The Burnsville volleyball team fell short of making the title match in Section 6AAAA, but it was still a strong season for program.
Top-seeded Bloomington Jefferson took down the fourth-seeded Blaze in the semifinals Nov. 3 with a sweep (25-23, 25-18, 25-23). Burnsville finished the fall with a 16-13 overall mark, 3-6 in the South Suburban Conference.
The three league wins are one less than the program’s entire win total in the SSC from 2014 to 2019, where the team went 4-54. The 16 wins are the most Burnsville has had since it went 15-11 in 2013.
The Blaze will graduate three seniors — Cassie Santelman, Morgan Phyle and Caitlyn Procko — but there will be a lot of talent back for the team next fall to make another strong playoff run and improve on its SSC record.
“Caitlyn plays with such control and power altogether, which is rare,” Coach Josh Wastvedt said. “She was unanimously voted by her teammates as one of our captains, and there’s no question as to why. She is such a strong leader in the way she carries herself, her play, and how motivating and positive she is to not just her teammates, but also the entire program.
“Cassie is one of those players everyone wants on your team because she is so positive and works extremely hard,” Wastvedt added. She’s willing to play wherever she is needed, and won’t only play in that position, but she’ll make an impact wherever she is. Morgan is such a composed player and brings a lot of control to our back line.”
Junior Kiylah Franke led Burnsville’s offense this season with 330 kills, while ninth-grader Mesaiya Bettis had 259 and Procko finished with 135.
Junior Julia Valois led in set assists with 406, while Santelman finished with 309. Junior Corrina Benson was tops on the team in ace serves with 52, followed by Valois with 38, Franke with 32 and Phyle and Briese with 20.
In digs, Benson was also leading with 313, followed by Franke (240), junior Abby Briese (184), Valois (153) and Phyle (110).
Juniors Evelynn Shero and Eleri Deaven were tied for the team lead in blocks with 27, while Franke has 26 and Procko has 24.