Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta finished the regular season with a 7-15 record, but still managed to earn the fourth seed in the Section 3AA playoffs and a home match. The Tigers took on the fifth seeded Litchfield Dragons, who came in with a 4-21 record. MACA never blew out the Dragons, but managed to keep their noses in front for the majority of the match to secure a sweep and advance to the second round where they will play No. 1 seed Paynesville.
The Tigers and Dragons fought it out in the first set with neither team able to take much of an advantage. MACA held on to a slim lead and eventually put Litchfield away 25-22.
MACA took an even more convincing lead in the second set when they played from in front and cruised to a 25-19 win to go up 2-0.
The Tigers once again jumped out to a lead in the third set and were looking like they would run away with the set. The Dragons did all they could to extend the match, climbing to within a few points, but MACA had enough of that and finished Litchfield off with a 20-25 win in the third to ice away the sweep.
There were two main options for the Tigers on offense. Brianna Marty led the team with 16 kills and Kaylee Harstad chipped in with 11 kills herself. Haley Kill added six kills, Morgan Harstad finished with three and Ruby Swenson had two. The setting duties were split between Ryla Koehler and Nora Boyle. Koehler paced the Tigers with 20 assists and Boyle chipped in with 14 helpers.
At the service line, MACA finished the match with seven aces. Koehler and Marty led the team with two and Swenson, Boyle and Lauren Hottovy all added one.
On defense, Marty and Hottovy were the most active on the team. Hottovy led the team with 22 digs and Marty added 17. The next closest was MaKenzie Konz and Koehler, who each dug out six. At the net, the Tigers had two blocks with one each from Kaylee and Morgan Harstad.
With the victory, the Tigers move on to play the No. 1 seed Paynesville on the road on Tuesday, October 31. The Bulldogs come into the match with an 18-5 overall record, compared to the 8-15 record for MACA. Paynesville will also be well rested since they had a bye in the first round, but it may be an opportunity for the Tigers to take advantage of some rust from the Bulldogs.