It was a very good regular season for the Elk River/St. Michael-Albertville boys' volleyball team, which lost just one match during the regular season.
Thursday the season went from very good to fantastic.
The Elks, seeded No. 8 in the tournament, pulled off a pair of sizable upsets in the boys' volleyball state tournament at Shakopee High School en route to their first state championship.
After beating No. 9 seed Minnetonka in the first round, the Elks pulled off the shocker of the tournament, beating No. 1 seed Rogers 25-18, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19 in Wednesday's quarterfinals.
The Elks came back flush with confidence Thursday, and it showed when they beat Shakopee in a back-and-forth semifinal match in which three of the five sets were decided by the slimmest margin possible, two points. Elk River won 25-23, 16-25, 25-12, 27-29, 17-15.
The finals pitted the Elks against No. 2 seed Champlin Park, which had swept Elk River on May 11. Putting that result behind them, the Elks won in four sets, 25-17, 25-23, 14-25, 25-22, and took their first state championship.
Maple Grove beat Shakopee 25-9, 29-27, 20-25, 25-18 for third place.
Rogers bounced back to win the consolation championship, beating Eden Prairie 25-16, 25-21, 17-25, 17-25, 15-13.
On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz, whose son plays volleyball at St. Paul Central, declared the day "Boys' High School Volleyball Day" in Minnesota. That was partially in response to the MSHSL Representative Assembly's decision, by one vote, in May to not officially sanction the sport.