Julia Hanson reached two milestones for the Prior Lake volleyball team Sept. 7.

Not only did the senior go over 1,000 career kills, but she became the program’s all-time leader. Hanson recorded 22 kills in the Lakers’ five-set loss to Waconia (25-19, 12-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12), giving her 1,107 for her career after that match.

Hanson went into the season needing 41 kills to pass Ella Francis as Prior Lake’s all-time leader. Hanson recorded 40 kills, 20 apiece, in the Lakers’ first two matches to tie Francis, before moving past her with her first kill against Waconia.

Hanson now will set her sights on the Francis’ single-season record of 473 kills, which she set in 2015. Through Prior Lake’s first six matches, Hanson had 103 kills to lead the team.

Prior Lake has struggled to find wins, starting the season with a 3-6 record. The Lakers went 2-3 in the Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall Sept. 10-11 with wins over Fergus Falls (25-18, 25-7) and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (25-18, 25-17) and losses to Canby (27-25, 25-19), Chaska (25-23, 21-25, 15-12) and Northfield (25-23, 25-12).

Chaska, a Section 2AAAA foe, is ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, while Northfield is No. 9. Prior Lake opened the season ranked No. 10 in the first Class 4A poll, but has since dropped out.

Canby is ranked No. 3 in Class A, while Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa is No. 7.

The Lakers opened the South Suburban Conference season with a five-set win (25-19, 18-25, 26-24, 24-26, 15-8) versus Rosemount Sept. 14.

The SSC opened the season with five ranked teams in the Class 4A preseason poll, including No. 2 Eagan, No. 4 Lakeville North, No. 5 Lakeville South and No. 6 Shakopee.

But only two of those teams remain in the top 10 in the latest poll Sept. 12. Shakopee has climbed up to No. 2, while Eagan has dropped to No. 6.

Meanwhile, in Section 2AAAA, there are four ranked teams with No. 7 Minnetonka and No. 10 Eden Prairie joining Shakopee and Chaska in the top 10.

The Minnesota State High School League reclassified sections for all sports last spring. Volleyball went to four classes. Waconia, Chanhassen are also in the seven-team Section 2AAAA field.

Prior Lake won three straight Section 2AAA titles from 2015 to 2017. The last three seasons the program has been in more of a rebuilding mode.

The Lakers have a 31-40 record over the last three years, 15-15 against South Suburban Conference teams.

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.