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Volleyball: Roughriders secure title

FARGO -- Kaitlyn Bollingberg's shot to the back of the court beat the Fargo South defense, sealing No. 1 Grand Forks Red River's win over No. 3 Fargo South in the North Dakota East Region volleyball championship match on Saturday at the Fargo Civ...

FARGO -- Kaitlyn Bollingberg's shot to the back of the court beat the Fargo South defense, sealing No. 1 Grand Forks Red River's win over No. 3 Fargo South in the North Dakota East Region volleyball championship match on Saturday at the Fargo Civic Center.

Fargo South won the first set, but Red River came back to beat the Bruins 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20, sending the Roughriders into celebration on the court.

"We came out a little bit slow, a little bit hesitant in Game 1," Red River coach Carolyn Olson said. "We just went back to the fundamentals. The kids responded and did a better job."

Emily Evers led the Roughriders with 18 kills.

"The passing was great and the setting was perfect," Evers said. "As hitters, we know that we have to put it down. We did our thing and had a good time doing it too."

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Emily Asche paced Red River with team highs of seven blocks and four aces, while Alexa Bateman chipped in 29 digs.

The Roughriders outside hitters capitalized on offense and prevented Fargo South from doing the same with excellent blocking up the middle.

In the first set, both teams traded leads until South took control with the score tied 13-13. South's Siri Burck buried the winning kill on a soft shot that faked out the defender.

"I thought we came out pretty relaxed and ready to play," Fargo South head coach Tonah Safranski said. "Red River really stepped it up the next three games and got their big girls the ball."

The Roughriders then used their size advantage up front to stuff South's shot attempts.

Evers continued to blast the Bruins from the outside with shots that left the South defenders sprawled across the court.

Red River built up leads in the second and third sets. The Bruins tried to rally both times but it was too little, too late as Red River's defense stepped up to prevent South from taking the lead.

"As a coaching staff we are incredibly proud of the kids and the job that they've done this season and the time and effort they put in," Olson said.

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