For an encore performance after knocking out the two-time defending champs Thursday, Medford ousted the No. 3 seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the Class 1A semifinals on Friday.

The unseeded Tigers (29-5) will play for a state title in their inaugural trip to the state tournament after their 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 victory.

"It does not feel real at all," said Medford senior Rachael Luebbe, who finished with 11 kills. "I feel like there's a big inside joke going on here."

The Tigers came back from losing the first set in a match that was tight throughout. In the fourth set, however, Medford pulled away with a 10-1 run, winning the last four points with a kill from junior Emma Kniefel and three consecutive kills from Luebbe.

"We played aggressive ball, and then we took the momentum away from them," Medford coach Missy Underdahl said.

Kniefel had a match-high 19 kills plus 14 digs. Sophomore Kinsey Cronin added 11 kills.

"They just played lights out," Jaguars coach Kevin Weller said. "They kept us out of system. Anything we put at them, they dug up."

Senior Emily Knight led the Jaguars (27-5) with 15 kills. She said Medford constantly attacked and that made a difference.

"When our momentum was away from us, we struggled a little bit," junior Brittany Berge said.


Minneota 3, Ada-Borup/Norman County West 1: Minneota coach Hayley Fruin played on the Vikings' only state championship team in 2006.

Fruin, who was known as Hayley Hennen at the time, will get a chance at a player/coach double thanks to her team's 23-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-14 victory.

"I just want these kids to have that feeling, more than anything," Fruin said. "It's a great feeling.

"They're more than deserving of it."

For one set, at least, it looked like the No. 1-seeded Vikings might not get that opportunity. Senior outside hitter Lizzy Gillingham, a six-rotation player, went out when she rolled her right ankle.

While Minneota was adapting, Ada-Borup (31-2) swooped in and won the first set.

Minneota adapted quickly, however. Sophomore Abby Rost filled in admirably, and the rest of the Vikings offense picked up the slack.

Junior Morgan Hennen took on added front-row duties and finished with 13 kills, joining Lydia Sussner (18) and Natalee Rolbiecki (13) in double-figure kill totals.

The Vikings (35-1) lost to Mayer Lutheran in the final last year, a disappointing finish that Fruin said her team is eager to rectify.

"It's what we've battled for all summer long, all JO [Junior Olympics] season, all fall," Fruin said.

"We got here last year, and second place is something to be proud of, but we'd like to finish on top this year."