Long time Canby rivalry goes to Minneota
Canby against Minneota.
There’s always extra meaning behind that phrase. “They come fired up against us,” said Minneota hitter, digger, server Abby Hennen. “They beat some good competition,” Hennen added.
The rivalry is real, and as Hennen said, “The gym is always loud.”
Tuesday night,the No. three-ranked Vikings took on the No. 10-ranked Canby Lancers with a 17-5 record. Canby was 9-1 in the Camden and Minneota 11-0 coming into the match.
When it was over, Minneota still had not been pressed past a three-game set this entire year, winning 25-17; 25-15 and 25-21.
For Abby Hennen, who knocked down 14 kills, led the team in serving with 18 of 18 with three aces and tied as the top digger with 10 along with Ellie Pesch and McKenna Yost, this night brought her full circle.
“I remember watching my sisters play (Samantha, Kelsey and Molly) against Canby and it was always a rivalry. Now it continues with us,” said Hennen. The “us” includes her senior sister Morgan, who had 10 kills.
This was a night when a special group called, “With Angel Wings,” announced they’d raised $1,300 to go toward helping families and friends deal with the life-changing loss of children. Both teams wore the special, blue “With Angel Wings” shirts — and both united for the cause.
Abby Hennen, while admitting the rivalry with Canby is real, acknowledged the fact they can join together for things times like this. “We have a lot of fun with them talking before the game,” she said.
But of-course, the game is all business. “It’s always a competitive match,” said Abby Hennen.
Minneota sophomore Natalee Rolbiecki actually took matters into her own hands from the very start. She slammed down 11 kills herself in the first game and ended with a game-high 16.
“Natalee did a good job tonight,” said Abby Hennen. In fact, her performance earned her “player of the game” honors bestowed by Q92 Radio Announcer Paul Raymo after the game.
Despite the heroics at the net by Minneota’s “big boppers,” it was the diggers, passers and setter that earned the respect of hitters like Abby Hennen. “Ellie (Pesch) is quiet, but she we know she will always be there,” said Hennen. Pesch, the team’s Libero, had 10 digs as she helped stabilize the back row. Also drawing Hennen’s attention was setter McKenna Yost. “She did some great setting tonight,” Hennen added. Yost has been getting all the sets since Ireland Stassen injured an ankle. This time she set it 36 times for points.
For Abby Hennen, who was the Libero on last year’s state championship team, “It’s different than it was last year. We lost some hitters and Coach Hayley (Fruin) asked me to play some in the front row because we need hitters. I like that,” she admitted.
THE MINNEOTA B squad went three sets with Canby, but pulled off the win, 25-21; 22-25 and 15-8. The Minneota will travel to Apple Valley on Friday and Saturday to play in the Eastview Tournament. On Monday they play in the Camden Conference Championship game. Itwill be Minneota vs.MACCRAY at 7 p.m. in Minneota.
SERVING: (No., good, aces) Abby Hennen 18-18-3; McKenna Yost 13-13-1; Natalee Rolbiecki 10-11-1.
BLOCKS: Abby Hennen 1, Ireland Stassen 1, Abby Frie 1, Natalee Rolbiecki 1, Abby Rost 1.
KILLS Natalee Rolbiecki 16, Abby Hennen 14, Morgan Hennen 10; Abby Rost 6; Abby Frie 5; McKenna Yost 2.
DIGS: Abby Hennen 10, Ellie Pesch 10, McKenna Yost 10.
SET ASSISTS: McKenna Yost 36.