High school fall sports underway

The calendar might still say August but autumn is on the minds of plenty of people this week, especially anyone associated with high school sports. That’s because the start of the school year is right around the corner and that means that fall prep sports are underway.

From cross country to football, soccer to volleyball, practices for Minnesota high school fall sports started on Aug. 15 and there are even some games this week.

Roseville Area High School’s girls tennis holds the distinction of having the first event from among the Roseville-area high schools. The Raiders girls tennis team kicks off its season on Monday, Aug. 22 with a tournament at Anoka.

With the season in full swing, here’s a quick look at some storylines to keep an eye on this fall.

 

Volleyball

Both Roseville and Concordia Academy saw its volleyball teams reach the state tournament last season. The Raiders went to state for the fourth consecutive season and finished fourth with a record of 1-2 at the tournament. The Beacons made the state tournament for the second year in a row and advanced to the championship match before falling to Belle Plaine.

Both teams have some holes left by graduation to fill if they want to see their streaks of consecutive trips to state continue. Roseville lost a handful of seniors, including libero Haley Kauth and middle hitter Sara Hain. Kauth is playing college volleyball at Wayne State College in Nebraska and Hain is playing at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Concordia Academy had five seniors on its roster in 2015.

Roseville opens the season on Friday, Aug. 26 with a home match against Totino-Grace in a rematch of last year’s Section 4AAA championship tilt. The next day, the Raiders participate in the Breakdown Side Out Classic at Hopkins High School. Roseville’s opponent will be Prior Lake, which the Raiders faced in the state semifinals last year.

Concordia Academy’s first match this season is road, non-conference match at Hill-Murray, on Tuesday, Aug. 30. It is a match-up of 2015 Class AA state-tournament teams. Hill-Murray was the consolation champion last year.

 

Girls swimming and diving

The Roseville girls swimming and diving team can boast that it has a defending state champion on its roster. 

Junior Michelle Schlossmacher Smith won the 2015 Class AA state diving championship back in mid-November. Her score of 442.05 points gave her a narrow — less than two points — victory over Rochester Century’s Andrianna Jacobs.

The Raiders open the season on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Suburban East Conference relays at Woodbury High School.

 

Cross country

The Roseville girls cross country team is an annual contender for a berth in the state meet. The Raiders returned to state as a team in 2015 after falling short of that goal in 2014.

Roseville qualified for state last season by finishing second to only White Bear Lake in the Section 4AA meet. Sarah Conlon won the section individual title for the Raiders and was one of three seniors to compete in the section and state meet in 2015.

The Raiders have qualified for state as a team 11 times since 2002. They open the 2016 campaign on Friday, Aug. 26 at a meet at the University of St. Catherine in St. Paul.

 

Football

Both Roseville and Concordia Academy are looking to improve this fall after suffering through rough 2015 campaigns. The two teams combined for only three victories a year ago.

Roseville went 1-7 in the regular season with the lone victory coming against Forest Lake in week five. The Raiders lost to Eden Prairie in the first round of the playoffs.

Concordia Academy’s 2015 season started off promising as the Beacons opened with back-to-back victories over Spectrum and Breck. They then lost their final six regular-season games and fell to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in the first round of the postseason.

This year’s schedules are the same except that the venues are flip-flopped. The teams that Roseville and Concordia played at home in 2015 will host them this year while the road teams they faced last year will pay visits this year.

Roseville kicks off the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a home game against Burnsville while Concordia Academy opens the season at home on Friday, Sept. 2 against Spectrum.

Here are the other opening dates for Roseville teams: boys cross country runs at St. Catherine on Aug. 26, boys soccer opens at home against Centennial on Aug. 25 and girls soccer plays at Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village on Aug. 25.

The rest of Concordia Academy’s opening dates are as follows: both cross country teams participate in an invitational on Aug. 27 at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis; boys soccer hosts Wellstone International High School on Aug. 29; the girls soccer team welcomes St. Paul Como Park on Aug. 30.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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