St. Croix Central volleyball headed to sectional championship

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The St. Croix Central volleyball team is one win away from the WIAA state tournament.

The Panthers advanced to Saturday's sectional championship match with a 3-1 win at Rice Lake Thursday night.

The Panthers will play at Merrill at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional title match. Central and Merrill were the top seeds in their respective regional brackets.

Central and Rice Lake waged an excellent battle on Thursday. Central won the opening set 25-21, but Rice Lake came right back to take the second set, 25-21.

Central took the third set 25-21. The fourth set was the most dramatic. Central stormed out to a 20-5 lead. Rice Lake then put everything it had into a final charge, getting as close as 24-22 before the Panthers got the final point to win the match.

With the victory, Central's record now stands at 29-0.