Hurt in a match with New Prague Sept. 14, Ellie Sieling missed 10 contests with an ankle injury for Bloomington Jefferson.
With Sieling, the Jaguars quickly moved to No. 2 in Class 4A, a five-game win over Eagan on Sept. 2. The Jaguars were 6-2 overall, tournament losses to Class A No. 2 Minneota and Class 4A top-10 Champlin Park, before the injury.
Without Sieling, Jefferson won just six of 11 matches, with only two of the wins coming against teams with above .500 records.
Sieling's return coincided with No. 4-ranked Chaska coming to the Jaguars' gym Oct. 12, a chance at becoming the first team to knock off the Hawks in Metro West Conference play since the 2018 season.
While she gave Jefferson a spark, adding 20 kills with 16 coming from her sister, Cassie, Chaska was able to pull out a five-game win, 25-21, 23-25, 27-29, 25-20, 15-11.
The Hawks are 7-0 in the Metro West Conference, having won 26 consecutive league matches. They close out the conference schedule at last-place Bloomington Kennedy on Wednesday, Oct. 13, and at home on senior night on Oct. 19 versus Orono.
Large leads came and went at times throughout the match. Chaska rallied from a 20-17 deficit, scoring eight of the final nine points in game one.
It was the Jaguars that clawed back in game three, trailing 16-8, they reeled off 12 of the next 14 points for the lead. On the fifth set point, Jefferson took a 2-1 lead in extra points 29-27.
Unlike game three, Chaska, with leads of 8-1 and 16-8 once again, kept the foot down on the gas, forcing a fifth game.
Ella Christ, looking more explosive coming off a foot injury, posted her best numbers of the season with 19 kills, including four in the fifth game, three during a crucial stretch when Chaska extended a 7-6 lead to 13-8 and needed a point badly at 13-11.
Christ added the exclamation point, her serve hitting the tape of the net, trickling over, to clinch the Chaska win.
The Hawks hit at almost a double good rate as Jefferson with Mallory Heyer and Avery Rosenberg giving Chaska three hitters in double digits in kills with 17 and 16, respectively.
Jefferson benefited from 14 Hawk serving errors to six aces, three from Sam Schmidt, who served the ball 34 times.
Christ and Lucy Dardis were charged with just three errors in a combined 76 serve receive opportunities.
Heyer (24), Dardis (23) and Christ (18) were dig leaders with setter Kiki Thompson adding 11 digs with her 51 assists. Chaska also had 11 total blocks, including three solo knockdowns from Rosenberg.
CHANHASSEN 3, WACONIA 1
Coming off a three-game sweep of then No. 3-ranked Eden Prairie, Chanhassen continues to make a case for a better seed in Section 2AAAA.
The Storm won 3-1 at Waconia on Oct. 11 behind 28 kills from Mary Cate Ziembiec.
Chanhassen is 5-2 in the Metro West Conference.
Ellie Smith added 13 kills with Ashlyn Steding finishing with 46 assists, four kills, three blocks, and 16 digs.
Chloe Rogers (three aces, 19 digs), Smith (15 digs) and Ziembiec (12 digs, two solo blocks) were other statistical leaders for Chanhassen (14-7).
The Storm close out the regular season at home on Wednesday, Oct. 13, on senior night versus Benilde-St. Margaret, and at New Prague on Tuesday, Oct. 19.
WAYZATA 3, MINNETONKA 0
Top-ranked Wayzata remained unbeaten at 22-0 with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-18 win at Minnetonka on Oct. 12.
No statistics were available.
The Skippers, 1-4 against Lake Conference teams this season, are now 14-7 overall, having lost five of the last six matches, four by 3-0 scores.
Minnetonka is at Buffalo at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14.