Kockelman sets milestone
Morgan Kockelman notched the 2,000th assist of her career Monday night as Minneota swept MACCRAY 25-10, 25-7, 25-14 to capture the Camden Conference championship crown in Clara City.
And it came just days after Class A’s No. 1-ranked team swept through the Eastview Tournament in Apple Valley to win the championship.
Kockelman, a senior setter, was unaware of her accomplishment until coaches and teammates informed her during the match.
“It was so exciting to see Morgan get her 2,000th assist,” said Coach Hayley Fruin. “The best part was the team knew it was coming, but she had absolutely no clue.”
Kockelman reached the milestone in the second set against MACCRAY.
“She set the ball to Lizzy (Gillingham) and she put it away and everyone started cheering super loud,” said Fruin. “We were sure to have someone catch it on video.”
Kockelman, who finished with 37 assists in the three-set match, received a volleyball that the team decorated and signed for her accomplishment.
“Morgan is such an unselfish setter,” Fruin mentioned. “She rarely dumps the ball; only if she is really told to.
“She’d rather keep the ball on our side and give a hitter a chance to score. This wouldn’t be possible without the balance of the team we have. We consistently serve-receive pass well, defend tough and put balls away.”
And that balance was evident again against MACCRAY. Lydia Sussner and Natalee Rolbiecki had 12 kills apiece. Gillingham and Morgan Hennen added six kills each to the offense. Abby Hennen had 15 digs, Morgan Hennen 12 and Kockelman 10.
Minneota dominated a young MACCRAY team from the start, bolting to 10-2 lead in the first set and seemingly got stronger as the much went on.
Leading 24-10 in the opening set, a kill by Rolbiecki off a Kockelman assist gave Minneota the set point.
After a relatively easy win in the second set, Minneota closed out the match with four unanswered points on two unforced errors by MACCRAY, and kills by Morgan Hennen and Gillingham.
The Vikings’ final regular-season match will be at home on Thursday night against Windom. Minneota is the top seed in the Section 3A-North half, while Windom is No. 1 in the south.
Minneota (27-1), the top-ranked Class A team, will take on the winner of next Monday’s match between Central Minnesota Christian vs. Dawson-Boyd at 7 p.m. on Oct. 26 in Minneota in the quarterfinals of Section 3A-North.
Minneota 3, MACCRAY 0
Minneota...............................................25 25 25
MACCRA..Y..........................................10 7 14
KILLS: Lydia Sussner 12, Natalee Rolbiecki 12, Lizzy Gillingham 6, Morgan Hennen 6.
SERVING (No., good, aces): Morgan Hennen 23-23-0, Gillingham 14-13-1, Morgan Kockelman 12-11-1
DIGS: Abby Hennen 15, M.Hennen 12, Kockelman 10
BLOCKS: Sussner 2.
SET ASSISTS: Kockelman 37