Our Redeemer’s advances to semifinals with win over Ray
FARGO — It’s not often you see one player lead a volleyball team in kills and assists.
But that’s what Morgan Olson does for the Minot Our Redeemer’s Christian School. And that’s what she did Thursday in the Fargodome where top-seeded Our Redeemer’s rolled to a 25-11, 25-10, 25-12 win over Ray in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B state tournament.
“Morgan is the true definition of an all-around player,” said Our Redeemer’s head coach Kara Nunziato, whose team will take a 41-2 record into an 8 p.m. semifinal match on Friday.
Olson, a 5-foot-8 senior, entered this tournament as her team’s leader in kills (344), assists (621), service aces (99) and second in digs (314). Thursday against Ray — a team Our Redeemer’s beat three times during the regular season — Olson had a team-leading 13 kills and 20 assists. She also came up with 15 digs.
“I like doing everything,” said Olson, who has been playing varsity volleyball since seventh grade. “I like being challenged with something that I’m not used to doing.”
When Olson isn’t setting the ball, junior Karlee Zablotney sets in the 6-2 offense. It’s a system that has worked almost to perfection this season — with Our Redeemer’s losing only to Class B North Star and Class A Bismarck Legacy.
That record helped Our Redeemer’s earn the top seed for this tournament. But after losing in the state semifinals at the last two state tournaments, the Knights aren’t thinking about the top seed.
“It doesn’t matter what seed you are,” said Nunziato. “You have to win three straight. That’s all that matters.”
Langdon-Edmore-Munich cruises to Class B
FARGO — Two-time all-state volleyball player Madison Hart is fully aware what is up next for her and the Langdon-Munich-Edmore Cardinals: A rematch of last year’s Class B championship match.
After quickly disposing of Center-Stanton 25-10, 25-9, 25-14 in Thursday’s first round of the North Dakota Class B state volleyball tournament at the Fargodome, Langdon-Edmore-Munich advances to the semifinals against LaMoure — the team it lost to in last year’s state championship.
“Yeah, we’ve thought about that,” said Hart, who had 10 kills, 9 digs and 3 service aces on Thursday. “But we’re a different team this year and so are they.”
Langdon-Edmore-Munich displayed its state-tournament experience on Thursday. This is the Cardinals 16th state tournament appearance with state titles coming in 2003, 2008 and 2010. Center-Stanton, meanwhile, hadn’t played in a state tournament since 2008 with only four appearances.
“I thought our serving really set the tone,” said Rich Olson, in his 21st year as the Cardinals’ head coach. “And we got some pretty good opportunities because of it.”
With Hart serving, the Cardinals went on a 10-0 run during their first-set victory. Her serving started a 7-0 start in the second set and a 5-0 start in the third set.
“She can do it all,” Olson said of Hart, a 5-foot-7 senior who has yet to decide where she is going to play college volleyball. “Actually, a lot of bigger schools are looking at her to play defense. She is one of the most well-rounded players I have ever coached.”
Hart’s oldest sister Taylor was an outside hitter at Minot State. Another sister, McKenzie, was a libero at North Dakota.
Langdon-Edmore-Munich will take a 34-3 record into the semifinals. Center-Stanton takes a 30-11 record into the consolation round.
LaMoure defeats Hazen to set up state championship rematch
FARGO — LaMoure head coach Laurie Good said the way her team played Thursday at the Fargodome mirrored how many matches have played out for the Loboes this season: A slow start with a strong finish.
“We’d finally get our fire, get together and roll from there,” Good said.
The No. 3-seeded Loboes fell behind early in the first set against Hazen, but rallied for the set win. That sparked LaMoure to a 25-12, 25-16, 25-19 victory in the first round of the North Dakota Class B state volleyball tournament.
“I feel we came out a little flat-footed, we didn’t really get synced and our serving was a little off,” Good said. “We got through it.”
The defending state champion Loboes (34-3) play No. 2-seeded Langdon-Edmore-Munich in the state semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday in a rematch of last year’s state championship.
“They’re a great team,” said LaMoure junior outside hitter Anna Holen, who had 16 kills against Hazen. “They have an awesome coach. We’re excited to play them. They’re a good defensive team and when they set up their offense they can pound the ball.”
