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Langdon-Edmore-Munich downs North Star, advances to state

DEVILS LAKE--Langdon-Edmore-Munich dug its way to the state tournament. The Cardinals' strong defense led it to a sweep of North Star on Thursday in the championship of the Region 4 high school volleyball tournament. Langdon-E-M won 25-23, 25-8, ...

DEVILS LAKE-Langdon-Edmore-Munich dug its way to the state tournament.

The Cardinals' strong defense led it to a sweep of North Star on Thursday in the championship of the Region 4 high school volleyball tournament. Langdon-E-M won 25-23, 25-8, 25-20.

Langdon-E-M held a 41-20 advantage in kills. That big edge at the net came at least in part as a result of a Cardinals defense that had 55 digs to the Bearcats' 22.

"Our defense is always pretty good,'' L-E-M senior Madi Hart said. "I think it was a little better tonight than most nights. We wanted to be going for every shot.''

Hart and Jordyn Worley each had 12 digs to lead the back-row defense for L-E-M, which closed the regular season with a 3-1 loss to North Star.

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"They like to set the ball tight to the net,'' L-E-M coach Rich Olson said. "We got a hand on some shots; that was huge. And we had better position on defense than the last time we played. The girls came up with some tremendous digs.

"And our serving was a big key. I thought we served well and got them out of system. That gave us some defensive opportunities where we could get the ball quickly to our setter.''

Langdon-E-M setter Rachel Hill had 37 assists. Freshman Callie Ronningen led the hitting with 14 kills, with Hart and Worley getting nine each. "We changed our strategy some from the last time we played,'' Olson said. "We wanted to make sure Callie got more swings. Rachel had a great match. We needed to spread the shots around and she did.''

The Cardinals overcame a 12-9 deficit in the first set by going on an 11-2 run, eventually building a 22-18 lead. North Star rallied to a 22-all tie, only to see L-E-M close strong, finishing off the win on a Ronningen kill.

Langdon-E-M started strong in the second set, jumping to a 17-3 lead. In the third, North Star built its biggest lead of the match with an 8-2 start. But a 10-1 run put the Cardinals ahead to stay at 12-9. Another spurt, this time 7-1, built the L-E-M lead to 21-14.

"In the first and third sets, I thought we were going to get wins the way we started,'' Bearcats coach Aubree Page said. "I don't know what happened.''

Macey Kvilvang, the region's senior athlete of the year, paced the Bearcats with five blocks and 11 of her team's 20 kills.

Langdon-Edmore-Munich takes a 40-2 record to state. North Star finished 34-2.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTSVOLLEYBALL
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