

Clauson was also please with Ryan Tholen’s performance.

“Ryan also ran an excellent race,” added Clauson. “He finished with a similar time to his at sections. It is a very big accomplishment to come to this meet for the first time and do just as well as you did at sections. The best thing about Ryan’s race is that he is so young-now he has the experience and can come to next season with even more confidence.”

Brita Wetch of Holy Family was the girls’ Class A race winner with a time of 13:54.7. Nikki Swenson of Lac qui Parle Valley was second at 14:15.6. Section 3A champion Morgan Lynn of Adrian was third with a time of 14.46.9. Lexi Jo Heitkamp of Luverne was also a Top Ten finisher from Section 3A, finishing sixth with a time of 15.04.

Adrian, the Section 3A girls’ team champion, captured the state Class A championship with 63 points. Staples was second with 71 points. Luverne was fourth with 146 points.

Mike Torchia of Rochester Lourdes was the boys’ Class A race winner with a time of 15.28.8 seconds. St. Cloud Cathedral was the team champion.

Arrows end TMB's quest

By Dick Donaldson

The defending state Class AA volleyball champions saw their reign end Saturday in the Section 3AA finals at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Pipestone beat the Panthers in three games to capture the Section 3AA championship and advance to the state tournament this week. The 25-19, 25-21, and 25-23 Pipestone victory ended Tracy/Milroy/Balaton’s season with an 18-12 record.

It wasn’t easy for the Panthers to bow out of the tournament. They were the defending state Class AA Champions and every one of them wanted to repeat. However it wasn’t to be. The Arrows just had too many hitters and served too well. Pipestone came up with 16 service aces in the match.

“We played with them pretty well and didn’t let the match get out of hand,” said Panther Coach Katie Gervais. “We did have a problem with serve receive, if our passes to the setter would have been better we could have scored more frequently.”

The Arrows jumped off to a 4-1 lead at the beginning of the first game but TMB came right back to go ahead 5-4 with the points coming on a tip by Krysta Tholen, and kills by Emily Miller and Rachel Gervais. The scoring was then even until the Arrows went up 14-10. Again the teams played evenly until Pipestone scored three straight points to give them a 24-18 lead. The Panthers got their 19th point but a wide serve gave the Arrows the first game 19-25.

Lindsey Daniels gave TMB a good start in the second game as she started off with two straight aces to help the Panthers to a 4-1 lead. TMB held off the Arrows until, with the score 9-6 in favor of TMB the Arrows reeled off five straight points. The Panthers tied the score at 11-11 but two runs by Pipestone brought the score to 19-14. The Miller sisters served for 5 points to bring TMB close at 19-20. An ace serve and a net violation gave the Arrows a 22-19 lead before Gervais got a kill and a block for two points as Pipestone closed the game out 21-25.

In the third game the Arrows jumped off to a 6-0 lead and when the Panthers came back to make it 9-11, went on another 6 point run for a 17-9 lead. With the score 11-18 in favor of Pipestone, Michele Lanoue served for 4 points, and the Miller sisters added 4 points to bring about a 20-22 score. The Panthers fought hard for the 23rd point but, on the longest volley of the match, it went to the Arrows. TMB got 3 of the next five points but it was too little-too late and Pipestone carried the match 23-25.

“Pipestone is a very athletic team and deserved to win,” observed Gervais. “Three weeks ago we weren’t playing very well and we have made tremendous progress since then.”

Rachel Gervais led the team in kills with 10 and was followed by Emily Miller with 9. Emily Miller also had 2 blocks to go with her 14 of 15 serving with 1 ace. Lindsey Daniels was 12 of 13 with 2 aces and Krysta Tholen was 12 of 12 and had 20 set assists. Michele Lanoue had 9 digs and Sarah Fritz had 8.

BOLD thriller is repeat

By Dick Donaldson

Tracy/Milroy/Balaton took the Sub-Section 3AA North title Thursday night at Redwood Falls with a 3-1 win over BOLD. Game scores were 23-25, 26-24, 25-21 and 25-20. The match victory advanced the Panthers to the Section 3A finals and improved the team’s season record to 18-11.

There was concern that the Panthers might not be able to duplicate the season ending 3-1 win over BOLD at Olivia in which Coach Katie Gervais said the Panthers had played their best volleyball of the season. However the match was very similar inasmuch as the BOLD Warriors won the first game and TMB came back to win the next three and take the match.

“It was very similar to the first match with BOLD except that we played much better in the first game than we had in the first game of the previous match,” said Coach Gervais. “We were able to make some adjustments after the first game plus we told the kids that they were playing very well.”

The Panther team is a mixture of four seniors, Emily Miller, Rachel Gervais, Krysta Tholen and Sarah Fritz, who have had the success of winning a state championship but wanted to repeat and the balance of the squad, mostly sophomores, who badly want to taste that success.

The Panthers did a good job of blocking the BOLD hitters as Rachel Gervais had 5 ace blocks, Krysta Tholen 3, while Emily Miller and Michele Lanoue had 1 each. Emily Miller led in kills with 15, Gervais had 12 and Lanoue 8. Lanoue had 14 digs, Emily Miller 13 and Sarah Fritz 11. Molly Miller was 22 of 24 serving with 3 aces, Emily Miller was 12 of 13 with 3 aces and Tholen was 20 of 21 with 1 ace. Tholen also had 30 set assists.