The Hawley Nuggets opened Class AA State Tournament play with a 3-2 win over second-seeded Cannon Falls on Thursday morning at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Nuggets won the first set 25-21, lost sets two and three 25-18 and 25-13, won set four 25-23 and then closed out the match with a 15-11 win in the fifth set.
Faith Rustad led the attack with 15 kills and Anna Steer added 10 kills. Alexandra Eilertson and Grace Fleming contributed 7 kills each. Isabel Steer had a team high 8 block assists and Eilertson recorded 35 set assists in the match.
Serving leaders were Anna Steer (21/22, 3 aces), Fleming (17/17, 1 ace), Eilertson (13/14, 1 ace, Ashley Fletcher (14/15) and Rustad (12/14). As a team the Nuggets served 94.7% (90/95). Fleming led the team with 47 digs, while Rustad added 20, Fletcher 14 and Anna Steer 12.
Unseeded Hawley will now face third-seeded Sauk Centre at 11:00am Friday in a championship semifinal match in Class AA.