Julia Hanson has been powering the surging Prior Lake volleyball team.
The sophomore has 94 kills in the Lakers' last four matches, all wins, including 24 kills in a four-set South Suburban Conference home win over Rosemount Oct. 1 (27-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17).
Prior Lake also won in four sets at home versus Apple Valley Oct. 1 in league play (23-25, 26-24, 25-11, 25-18). Hanson dominated with 30 kills.
The Lakers (9-11 overall, 4-3 in the SSC) have two SSC matches left — at Eastview Oct. 15 and home to No. 6-ranked Shakopee Oct. 22. Prior Lake is also at No. 9 Champlin Park, the defending Class 3A state champs, Oct. 7. All three matches start at 7 p.m.
The Lakers will play in the Bachman Invitational at Lakeville North Oct. 11-12.
Against Apple Valley, senior Rachel Ring finished with 15 kills for Prior Lake, while junior Camille Libert had 12. Junior Isabella Westerholm chipped in six kills.
Junior Shannon Wallskog led in set assists with 24, while junior Emmy Benson had 23.
Ring dominated on the service line with eight aces, while senior Dezirae Spratt, Benson and Hanson each had two and Libert had one.
Spratt led the team in digs with 19, followed by Hanson with 14, sophomore Courtney Haugen with 10, Ring with eight and Benson and juniors Annika Evenson and Bella Stein each with five.
In blocks, Libert had two, while Ring and Stein both had one.
Against Rosemount, Libert chipped in nine kills and Ring had seven. Wallskog had 23 setting assists, while Benson had 14.
Ring and Spratt each had five ace serves, while Haugen had four and Benson had two. Ring led in digs with 17, followed by Spratt with 14, Haugen with 12, Hanson with 11 and Benson with nine.
In blocks, Libert led with four, while Ring, Westerholm and sophomore Alex Lloyd each had three.
The Section 2AAA tournament starts Oct. 23. Shakopee (14-5), the defending champion, New Prague (15-6) and No. 10 Minnetonka (17-4) look to be the top-three seeds.
Other teams in the field include Waconia (12-9), Hutchinson (13-7), Eden Prairie (14-7), Chaska (8-11), Chanhassen (8-10, Mankato West (10-6), Mankato East (7-14) and Willmar (10-5).
The quarterfinals are Oct. 25 with the semifinals Oct. 29. The higher seed is at home in the first three rounds. The title game is Nov. 2 at a site to be determined.
Prior Lake won the Section 2AAA crown three straight years from 2014 to 2016. The team finished second, fifth and third, respectively at state those three seasons.
This year’s Class 3A state tournament is Nov. 7-9 at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis. Champlin Park is the defending champion, beating Eagan in the title match last year.