Not even 24 hours after concreting her collegiate plans, Kindred outside hitter Kellie Schmit showed just why she's the lone NCAA Division I signee in the B classification.
Schmit, who signed with the University of North Dakota on Wednesday, boosted the Vikings in a 25-11, 25-13, 25-15 shellacking of Flasher in the first round of the Class B state volleyball tournament on Thursday at the Minot State University Dome.
The multi-faceted Schmit tallied 22 kills, 11 aces and seven digs for Kindred, which faces Linton-HMB tonight at 6 in the tournament semifinal. Flasher will face Dickinson Trinity today at noon in a consolation match.
"She's a one-of-a-kind type of athlete," Kindred coach Brooks Dockter said of Schmit. "She wants to take big swings in big games and you want kids like that."
Kindred, the Region 1 champion, took advantage of its length early, leaning on the efforts of Schmit (5-foot-11), Laura Podolak (5-10) Tessa Heitkamp (5-10) and spring-heeled Alexandra Erickson (5-8). The Vikings jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the first game they never relinquished.
And the Bulldogs kept that pace throughout the contest.
In the second game, Flasher narrowed an eight-point chasm to 13-7 after a kill by the Bulldogs' Micaela Myer, but a Schmit ace and subsequent kill doused the run.
"When we keep our tempo up and we're agressive that helps," Schmit said. "We didn't do it toward the end, but if we can keep the (tempo) going, we can make it our game and not theirs."
Flasher's plan, initially, was to keep the ball away from the net and make Kindred's back row beat them. But the Vikings' passers were adequate, too.
"We wanted to get around the front row and force them to play defense with their back row," Flasher coach Jerlyn Gabrielson said. "But they have really good passing as well. I'm proud of our girls for working hard and keeping their composure against a great team."
Casey Allmaras led Kindred with 32 assists and Michaela Casey scooped up 19 digs. The Vikings didn't allow a single ace.
Flasher was paced by Meyer's eight kills and McKenna Schmidt's 16 assists.