GRAFTON, N.D. -- At times Stacy Hanson wondered how many Thompson players were on the volleyball court.
The Tommies’ strong all-around play led them to a third consecutive title in the Region 2 high school volleyball tournament here Thursday. Thompson beat Hanson’s Mayville-Portland-CG team 25-12, 25-15, 25-10 in the championship.
The Patriots managed only 15 kills in the match against Thompson’s aggressive defense. “They were all over the court,’’ Hanson said. “They did an awesome job on defense, all nine of them.
“We had a hard time adjusting. Wherever we hit the ball, they picked it up.’’
Lauren Cunningham led the Tommies’ defense with 15 digs, followed by Ashlyn Warcken with seven. Nine Tommies had at least one dig.
Thompson coach Lisa Strand said Cunningham, Warcken and Bailey Munson set the tempo with their back-row play.
“They really put on a show,’’ Thompson senior Macy Jordheim said of the three back-row defenders. “They made it difficult for May-Port.’’
Said Strand: “All three of them really covered the court. And they were getting good passes to our setters. They could set all of our hitters. And they were all on.’’
Jordheim set the tempo on offense for the Tommies. In the first set, she had a combined total of 10 points on kills, blocks and service aces. The senior finished with match highs of 11 kills and four blocks.
“We want to get Macy the ball,’’ Strand said. “Macy is a gamer. She wants the ball. When she’s getting kills, it fires everybody up. It gets momentum going.’’
Thompson controlled the scoreboard practically the entire way. The Tommies trailed only once, when May-Port-CG scored the opening point of the third set. Thompson followed with a 9-1 run. That included a 7-0 spurt -- one of nine runs of four or more unanswered points.
Allie Ness added 10 kills for the Tommies. Kai Sorby and Kenzie Hughes had 14 and 15 assists, respectively.
“Sometimes our defense has played well this season,’’ Strand said. “Sometimes our offense has played well. We haven’t had this complete of a match all year. That’s the best all-around we’ve played.’’
Said Jordheim: “I’d agree with that, 100 percent. We found that flow tonight. It felt good -- a region championship, with all the adrenaline, all the excitement.’’
Cora McClenahen paced Mayville-Portland-CG with eight kills. Ellie Bergstrom had 31 digs for the Patriots.
“We gave up too many (runs),’’ Hanson said. “They didn’t give us any.’’