The Rosemount Irish volleyball team handled the best the Simley Spartans could throw at them and won with a three-set sweep despite not playing their best volleyball. The Irish won 25-19, 25-19, 25-12 over the Spartans at home Thursday, Oct. 26, at Rosemount High School to advance to the semifinals of the section 3AAA playoffs.

Rosemount, the third seed, played no. 2-seed East Ridge in Prior Lake on Wednesday, Nov. 1, after this article went to print. Whoever won plays in the section championship Saturday, Nov. 4, in Prior Lake against the winner of Eagan and Eastview.

"I think they (Simley) came into it with a lot better energy than we (Rosemount) came into it," head coach Smokey Vitek said. "I think we came in a little over-confident in ourselves and so we didn't bring our A-game, so I was happy they kind of put us in our place a little bit, but once we got going we were fine."

After a rough start for the first half of the first set, the Irish really settled in and took care of business. However, Rosemount quickly took a hold of the match to close out the first set and cruised from there on. Vitek did highlight the performances of a few of her players.

"I thought Lauren VanSickle played really well on the left side and then we had her on the right side in the third set and she did a really nice job," she explained. "Mari Hinkle finally got some good runs of serves, she has a very aggressive serve and she got some really good runs tonight."

Looking ahead to East Ridge, Vitek said that after a loss to the Raptors earlier in the season, her team is in a different place now.

"We lost to them in four, but that was at the point of the season where we were kind of beat up so I'm hoping that we will have a better showing against them this time," she said. "We need to play better defense than we did tonight, I think we missed a lot of digs that we should have never missed, and our middles have to get a little bit quicker and block a little bit better because they (East Ridge) play a faster game."