The Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals opened the Class A State Volleyball Tournament with a 3-1 win over Pine River-Backus Thursday at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Cardinals captured the first set 25-17 and the second set 25-11 before the Tigers won the third set 27-25 and Bethlehem Academy sealed the victory with a 25-20 fourth set win.

During our broadcast former Cardinal setter Bethany Boelter described the soft attack by Pine River-Backus as something Bethlehem Academy doesn't typically see.

The Cardinals had four players with double digit kills and five players with double digit digs in the match.

Senior Mary Campbell had 21 kills and 12 digs, sophomore Laney Donahue 12 kills and 12 digs, 8th grader Ellie Cohen followed her double digit kill performance in the Section Final with an 11 kill effort in the State Quarterefinal.

Senior Meagan Donahue notched 10 kills and hit a very efficient .320 for the match.

Bethlehem Academy hit .222 for the match and Pine River-Backus hit .115 with just two players with double digit kills.

8th grade setter Abby Jandro had 50 assists in the four set match and collected 15 digs.

Junior libero Olivia Nass tallied 18 digs in the match.

The off speed attack by the Tigers appeared to keep Bethlehem Academy off balance but the Cardinals did pick up their 17th win and advanced to the semi-finals where they will play the #3 ranked and #2 seed Minneota Vikings on Friday.

Coverage is scheduled to begin 2:45 p.m. if everything is on time Friday,

Pine River-Backus is 24-7 and heads to the consolation bracket.

Bethehem Academy Cardinals at State 2017. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld