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Volleyball: Irish advance in Section 3AAA tournament

Rosemount's Justine Buckmister spikes the ball during the Irish's section tournament win over Apple Valley last week.

An efficient offensive attack helped Rosemount pull away from Apple Valley last Thursday in the Section 3AAA tournament.

The third-seeded Irish (21-8) hit at a 44-percent clip while eliminating the sixth-seeded Eagles with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-17 sweep at Irish Gym. The team advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals where they went up against No. 2 seed and second-ranked statewide Eagan.

“It was a good match for both teams. Apple Valley played great defense so the rallies were long. I knew we had to be patient on offense and we were,” Rosemount coach Smokey Vitek said. “For us it was a matter of playing our game, controlling the ball on our side and then hitting smart. We played aggressive and smart, which was terrific.”

The smart, patient play paid off for Brittany McLean, who slammed a team-high 21 kills. The big night gave her 349 for the season, one shy of the program’s single-season record. Erin Slinde added 11 kills and Sarah Jacobs seven. Slinde also led the team with 25 assists, while Madie Phyle added 22.

Slinde and Ellie Vraa each supplied three blocks.

Brittany Morrison led the Irish defense with 16 digs and 14 serve receptions. Katie Lienemann added eight receptions and nine digs.