Our Redeemer’s falls in epic five-set state semifinal match
FARGO – If pressure is a privilege, it can also be hard to overcome; something the Our Redeemer’s Christian School Knights found out on Friday in their state semifinal volleyball match.
Maysville-Portland-CG fought off a fourth-set match point to rally to a 23-25, 25-17, 21-25, 30-28, 15-10 win over Our Redeemer’s to advance to their first state championship match since winning back-to-back titles in 2001-02.
Our Redeemer’s loss drops them to the third-place match where they will take on Dickinson Trinity.
“The girls are proud of the game that they left out on the floor tonight,” said Our Redeemer’s head coach Kara Nunziato. “There’s no regrets because we played our hearts out. The hitters did an amazing job working our offense, and the defense kept our team alive in many big moments. We just have a lot to be proud of.”
The state semifinal, which began approximately 40 minutes late due to the length of the previous match, was easily the toughest match Our Redeemer’s played in during their season, as neither team was able to gain much of an edge.
“Some of those rallies were the longest rallies we’ve had the opportunity to play, and it’s exactly what the state tournament is about,” said Nunziato. “It’s about high-level defense, offense and two teams battling it out.”
In total, out of 219 points played, the match was tied for 28 of them or 12.8% of the total match. There were 20 lead changes. The third set, which May-Port-CG won 30-28, saw twelve points when the score was tied and five lead changes in the set.
The Knights’ offense was set up by Allie Francis, who led the team with a match-high 48 assists. That play set up both Leah Lindquist, with 19 kills, and Maya Vibeto, with 16 kills. Defensively, Our Redeemer’s saw five players reach double-figure digs, with Vibeto recording 30 to lead the Knights. Junior libero Olivia Ebel finished with 28. Tavia Carlson had 19, to go along with 9 kills. Isabel Engelhart had 16 and Allie Francis had 12.
May-Port-CG’s defense was just as effective, with six players reaching double figures in digs, including four with more than 20. Rylee Satrom led the Patriots with 31. Her twin sister Raia Satrom and Danica Hanson each finished with 28 digs. Kylie Kroeplin had 22, Kiaza Carlson had 19 and Raegen Zerface had 18.
Rylee Satrom and Hanson both paced the Patriots offense with 13 kills each, while Raia Satrom finished with 12.
Our Redeemer’s found themselves down 20-18 late in the first set, but they were able to rebound for a 25-23 opening set win.
After May-Port-CG opened the second set with a serving error, the Patriots took control and jumped out to a 15-7 lead. The two teams played to a 10-10 tie the rest of the set, as May-Port-CG tied the match with the 25-17 win.
The third set was back and forth until a service error gave the Knights a 21-19 lead, and a kill and block by Mikayla Altringer gave Our Redeemer’s control of the set. Despite the Patriots fending off a set point, the Knights prevailed 25-22.
The fourth set was epic, featuring 12 ties and five lead changes. At one point, May-Port-CG was forced to fight off match point on the way to a 30-28 win to force the decisive fifth set.
The fifth set saw more back and forth before May-Port-CG called a timeout with Our Redeemer’s up 6-5. The Patriots came out of the timeout energized, outscoring the nights 10-4 the rest of the way. On several occasions, Altringer saw her return sail just wide.
Nonetheless, May-Port-CG rallied for the five-set win and will face the defending champions Northern Cass with a state championship on the line. Northern Cass swept Dickinson Trinity 25-17, 25-23, 25-11 to advance.
Our Redeemer’s will face Dickinson Trinity at 2 p.m. this afternoon in the third-place match.