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State volleyball starts Wednesday in St. Paul

The 36th annual state volleyball tournament gets underway today at Xcel Energy Center at St. Paul.

Alexandria, Wadena and Baudette's LOW will represent Section 8 with Hibbing, Nevis and Deer River also in the chase.

It starts with the 3A quarterfinals today at 9 and 11. Defending champion and top seeded Shakopee will face Centennial, fourth ranked Stillwater goes against Andover, second seeded Burnsville takes on Farmington and third rated Wayzata challenges Alexandria.

Alex dispensed Moorhead in the section final 3-0 to take the crown after ousting Bemidji 3-1 in the semifinals.

Alex is making its 11th trip to the state, winning titles in 1995 and 99.

The Class 2A openers are set for 5 and 7 with top seeded Marshall opening with Wadena, fourth rated New London-Spicer meeting Hibbing, third seeded Delano taking on Byron and third ranked LeSueur facing Minnehaha Academy.

Marshall finished second to Jordan last year. Jordan did not return.

Wadena, making its fourth trip, is back from last year's field.

Hibbing is in its 23rd state meet but has not won since taking the crown in 1975, its first trip.

Wadena ousted DGF 3-1 in the Section 8 final. Hibbing defeated Esko 3-0 for its title.

The Class A openers are at 1 and 3 with top seeded Bethlehem Academy, a runner-up to Windom last year, taking on Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, fourth seeded Nevis going against Meadow Creek Christian, second rated Minneota facing Parkers Prairie and third seeded Deer River meeting Baudette's Lake of the Woods.,

LOW won over BGMR 3-0 in the Section 8 final. Deer River defeated Nashwauk-Keewatin 3-0 in Section 7 and Nevis won 3-0 over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in Section 5.

It is the first trip for Nevis, the second for Deer River which played last y ear and the fourth for Baudette which won the 2005 title behind Courtney Bitter.