East Region volleyball: Riders sweep North
The Grand Forks Red River volleyball team viewed Fargo North as the major hurdle standing in its way to a lengthy postseason run. That hurdle was cleared Friday. With a lot of room to spare. Senior Emily Asche and sophomore Hadley Steffen combine...
The Grand Forks Red River volleyball team viewed Fargo North as the major hurdle standing in its way to a lengthy postseason run.
That hurdle was cleared Friday. With a lot of room to spare.
Senior Emily Asche and sophomore Hadley Steffen combined for 28 kills to lead the Roughriders to a 25-14, 25-21, 25-17 victory against the Spartans in the Eastern Dakota Conference semifinals at Red River High School.
"This opens up a lot of opportunities," said Asche, whose team will take on Fargo Shanley at 4 p.m. today for the conference crown. "We thought North was one of the teams that was holding us back. So now that we got past them, we can basically do anything."
The match was much different than the last time the teams met late in the regular season.
Last time, North sophomore Kira Larson blistered the Roughriders for a school-record 31 kills to help the Spartans to a 3-2 win.
On Friday, Red River took Larson out of the equation. She finished with just six kills.
"In practice we worked on blocking a ton," said Asche, whose team assured itself a spot at state with the win. "That was our main focus tonight."
Red River was strong on the attack, on defense and, most important, on the block.
Asche and Annika Strand each finished with four blocks, helping fluster North hitters Larson, Keli Johnson and Maren McGurran.
Now it's back against the wall-time for North.
A win against Wahpeton at noon today puts the team in the state tournament.
A loss ends a promising season.
"We did not step out ready to play," Spartans coach Melissa Wilson said. "To me, that's a gut check. Are you going to figure out what happened tonight? To be back-and-forth and then all of a sudden just let them take control? Every team wants it. So how are they going to respond?"
Fargo Shanley 3, Fargo South 1: In the other championship semifinal, Shanley downed South 32-30, 25-17, 20-25, 25-15.
Hillary Rotunda had 13 kills and three service aces for Shanley, with Kaitlyn Carlson adding 10 kills and Bethany Sandy getting nine kills and four service aces. Bridget Kruger led the Bruins offense, getting 11 kills and three service aces.
Wahpeton 3, Fargo Davies 2: Four players reached double figures in kills as Wahpeton outlasted Davies 25-20, 22-25, 28-26, 14-25, 15-10.
Katelyn Kleven had a big all-around match for Wahpeton with 14 kills, 44 digs and a team-leading three service aces. Jocie Fisher added 13 kills, Kelsey Kleven 11 and Whitney Klosterman 10, along with five blocks. Brook Hildre's 12 kills paced the Davies attack.
West Fargo 3, Devils Lake 0: Devils Lake's bid for a second straight state tournament berth ended as the Packers swept the Firebirds 25-15, 25-15, 25-14.
Katelyn Holland's 12 kills and five service aces led the Packers, with Ali Barta adding 10 kills. Kenzie Wade paced Devils Lake with six kills.