Waterville-Elysian-Morristown needed late rallies in the first two sets, including a come-from-behind victory in the second after trailing 24-20, en route to a 26-24, 27-25, 24-26, 25-21 victory over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.
Senior Kamryn Kendall led all players with 24 kills, and junior Kate Masberg added 17.
Syndey Lanoue had 21 kills for Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.
It was a decisive victory, but little came easily for the Buccaneers.
"You live for these moments when you can compete against the best in the state and see how good you are and see what it brings out in you," Waterville-Elysian-Morristown coach Crystal Lamont said. "These girls just kept on battling."
The Buccaneers, playing in their first state tournament, will take on Gopher Conference rival Bethlehem Academy for the championship on Saturday.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (33-3) has already avenged two of its regular-season losses with victories over Mayer Lutheran in the quarterfinals and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton on Friday. The Buccaneers can make it all three with a victory over the Cardinals.
"I have been looking forward to this," Kendall said. "[No matter what] the outcome is, I'm just happy to play and it's really exciting to be here."
Bethlehem Academy 3, Heritage Christian Academy 0: The defending champion Cardinals cruised in their 25-11, 25-17, 25-19 semifinal victory over the No. 4 seed Eagles.
The Cardinals didn't let up, with 43 kills as a team compared to 28 for Heritage Christian. Even after taking the first set, encouraging phrases like "don't let up" could be heard from the Cardinals as the teams switched sides.
"We only have one game today, so we may as well just leave everything on the floor," sophomore Mary Campbell said.
The top-seeded Cardinals started with a 7-0 run and controlled play from there.
"We wanted to take as much of their [the Eagles] emotion out of it as we could," coach Franz Boelter said. "Fortunately we were able to do that."
That set the tone for the match.
"It's the intimidation factor right away," senior Madi Strodtman said.
The Cardinals had no errors on the attack in the first set. In the second set, the Eagles held a lead before the Cardinals rattled off a 6-0 run to get them back in it.