Concordia Academy twice needed more than 25 points to win a set, but to hear it from players, they weren't really paying attention to the scoreboard.
One of those long sets was the fourth and final one as the Beacons beat Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 23-25, 27-25, 25-23, 30-28 Thursday in the Class 2A state volleyball quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center.
Not paying attention to the scoreboard helped the Beacons focus, according to senior outside hitter Erin Fallert. Added sophomore Sarah McTaggert, "I didn't even know the last game was 30-28."
Matches like that are fun battles though nerve-racking, said Concordia coach Kim Duis, who praised her team's composure in the final set, adding, "I'm glad they didn't know what the score was, because I did."
In the pivotal second set, the first 11 points went back-and-forth each time until the Beacons won three in a row for an 8-5 lead. The Beacons (25-7) had a seven-point lead and looked to be comfortably on their way to taking the set. But down 24-22, the fifth-seeded Tigers (25-4) got three points and had a set point of their own, threatening to take a 2-0 lead in sets.
Instead, McTaggart put away the next point. It was the Beacons' turn to rattle off three points in a row to win the set.
"We got a little bit tight," Tigers coach Kristi Fehr said. "You can't get yourself behind six, seven points and come back. We both fought hard."
Neither team racked up many mistakes, either, Fehr said. Junior Jenna Howden led the Tigers with 23 kills. Sophomore Riley Decker tallied 45 digs.
"I think we had fire," Decker said. "Diving everywhere."
Senior outside hitter Erin Fallert had five kills in the final 11 points her team earned to close out the match. She said she was honored to be in that pressure-filled situation.
"I really like that. For me, it was just about pushing for the team,'' said Fallert, who finished with a match-high 30 kills. "Not being afraid to take the big swing."
The Beacons, runners-up in the Class 2A tournament last year, previously won state titles in 1984 and 1987.
Kenyon-Wanamingo 3, Holy Angels 0: Top-seeded Kenyon-Wanamingo trailed for much of the first set before coming back to win it en route to a 25-21, 25-12, 25-13 victory.
The Knights (33-1) used a 5-0 run to tie the score midway through the first before getting the final five points to win the set. Then they showed why they have only lost one match all season.
Senior Mara Quam showed off her powerful arm with 15 kills, a match high. She added seven digs and an ace. She was just three kills shy of the team total for Holy Angels (27-5).
The Stars took the lead with a strong start in the first set, blocking everything at the net.
Kasson-Mantorville 3, Hermantown 0: Sophomore Peyton Suess led the KoMets (22-11) with 21 of the team's 40 kills in a 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 victory over the unseeded Hawks. Sophomore Bailey Berge contributed a match-best 13 digs. Senior Jordyn Thomas and junior Sierra Bolen each led their team with nine kills apiece for the Hawks (27-4).
Maple Lake 3, Dilworth-Glydon-Felton 0: No. 2-seeded Maple Lake advanced with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-22 victory over unseeded Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (25-7), which gave the Irish (28-3) a battle in a back-and-forth third set. The Irish were down 21-20 before winning five of the last six points to close out the match.