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Glenburn volleyball outlasts Bombers in District 12 first round

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Glenburn volleyball players react after scoring a point in the second set of Thursday's District 12 Tournament match against Lewis & Clark/Berthold at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. The Panthers earned a 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 victory over the Bombers.

No matter how much separation McKenna Rolland and the Glenburn Panthers created, the Lewis & Clark/Berthold Bombers just kept coming back.

Rolland, Glenburn’s junior middle hitter, helped the No. 3 Panthers (13-10) storm out to a 7-0 lead in a 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 victory over the No. 6 Bombers (11-19-1). Although the Panthers progressed in the final first-round matchup of Thursday’s contest at the Minot Municipal Auditorium, LCB eventually cut the first set’s score to 21-19.

A final push helped Glenburn clinch a hard-fought 25-21 set victory.

“We had confidence in one another,” Rolland said. “That was really hard in the beginning of the season. It was really hard to come from not having confidence. We did pretty well, I would say.”

After Glenburn gained another early advantage in the second set, the foes duked it out once more. The Panthers eventually earned a 25-22 set victory in a lengthy second frame.

“We kept our energy way up,” Rolland said. “The gym was so loud. It was so amazing to hear all of the crowd cheering. It just felt amazing.”

Glenburn junior middle hitter Lorelei McIver continued her stellar night in the third set, helping the Panthers to a 25-23 win. McIver posted team-highs in kills (15) and blocks (2).

“They are super-coachable,” Glenburn head coach Katie Dufner said. “They are willing to try anything, which is helpful. They don’t give up. We’ve had multiple opportunities where they could have easily just given up in a situation, and they have just continued to push through everything.”

In the battle of attrition, Glenburn appeared to be one step ahead at all times. However, the Bombers showed resilience throughout their comeback attempts.

“It’s a fun team to play, for sure,” LCB head coach Katelyn Sandy said. “Glenburn is a good team and they match up pretty well with us. It’s fun to see the girls go out there, play hard against them and get those blocks up.”

The Panthers gained an advantage through 10 team aces. Junior outside hitter Hannah Hagen paced Glenburn with four, while Rolland and junior outside hitter Nadia Post added three apiece.

Additionally, Glenburn’s stout defense paved the way to 89 total digs. Senior defensive specialist Jackie Ostlund posted a match-high 26 digs, with Post recording 20 and Rolland contributing 19.

“I just love watching them,” Dufner said. “They don’t stop, ever. It’s a lot of fun.”

LCB senior middle hitter Toni Hamilton earned at least a share of the team lead in blocks (2), kills (5) and digs (18). Senior setter Hannah Ibach handed out a match-high 23 assists.

“They never gave up,” Sandy said. “They hung in there. Every game, every point, they were there with (Glenburn). We’ve just got to recuperate and come back ready.”

Glenburn will face off against No. 2 DLB at approximately 7:30 p.m. in today’s second semifinal game. The Bombers will play South Prairie at approximately 4:30 p.m. in today’s second loser-out game at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.

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