John Wastvedt

John Wastvedt is taking over the Burnsville volleyball program this fall.

The Burnsville volleyball team has made another change at the top.

Beth Raebel has stepped down as the Blaze coach after three seasons and John Wastvedt is taking over. Wastvedt becomes Burnsville's 11 head coach in the past 21 seasons.

Wastvedt has 14 years of coaching experience, including the last two years at Garrison-Max High Schools in North Dakota. Prior to Garrison-Max, Wastvedt was the assistant women's volleyball coach at NJCAA Division II Bismarck State College.

Wastvedt was also a head coach at Williston and Central Valley High Schools in North Dakota. He has also been involved as a camp coach at various programs, including the University of Texas, North Dakota State and the University of Jamestown.

Wastvedt Takes over a Blaze program that has not had a winning season since 2013.

Burnsville was 12-17 overall last year, losing in the Section 6AAA quarterfinals at Edina. The Blaze has not advanced past the section quarterfinals since 2009 when it won the Section 3AAA crown en route to a third-place finish at state.

Burnsville has a 7-9 playoff record since that state berth. It's also been a struggle for the Blaze in South Suburban play the last five seasons with a 3-43 record, including 1-8 last year.

Consistency at the top of the program has been a problem for the program since 2009. Ryan Dehnel coached Burnsville to a third-place finish at state, but he stepped down after that season.

Since then, Burnsville has had four head coaches — Kim Hook (2010-12), Kari Raymond (2013-14), Joanna Weber (2015) and Raebel (2016-18).

The Blaze has made the state field three times in their history. The first two were under coach Sharon Roos (1996 and 1998). Roos stepped down after that 25-win 1998 season after six years.

Burnsville had four more head coaches before Dehnel took the job in 2007. They included Liz Jarnigan (1999-2000), Dan Kuklock (2001), Michelle Miller (2002-05) and Erin Horne (2006).

It's not easy to rebuild in the SSSC, which is the toughest league in the state. It has won six of the last nine state titles.

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.

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