For the third straight season, the Bottineau high school volleyball team played Bishop Ryan in the quarterfinal round of the Region 6 tournament.
And for the third straight season, the Stars advanced to the semifinals, defeating the Lions 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23) on Monday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
After a string of blocks by Ryan sophomores Hannah Stewart and Gabbie Bohl on three match points, the Stars tipped a shot over the 6-foot-1 towers that fell harmlessly to the ground, vaulting Bottineau into the semifinals and ending the Lions' season.
Bottineau senior middle hitter Katryna Hahn attempts a shot over the block of Ryan sophomore Gabbie Bohl during Monday’s Region 6 quarterfinal match at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
"Let's get some elevator tennis shoes or some stilts because that's a tough block when they are together," Bottineau coach Steve Dunrud said. "They get a long ways over the net. You have to hit around it and over it, but over it is tough because they get up so high."
Bottineau senior middle hitter Katryna Hahn played an all-around match, finishing with 15 kills, 11 digs, two aces and two digs. Sophomore middle hitter Stephanie Brenden delivered a career-high 17 kills for the District 11 No. 2 seed Stars.
"(Brenden) really made some plays for us tonight," Dunrud said. "(Ryan) was double- and triple-blocking (Hahn), making life tough for her and also our outside hitters."
Bottineau came away with game one after costly service errors by the Lions with the scored tied at 20 and again with the Stars leading 22-21. Hahn finished the opening set with one of her two aces.
The Lions controlled the second set, jumping out to an 8-2 lead that forced Dunrud to use one of his timeouts. It didn't stop Ryan's run as kills by Stewart, Bohl, senior middle hitter Quinn Harmon and senior outside hitter Dani Will gave the Lions a 20-12 advantage. Hahn and Brenden rallied the Stars to within one point, but Ryan closed out the game.
"Sometimes we got into pockets where they would score three or four points in a row and we just have to be able to get ourselves out of those," Ryan coach Patty Luetzen said.
The third set started off like the second, with Ryan taking an early 7-2 advantage. But Bottineau quickly responded with a 10-3 run to take a 12-10 lead. Hahn and Brenden combined for six kills and a block during that stretch. Leading 23-22, the Stars won the set with a kill by junior outside hitter Courtney Gallagher followed by a Hahn block.
"It definitely wasn't our best game," Stewart said. "We wanted to beat Bottineau since they beat us earlier in the season, but they just played better than we did and in the end that's all that matters."
Miscues plagued both teams in the fourth set as Ryan gave the Stars an early lead on two service errors. Bottineau returned the favor by having the ball drop
between a group of Stars on more than one occasion when they were threatening to run away with the set.
"We had our moments where we didn't look that great, but so did they," Dunrud said.
The Stars play District 12 tournament champion Kenmare at 6 p.m. today at the Auditorium. The Honkers have won both matches against Bottineau this season.
Kenmare sweeps TGU
The Kenmare high school volleyball team showed TGU why it's the District 12 top seed, sweeping the Titans in the opening game of the Region 6 tournament Monday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
Junior middle hitter Katie Nelson led the Honkers with 12 kills and senior outside hitter Shelby Hass had 10 in the win (25-14, 25-12, 25-15).
Although Kenmare had little trouble against TGU, coach Tim Wallstrum thought his team could have played better.
"I don't know if that much was going for us," he said. "We didn't play our best volleyball, but it's tough to get up for the first game of the tournament. But they got it done and we were able to get everyone in off the bench."
TGU senior Delrae Latendresse led the Titans with 12 kills.