See more of the story

The volleyball state tournament begins its four-day run at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday. Here's a nut-and-bolts look:

Class 1A

The field has been energized thanks to Russell-Tyler-Ruthton. The Knights denied No. 1-ranked Minneota its 16th state tournament berth since 2001 and a chance at winning its second consecutive state championship and fourth in five years when they knocked off the Vikings in five sets, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 27-25, to win the Section 3 title.

R-T-R (27-6) qualified for the state tournament for the first time in team history and gave hope to the rest of the field.

Minneota defeated R-T-R twice during the regular season, including a five-set victory in the next-to-last regular-season match. RTR's victory earned it the No. 1 seed in the Class 1A bracket. Mayer Lutheran, making its 17th appearance in the tournament, is seeded No. 2. No. 3 seed Mabel-Canton is led by Hall of Fame head coach Lonnie Morken, who this season became just the fourth volleyball coach in state history to win 800 matches. He stands at 827.

New Life Academy of Woodbury is seeded No. 4.

Class 2A

The No. 1 seed went to Southwest Christian of Chaska. The Stars, who won the 2013 Class 1A tournament, are 26-5. Pequot Lakes, runner-up in 2022, picked up the No. 2 seed. Caledonia is No. 3, and Rush City, which advanced to the tournament for the first time last season, is back as the No. 4 seed.

The Tigers will draw plenty of interest thanks to senior libero McKenna Garr. Garr, considered the state's best back-row defensive player, committed to Minnesota last summer.

Class 3A

Guess who's back and seeking another championship? Yep, Marshall. The Tigers, who likely make standing hotel reservations, are making their 32nd state tournament appearance. They've won the past two Class 3A titles and eight championships overall. Marshall (23-5) is seeded No. 1 and ranked No. 1 in the state poll.

Marshall coach Dan Westby went into the Hall of Fame in 2011, the same year as Mabel-Canton's Morken. Westby has more than 700 career victories.

No. 2 seed Delano owns the best record in the field (28-2). The Tigers' only losses have come to the top two teams in the Class 4A field, New Prague and Wayzata.

Byron (22-4) is No. 3 and Detroit Lakes (25-7) No. 4.

Class 4A

No. 1 seed Wayzata is seeking is fourth straight championship in the large-school bracket. The Trojans (31-0) won Class 3A in 2019 and Class 4A in 2021 and 2022. No tournament was held in 2020.

The Trojans have nine players listed at 6 feet or taller, led by 6-1 setter Stella Swenson, the two-time Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. Swenson was named Ms. Baden Volleyball by the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association (MVCA) at the state tournament banquet Tuesday.

New Prague, which just moved up to Class 4A, received the No. 2 seed. New Prague has been coached since 2021 by Greg Sayuk, who led Southwest Christian to the 1A championship in 2013. The Trojans are 25-5.

Rogers (27-3) is making its third consecutive tournament trip and is the No. 3 seed. Eagan's first season under McKenna Melville, a former player who is now the head coach, proved a success. The Wildcats (22-8) are seeded No. 4. Former head coach Kathy Gillen, Melville's mother, remains an assistant coach for the team.

Fifty years of high school volleyball

This is the 50th year of high school volleyball in Minnesota — the first state tournament was held in 1974. The MVCA has been attempting to round up as many players as possible from the first set of state tournament teams and will hold a reception Saturday for more than 50 who responded "yes" to an invitation. Those special guests, including members of the Osseo team that won the first state championship, will be introduced before the Class 3A championship match, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Click here to see the tournament brackets in four classes.