Two defending state champions punched their tickets back to Xcel Energy Center on Saturday in Rochester. Bethlehem Academy and Stewartville captured section titles.

Faribault BA swept Mabel-Canton 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 to win Section 1A for the 12th time in the past 14 years. The Cardinals have won three of the past four state titles and seven total. Payton Nutter powered BA with nearly 20 kills. Mary Campbell and Madi Strodtman each had about 10 Keely Skluzacek had a number of impressive digs. The Cardinals had to overcome many unforced errors. Nutter and Strodtman told KDHL radio afterward that having a short memory and putting those mistakes behind you is a key having success.

Stewartville also has the chance to work a repeat state title after defeating Red Wing 3-1 in the 1AA championship match.

Rochester Mayo defended their section title from last fall by upsetting top-seed Lakeville South 3-2.

The state tournament begins Thursday, November 12, at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.