Rebel with a cause
Jenna Green has been waiting for this weekend for a long time. No injury was going to keep her away from playing in her first state volleyball tournament since her freshman year. One of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's senior standouts, Green is back at...
Jenna Green has been waiting for this weekend for a long time.
No injury was going to keep her away from playing in her first state volleyball tournament since her freshman year.
One of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's senior standouts, Green is back at full force after suffering an ankle injury earlier in the playoffs.
"Even with a broken leg, I would've wanted to be out there and I would've tried to find a way," Green said with a laugh. "We've been waiting for this. I would've played through it."
The Rebels open the state tournament at 5 p.m. today against Jordan.
Green leads the team in kills (369) and blocks (86) going into the state tournament. Along with Jennifer Lopez, Green gives the Rebels one of the most fearsome attacking duos in all of Class 2A.
Add Madi Brantner to the mix, and the Rebels have quite a few places they can go on offense.
"It's nice to have everybody back and playing to their potential,"
D-G-F coach Jean Lopez said. "Teams have to play us straight up. Everybody has to get attention because we can go to so many hitters."
Green injured her ankle in the Rebels' section playoff opener against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. After sitting out the next round, she returned in a limited role in the section semifinals.
She was back full throttle against Fergus Falls in the section championship, racking up 14 kills and six blocks in the win.
Jean Lopez said Green's defense is what makes her such a force in the middle of the net.
"Her knowledge of the court and where people are has really improved," coach Lopez said. "Her blocking and defense has really been an asset."
But the Rebels aren't only strong up front. The back-row savvy of libero Emily Liljestrand leads a scrappy defense that keeps rallies going.
"Emily's passes are there every night, and that defense is a key," Green said. "With (Jennifer Lopez and Morgan Mathison) setting, the hitters just have to keep putting it down."
D-G-F's first trip to state since Green's freshman year gives the Rebels a tough draw right off the bat.
In the first round, the second-ranked Rebels (30-0) will face defending state champion and top-ranked Jordan out of Section 2.
The Jaguars (29-1) also feature two big guns in their lineup in Brittany Chambers and Leah Dietel.
Chambers has put down a whopping 502 kills this season, and has 91 aces to her credit. Dietel has 334 kills and 78 blocks.
"They're a class act, and they have a lot of talent and experience," coach Lopez said. "... Do I wish we weren't playing them right away? Of course. But you're going to have to play them somewhere along the way."
Class 3A quarterfinals
Owatonna vs. Lakeville North, 9 a.m.
Shakopee vs. Hopkins, 9 a.m.
Andover vs. Blaine, 11 a.m.
Woodbury vs. St. Michael-Albertville, 11 a.m.
Class 2A quarterfinals
Visitation vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, 5 p.m.
Jordan vs. D-G-F, 5 p.m.
Delano vs. Stewartville, 7 p.m.
Marshall vs. Hibbing, 7 p.m.
Class 1A quarterfinals
Windom vs. Wheaton, 1 p.m.
Chisholm vs. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, 1 p.m.
Mayer Lutheran vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 3 p.m.
Northern Freeze vs. Bethlehem Academy, 3 p.m.
For complete tournament pairings, see High School Scoreboard.
Readers can reach Forum sports writer Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.
Collins' prep sports blog can be found at www.areavoices.com
Rebel with a cause Kerry Collins 20071108