Hazen took an 8-6 lead in the first set after a LaMoure hitting error. The Loboes also had two early service errors. LaMoure countered, however, by scoring 14 of the next 15 points to build a 20-9 lead. Loboes junior Kindra Hamlin’s ace gave her team set point and a 25-12 win.
“Once we started serving well, we got them out of system,” Holen said.
Holen led a three-pronged LaMoure attack. Freshman outside hitter Ellie Holen and Hamlin each added nine kills to complement Anna Holen’s match-high total in kills.
“Anna is able to read the floor and she just brings the whole fire to the team,” Good said. “The open spots appear for her.”
Century takes care of business, advances to semifinals
FARGO — Bismarck Century co-head coach Sara Bohrer said her team felt nervous going into the North Dakota Class A state volleyball tournament. Even as the returning state champion and the No. 1 seed out of the West Region, the Patriots felt pressure.
It didn’t show much in the quarterfinals.
The Patriots cruised to a 25-19, 25-19, 25-13 victory over East Region No. 4-seeded West Fargo on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Fargodome.
“For us, it was just getting the first-game jitters out, and I think we saw that in the first set,” Bohrer said. “But then our kids really played well together for the remainder of the match. They just played the consistent volleyball that we’ve seen from them throughout the postseason.”
In a tournament in Bismarck back in August, Century (39-2) had beaten the Packers (22-15) 2-1, so West Fargo head coach Kelsey Peterson said she wanted her team to have confidence that the match could be close.
It didn’t slow down the Patriots, however. Regan Dennis led Century with 11 kills and 13 digs while Liza Doppler totaled 10 kills and Maddie Klein added nine kills and a match-high three blocks.
“I think there was some nerves coming into today because for most of us it’s our last state tournament,” said Klein, a senior. “It feels really good. I’m so proud of our team. We played well so I hope we can keep doing what we’re supposed to do.”
Tiana Pfaff led the Packers with nine kills, Darian Chwialkowski added seven kills and 12 digs and Taylor Morris recorded team highs of 24 assists, three aces and 13 digs — a tie with Brittany Roerick.
Fargo Shanley overcomes
2-0 deficit to advance
to volleyball semifinals
FARGO — The 2-0 deficit Fargo Shanley faced Thursday has been an infrequent occurrence.
“There was a little nervousness,” Deacons senior hitter Katie Roberts said. “We’ve only been in that situation a few times. But I knew we could come back.”
Shanley did rally, beating Jamestown 18-25, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23, 15-4 in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A high school volleyball tournament at the Fargodome.
“It’s not fun being down 2-0,” Deacons coach Curt Johnson said. “But we could see the girls were confident they could come back.”
The 6-foot Roberts led the way with a match-high 20 kills. Height was a factor, with 6-foot Caira Berg adding 19 kills and 6-2 Emily Dietz 17. The trio combined for 56 of the Deacons’ 68 kills. Shanley also had a 22-4 advantage in blocks, with Dietz leading the way with seven.
Julia Vetter had 53 assists for the Deacons.
“Height is important,” said Johnson, whose team improved to 27-9. “We adjusted on defense in the last three sets to get better blocking and take some pressure off our defense. We set our blocking up better and I think it slowed Jamestown down. I thought Katie kept us going with some big swings.”
Jamestown used a 10-1 run to go up 16-9 in the first set en route to the win. The Blue Jays were down 23-20 in the second, but closed on a 6-1 spurt to win.
Shanley never trailed in the third. The pivotal point may have been in the fourth set. Jamestown was ahead 22-19, but two blocks by 6-1 Kylie Kanwischer highlighted a 6-1 Shanley run to close the set. Shanley then closed the match on a 13-2 run in dominating the fifth set.
“It’s disappointing,” Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle said. “It (the turnaround) happened so fast. The kids came out strong right away. But we don’t see height like that.”
Makenzie Clark had 18 kills to lead Jamestown, with Courtney Peterson adding 16 and McKayla Kurtz 12. Megan Gaffaney had 50 assists for Jamestown, which dropped to 26-14.