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East downs West in Optimist opener

FARGO--Alexis Bachmeier admits there were some kinks to work out in the North Dakota Optimist Club and North Dakota High School Coaches Association all-state volleyball match on Monday. But those kinks were worked out just fine in the final two sets.

FARGO-Alexis Bachmeier admits there were some kinks to work out in the North Dakota Optimist Club and North Dakota High School Coaches Association all-state volleyball match on Monday. But those kinks were worked out just fine in the final two sets.

After falling behind two sets to one, Bachmeier led the East to a 22-25, 25-15, 11-25, 25-20, 15-6 victory over the West at Fargo Shanley High School. Bachmeier, a North Dakota State commit, led the East with 12 kills, four blocks and 22 assists to go with eight digs.

"This is just an honor," Bachmeier said. "That just shows the level of play they have."

Regan Dennis took over early and supplied the West with 12 kills in the first two sets. The Northern (S.D.) State commit from Bismarck Century helped the Patriots win Class A state championships the past two years while making the all-state first team and earning Gatorade player of the year.

She finished her career with 1,011 kills, 65 blocks, 921 digs and 72 aces. In the first set of the all-star match, Dennis led the West's comeback from a 9-4 deficit at the first time out to an 18-11 run as the West won the first set. Dennis finished with 16 kills, 16 digs and four blocks.

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"It's really easy to play with these group of girls," Dennis said. "It's indescribable. It's really nice to play in this level of game in my last sort of high school hurrah."

The East found its stride in the second set early with a 16-9 run, but didn't let go this time. Bachmeier had seven kills and 12 assists by the second set. The four-year starter for Fargo North was a three-time first-team all-state selection and East Region senior athlete of the year.

After a 6-6 start to the third match, the West went on an 18-3 run to take the third set and go up 2-1.

The East picked it back up and put together a 9-5 run early on and held onto the lead for the remainder of the set. The East took a three-point lead early in the final and deciding set before going on a 6-0 run to close the match out.

Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page's Jana Mehus stuffed the stat sheet with 15 assists, five kills, eight digs and an ace. The Mayville State commit said finding the right rotation was a challenge at first, but the East proved to click in the final two sets.

"We found the rotations as we went on," Mehus said. "I was surprised. I really had to get my swing going."

The second and final match in the all-star series is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Bismarck Legacy.

"There were some kinks we worked out," Bachmeier said. "We just have to earn this next game and just keep the pressure on all the time."

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