Three area teams in A.P. Top 10

By David Merrill

sports@marshall

independent.com

Three area volleyball teams have cracked the Associated Press Preseason Top 10 Polls.

Marshall High School came in at No. 2 in Class 2AA, trailing only Belle Plaine.

The Tigers join the company of Stewartville, Kasson-Mantorville, Jordan, Hill Murray, Maple Lake, Jackson County Central, Thief River Falls and Concordia Academy in the Top 10.

Jordan and Hill-Murray share the No. 5 ranking while Maple Lake and JCC share the No. 7 spot.

Marshall coach Dan Westby doesn’t put a whole lot of stock in preseason rankings and knows his teams’ past success is a big factor.

“Our kids are working hard and there’s a lot of good teams in our section,” Westby said. “It’s also a very balances

Minneota grabbed the No. 2 spot in Class 1A while Tracy-Milroy-Balaton took the No. 5 spot.

Those two teams join Bethlehem Academy, who took the No. 1 ranking along with Beglade-Brooten-Elrosa, Filmore Central, New Life Academy, Ada-Borup, Heritage Christian, Southwest Christian and Mabel-Canton.

For Minneota Coach Stephanie Hennen, it’s all about backing up that ranking.

“We haven’t played any matches yet,” Hennen said. “It’s nice that they (Associated Press) recognizes our program, but we still have to go out there and prove it on the court.”