Former Lakers

Four former Prior Lake volleyball teammates have helped their respective Division I teams reach the NCAA Championships. Clockwise, from top left, are Kayla Bair, Maddy Bremer, CC McGraw and Ella Francis.

The Prior Lake volleyball program is well represented at the NCAA Championships.

Four former Laker teammates — CC McGraw, Kayla Bair, Ella Francis and Maddy Bremer — have helped their collegiate teams reach the Division I tourney with hopes their squads can get to the national semifinals Dec. 19 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The tournament began Dec. 5. McGraw' Minnesota Golden Gophers started at home to open play as the No. 7 seed. Francis' Illinois State Red Birds opened in Madison, Wisconsin.

Bair's Michigan Wolverines began first-round action in Lexington, Kentucky, while Bremer's Northern Colorado Bears get the luxury of a first-round match in Honolulu, Hawaii.

To see the complete 64-team go to

McGraw, Bremer and Bair are all sophomores for their respective schools, graduating from Prior Lake in 2018.

Francis, a pre-med student major in molecular and cellular biology, is in her last season at Illinois State, graduating from Prior Lake in 2016.

Remember what the four accomplished in their days with the Lakers? In 2015, the foursome played key roles in leading Prior Lake to its first-ever state berth.

The Lakers made it all the way to the state title match that year, falling in five thrilling sets to Eagan. Francis led that team with 473 kills that year, which was a single-season school record. She left Prior Lake for Illinois State as the Lakers' all-time kills leader with 995.

McGraw, Bremer and Bair led Prior Lake back to state tournament the next two years, taking fifth in 2016 and third in 2017.

McGraw was named was a five-year letterwinner for the Lakers and became the program's first-ever Ms. Baden Volleyball award winner, which goes to the top senior in the state.

McGraw finished her Prior Lake career as the program's all-time leader in ace serves with 152. She ranked second all time with 1,886 career digs. She was a first-team, all-state selection three times, while Bair was twice selected and Francis once.

Bair and Bremer were standouts in the middle for the Lakers in their careers. Bair is still the all-time blocks leader with 279 in her four varsity seasons. She's second all-time in career kills (903) and sixth in ace serves (114).

Bremer left Prior Lake third in career blocks with 206 and ninth in kills (539).

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.


Recommended for you