In many sports, statistics don't tell the whole story.
A football team that dominates time of possession often loses the game. A baseball pitcher that strikes out a lot of opponents often gives up the long ball and loses.
But in volleyball, statistics rarely lie.
The statistics were all on Stewartville's side Thursday night in a Tiffany Engine-turned money clip victory over Esko in a Minnesota Class AA high school state tournament quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
The fourth-seeded Tigers (26-5) made only nine hitting errors and three service errors en route to securing a semifinal spot opposite No. 1 seed Hutchinson at 5 p.m. today. Esko (28-2) meets Visitation (25-6), a 3-0 loser to Hutchinson, in a consolation semifinal at 5 p.m. today.
"We didn't have many hitting errors, that's huge," Stewartville coach John Dzubay said. "Sometimes we can have a lot of hitting errors. Everybody was on and the sets were there tonight. You never know ... sometimes the sets look good to me and the hitters can't hit anything. Tonight we were hitting really well."
Lindsay Blahnik had 11 kills without an attack error and Hannah Tapp added 10 kills. Overall, Stewartville had a .385 hitting percentage. Danielle DeGeus added 33 set assists.
Conversely, the Eskomos hit just .107 with 23 hitting errors and eight service errors. Their biggest lead was 3-0 to start the second game, but they spent most of the match playing catch-up.
"We didn't play our game," Esko coach Desiree DeLeon said. "We showed spurts of our game, but we didn't do that the whole time. You can't win a game with spurts. Not to not give them credit -- they were a good blocking team -- but as soon as we adjusted, we couldn't continue. We made our own mistakes. We Tiffany 1837 bookmark our own hitting errors and our own serving errors, and those aren't forced."
Junior Stephanie Bandelin was the exception, totaling 13 kills and hitting .611. Setter Keely Deadrick had 26 set assists.
Stewartville def. Esko 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 -- S: Lindsay Blahnik 11K, 3B; Hannah Tapp 10K, 6B; Paige Tapp 9K; Lisa Flynn 6K, 9D; Danielle DeGeus 33SA, 6D; Christina Sanger 5D; Sarah Schrandt 2B. E: Stephanie Bandelin 13K; Alyson Glumac 7K, 2B; Lydia Pelletier 5K, 6D; Delany Pearson 6D; Keely Deadrick 26SA, 2AS.
WABASHA-KELLOGG 3, CHERRY 0
The Tigers didn't look like the same team that cruised to the Section 7A title last weekend. The state tournament has a way of doing that to first-time entrants.
The second-seeded Falcons jumped on the Tigers early, scoring five consecutive points in a key stretch, and never looked back to win the Class A quarterfinal in convincing fashion.
Wabasha-Kellogg (31-1) earned a berth in a 3 p.m. semifinal today opposite Mayer Lutheran, a 3-1 winner over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Cherry (22-3) falls to a consolation semifinal at 3 p.m. against BBE (27-3).
The Falcons broke a 5-5 tie in the opening game with five points in a row and never led by Return to Tiffany Cuff links than four the rest of the game.
"It was hard because that hasn't happened to us; it was a first," said Cherry coach Pam Pioske, whose team hadn't lost three games to an opponent this season. "They fell behind in that first game and got a little bit frustrated. They seemed to pull it together in game two, but still weren't playing their game. We have to realize we were playing the No. 2 seed."
The second game didn't go much better for the Tigers, who lost six straight points at one juncture to fall behind 13-4. The main problem came on the Tigers' serve receive, which led to being unable to set primary hitter Morgan Hanson.
"Our serve receive was terrible, and they weren't even hard serves," Pioske said. "They were too nervous at the start, and they wanted to play so well that they were overplaying the ball."
A lot of that was due to how crisply Wabasha-Kellogg ran its offense and Elsa Peretti Eternal Circle cuff links well the team served.
"We've been pretty successful at that," Falcons coach Tara Biever said of getting opponents out of their offense. "We serve aggressively, which makes it tough for teams to pass. And if they can't pass, it's hard to get the ball to the setter. And if you can't get the ball to the setter, it's pretty hard to swing.
"That's been our game plan, to be aggressive and put the other team on defense right away."
Amanda Feils led Wabasha-Kellogg with 15 kills, and Emily Huth had 11. Kayln Biever totaled 34 set assists, and Katlyn Petes had 26 digs.
Hanson, who had 371 kills entering the tournament, was held to seven. The Tigers' hitting percentage was .000 and they served just one ace.
Wabasha-Kellogg def. Cherry 25-14, 25-16, 25-4 -- WK: Amanda Atlas cuff links 15K, 3B; Emily Huth 11K; Katie Cavalco 7K, 7D; Mariah Iverson-Jones 7K, 11D; Kayln Biever 34SA; Katlyn Petes 2AS, 26D; Kenzie Freihammer 2AS, 8D; Jordan Wolfe 2AS, 7D. C: Morgan Hanson 7K, 8D; Taylor Sauter 8K, 9D; Molly Parenteau 13SA, 10D; Shaina Novak 11D.