Mabel-Canton girls earn 20 wins for 21 straight seasons

Lexi Thorson sets the ball for Mabel-Canton’s Sarina Stortz as the Cougars defeated Kingsland last week in three games. HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS LEADER
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The Mabel-Canton volleyball team picked up its 19th and 20th wins of the season last week. The Cougars beat Kingsland on their home floor Tuesday, Sept. 25, by a score of 3-0 (25-8, 25-22, 25-12). M-C swept the season series, winning all three matches they played against the Knights.

The Cougars picked up a road win on Thursday at winless Glenville-Emmons, 3-0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-6). The state-ranked No. 5 Cougars made it 21-straight seasons of at least 20 wins, sitting at 20-2 overall (10-0 SEC).

Beat Kingsland 3-0

The Cougars played a lot of volleyball over the previous weekend at the Class A Showcase in Burnsville, but they didn’t play like they were low on energy after such a busy week. M-C coach Lonnie Morken said the team played well.

“We came in off of the Class A Showcase and played two great sets against a very dangerous team,” Morken said. “The first and third sets is how I'm hoping we continue playing, especially with playoffs coming up quickly. During the second set, we erred a few too many times, and Kingsland (8-9, 6-4 SEC) made fewer mistakes, so it was a much more competitive set.”

The Cougars were aggressive at the service line and on the attack. The Cougars only misfired on three serves all night (74 of 77, 96%) while getting 12 aces. The Cougars were efficient at the net as well, getting a combined 33 kills and only 14 errors in 77 attempts (25%).

Maddy Michels was a perfect 18 of 18 at the service line while tying Kenidi McCabe for the team lead with four ace serves. Michels also led the team with eight kills. McCabe helped the offense click, leading the team with 24 set assists, also getting eight digs and one kill. 

Eleven was a lucky number for Hannah Snell, who went 11 for 11 at the service line (two aces) and led the team with 10 digs. Lexi Thorson was 15 of 17 at the line (two aces) with five kills and 10 digs.

Defensively, the Cougars wound up with 46 digs, keeping the Kingsland attacks off the floor. M-C also came up with four blocks at the net (Michels two).

Beat G-E 3-0

Mabel-Canton went on the road and took their hitting shoes with them in posting a 3-0 in Glenville on Thursday night. Typically, if hitting percentage is between 20-25%, that’s a solid night. The Cougars finished with 42% efficiency on the attack against the Wolverines (0-10, 0-9 SEC). The Cougars had 45 kills with 10 errors in 83 attempts.

“We hit a season-high against them,” Morken said. “Total errors were quite high in both serving and attacking, but we didn't have a ton of attack attempts and we terminated many of them, so we still hit well over .400 as a team. We knew that they were in rebuilding mode this year, and I was proud of how all of our players got into each of the sets, and we were able to get contributions from them all.” 

Michels led the attack with 12 kills (17 attempts), and Sarina Stortz joined her in double figures with 10 kills (15 attempts).

McCabe posted 36 set assists while adding nine of 11 serving and one ace serve. Snell was perfect at the service line once again, hitting 15 of 15 successfully, getting an ace serve to go along with four digs.

Thorson led the team with four ace serves, adding nine of 12 at the service line, finishing second on the team with seven digs. Payton Danielson (six kills) led the team with nine digs.

The Cougars were just shy of 90% at the service line against the Wolverines (64 of 72, 89%). Michels hit 14 of 16 serves successfully (88% efficient).

The Cougar back row combined for 42 digs, including six apiece from McCabe and Lauren Wyffels.


The Southeast Conference East Division title was likely on the line in the next action for Mabel-Canton on the road at Spring Grove (20-2, 9-1 SEC) on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

“This sets up our fourth meeting with SG — we both won once at our Labor Day Tournament (M-C won 1-1, SG won 2-0), and then we swept them (3-0) in our first conference meeting,” Morken said. “In reality, it will decide the conference champion.  We also host Lanesboro (5-20, 1-8 SEC) on Thursday.”


SEC Volleyball (as of Oct. 1)


Mabel-Canton.10-0 (20-2 all)

Spring Grove…9-1 (20-2 all)

Houston……… 6-3 (9-6 all)

Kingsland……..6-4 (8-9 all)

Lanesboro…….1-8  (5-20 all)


Grand Meadow……8-2 (16-7 all)

Lyle/Pacelli………...5-5 (6-8 all)

Randolph…………..3-6 (3-8 all)

Schaeffer Academy 2-7 (4-11 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander….2-7 (2-15 all)

Glenville-Emmons ..0-9 (0-10 all)