The Sauk Rapids-Rice volleyball team will play 2nd seeded Kasson-Mantorville in the Class 3-A state tournament quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Wednesday night at 7pm.  Storm head coach Karen Beckmann is in her 4th season in Sauk Rapids.  She says they are:

"we'll playing their best volleyball of the season right now"

Beckmann says they've battled injuries for much of the season but were at close to full strength when they started the section playoffs.  The Storm ran the table in the section with victories over Becker, Rocori and Alexandria.  Beckmann says it was "amazing" to defeat Alexandria in the section 8-3-A final after losing 3 games to 1 to the Cardinals earlier in the season.

Sauk Rapids-Rice football had a solid season winning their first 6 games before falling in the section semifinals.  Beckmann says the volleyball and football teams have done a great job supporting each other this season.  She says the entire community has really come out to support Storm athletics.  Beckmann says it's so great to have the fans back.

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Coach Beckmann highlighted some key members of the team this year starting with senior Darci Peterson.  She says it was great to see her grow and progress as a leader and contributor on this team. Beckmann also highlighted the play of Alexis Helmin and Ava Athman in middle and senior setter Keiryn Hirdler.

Sauk Rapids-Rice is 13-16 and is unseeded in the State Tournament.  The Storm are underdogs against Kasson-Mantorville.  Beckmann says Kasson-Mantorville has a quick offense, good timing and a successful program.

If the Storm can win Wednesday they would play in the State Semifinals Friday night at 7pm against either New Prague or Chisago Lakes.

If you'd like to listen to my full conversation with Karen Beckmann it is available below.



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