The South Suburban is without a doubt the state’s best volleyball conference as the regular season draws to a close.

The conference has four of the top five ranked teams in Class 3A, according to the coaches association poll. Prior Lake is in the top spot, followed by No. 2 Eagan, No. 4 Lakeville South and No. 5 Rosemount.

Up to three could advance to the state tournament: Lakeville South (Section 1), Prior Lake (Section 2) and Eagan and Rosemount (Section 3). Conference champion Eagan was the Class 2A state tournament runner-up a year ago and won the title in 2013.

Top performances

• The South Suburban youth movement came to the forefront in the conference cross-country meet at Eagan High School. Prior Lake junior Colin Dwyer was the boys’ medalist, covering the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 35 seconds. Farmington freshman Lauren Peterson won the girls’ title in 18:45.2.

• Senior Abby Mullenbach scored four goals, twice as many as she had during the regular season, in Lake-ville South’s 7-1 victory over Rochester John Marshall in a Class 2A, Section 1 girls’ soccer tournament game. She also had an assist.

Quote

“This squad has come together, solidified its understanding of what it takes to win games and have no dissolution as to the work rate and effort needed to move forward. We are a very difficult team to play against.” — Eagan boys’ soccer coach Alan Merrick, who guided the unranked Wildcats to the South Suburban Conference title

Ron Haggstrom