(1 seed): 2012 Dance Team
First Round: Beat 2015 Baseball 60.9% to 39.1%
For The Record: Class AA State champions in jazz/funk and high kick, the first title in jazz/funk in program history. Chaska won 14 titles over the season. Kris Rydland was named the class coach of the year. Seniors Jackie Schneider and Alyson Pulvermacher were named to the 2012 Jazz/Funk All-Tournament Team, while seniors Casey Stone and Kara Notvedt were selected to the 2012 High Kick All-Tournament Team.
The Scoop: Jackie Schneider thinks back to the 2011-12 dance season as a senior at Chaska High School. It was the best of times, she said.
An Athena Award winner, Schneider was among four captains that led Chaska to its first state title in dance since 1999. In fact, Chaska swept both high kick and jazz/funk in Class AA, the program's first time capturing gold in jazz.
"It was the most amazing experience. I always look back to that weekend with fond memories. Our team had this great chemistry, a bond that couldn't be broken," Schneider said. "We worked so hard. So many years of hard work went into those dances."
Schenider, who competed for four years at the University of St. Thomas, said the key was having fun in her senior year. At no point did she or the team feel stressed out.
"We went out and did what we had done all season. And it worked out great," Schneider said.
After living in New York City for a bit, Schneider has made a home in San Francisco with her fiancé, Alex Fogarty, a 2011 Chaska High School graduate. Schneider catches up with fellow 2012 captain Kara Notvedt, who also lives in San Francisco, from time to time.
As for what team was better, 2012 or 2013, both double state champions, Schneider deferred to the other team.
"It can be hard to watch the team win state the year after you graduate. It'd be natural to feel some jealousy. But it was the opposite for me. I was so thrilled. Being at St. Thomas, I tried to get to as many competitions as I could to support them. There's something special with (coach) Kris Rydland and the Program. I was bawling my eyes out at state when they (2013 team won)," Schneider said.
(2 seed): 2014 Volleyball
First Round: Beat 2010 Girls Basketball 83.7% to 16.3%
For The Record: 30-3 record, Class 3A State champions, beating Eagan in a three-game sweep. For the season, Chaska lost just 10 total games for the season, winning 27 of 30 pre-state matches in a sweep. Additionally, the Hawks were the first-ever Metro West Conference champions and also won tournament titles in Marshall and Chaska, and surrendered one game in six playoff matches. Seven players -- Erin Schindler, Sarah Kelly, Makayla Wenzel, Lauren Nordvold, Liz Hoppe, Keena Seiffert, and Lucia Saathoff -- played together on varsity as freshmen and as an eighth grader in the case of Seiffert, in 2011. Schindler, Kelly and Seiffert went on to play at Minnesota-Duluth, while Wenzel spent a year at Minnesota State-Moorhead and Hoppe competed at the College of St. Benedict. Kelly was a Ms. Baden Volleyball Finalist, joining Wenzel and Schindler as all-state selections.
The Scoop: Teammates for a half dozen years, the Class of 2015 volleyball seniors had seen everything together. Heartbreaking loss. Championship triumph.
So when the bright lights of the Xcel Energy Center shone down on Chaska in the state championship game in Class 3A against Eagan in 2014, those seniors didn't flinch.
"I think it felt so easy. Not in that it was easy to win, but that we had played together for so long. We just knew we were the best team on the court," Erin Schindler, a captain that season, said.
Schindler and a host of teammates played four seasons on varsity, coming up as freshmen. They took their lumps early on, but as each season progressed, the vision Coach Sue Murphy saw in 2011 was coming to life.
"I remember being more focused on wanting to win for the older girls. I was just trying to hold my own as a freshman. I remember being nervous with the crowds, but once I got past that, I started to feel comfortable knowing that what we were doing was something started together years before," Schindler said.
Chaska was among the teams to beat in 2013, but a section final upset to Delano made the Hawks wait another year for a shot at state. That one stung, but it also prepared them for what was to come.
"It was terrible. Makayla (Wenzel), Liz (Hoppe) and me play an adult league and one time there was someone in a Delano T-shirt and oh, it was on," Schindler said. "That crowd was huge. Other matches had big crowds, but not being on our home court, playing at Chanhassen High School, it got to us. As seniors we were focused. We knew what to expect," Schindler said.
And when the chance to wrap up a seventh program state championship in 2014 came, Chaska was ready.
"The thing I'll remember the most is all of friends and family were there. All of my best friends were sitting in the front row. The people that had watched us play the last 10 years, parents, grandparents, siblings, it came full circle," Schindler said.
After playing two seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, Schindler finished school at the Twin Cities campus. She's now working at Lifetouch in Eden Prairie in human resources and just recently purchased her first house.
She said her and younger sister, Dana, who has two years remaining at Minnesota State University-Mankato, are counting down the days until they can play volleyball again.
"When Mankato plays Duluth, it's always special," Schindler said.