ST. PAUL, Minn. - 2019 marks the first time the Stewartville Tigers have been to the MSHSL state tournament for the first time in four years and they did not take the opening game lightly.
Stewartville, the overall number one seed in Class AA swept unranked Annandale 25-17, 25-12, and 25-21 on Thursday.
Outside hitter, Kaitlyn Prondzinski experience what the state tournament was like as an eighth-grader. That previous experience helped prepare her for the state quarterfinal matchup at the Xcel Energy Center where she had a team-high 12 kills.
"I feel way different. Being here before, I honestly was a little scared. There was some really, really good players at the time. Some big Division I hitters so I guess I feel more calm and collected than I did as an eighth-grader for sure.," Prondzinski said in the postgame press conference.
The key for the Tigers to get past the Cardinals was a quick, high energy start with great defense.
"I thought the difference in that first set was we had a lot of energy," said head coach, John Dzubay. "We really got after the ball, we dug up a lot of shots which really made a big difference - got us off to a good start and that's always good."
The Tigers (28-4) advances to play #5 Concordia Academy-Roseville (25-6) on Friday at 5 PM.