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LaMoure junior Jade Wagner sets a teammate against Grant County during the Class B state tournament Thursday in Minot.
Chris Aarhus/The Sun
LaMoure junior Jade Wagner sets a teammate against Grant County during the Class B state tournament Thursday in Minot. Chris Aarhus/The Sun

Loboes cruise past Coyotes in four sets

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MINOT, N.D. — After failing to get the sweep, LaMoure regrouped and made sure its lengthy absence from the North Dakota Class B state volleyball semifinals didn’t last any longer.

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The Loboes took care of business in the fourth set.

LaMoure defeated Grant County 25-18, 25-15, 26-28, 25-16 in the quarterfinals on Thursday at the Minot State Dome.

“It was a big first win for us. No question about it,” LaMoure head coach Laurie Good said. “That seems to be what we have done all year. We come out strong and win those first two sets, but in the third we crumble. It was good to see the kids pick themselves up and get the win.”

The Loboes (34-3-1) advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2002 and play Stanley at 6 p.m. today. Grant County (28-4-2) plays Thompson in the noon consolation semifinals match.

LaMoure jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Coyotes avoided the sweep, earning the 28-26 victory in the third set after serving for match point three different times.

The fourth set was all LaMoure, which built a 14-6 lead and never looked back.

Senior outside hitter Courtney Carlson led the Loboes with 23 kills and three ace serves, including one for match point.

“We played a little slow in the first two sets,” Carlson said. “We had to pick it up. We came out with fire in the fourth set. We wanted to play in the night games, and we want to get to the championship. We played with fire and played confident.”

LaMoure also got contributions from its two eighth-graders Anna Holen and Jackie Meiklejohn. Holen, an outside hitter, posted 16 kills and two ace serves. Meiklejohn, a setter, had 19 assists and five aces serves.

“Everyone was a little intimidated coming into the match,” Good said. “It’s a pretty big floor, but I thought under the circumstances they came out strong.”

The Loboes finished with 13 aces in the match.

Junior middle blocker Sydney Bentz led the Coyotes with 17 kills.

“I think errors caught up to us,” Grant County head coach Amy Tarno said. “We had a lot of fight in us during the match, but the errors were the No. 1 thing that held us back.”

LaMoure 3, Grant County 1

Grant Co. 18 15 28 16

LaMoure 25 25 26 25

GC — Kills, Sydney Bentz 17. Assists, Ashley Mutschelknaus 29. Aces, Kaci Levorsen 2. Blocks, Breanna Nehl 1. Digs, Brandy Koepplin 20, Bentz 15, Autumn Alt 12, Levorsen 11, Breanne Fegate 11.

LaMoure — Kills, Courtney Carlson 23, Anna Holen 16, Kennedy Witt 6. Assists, Jade Wagner 24, Jackie Meiklejohn 19. Aces, Meiklejohn 5, Carlson 3. Blocks, Talitha Hirschkorn 2. Digs, Jackie Meiklejohn 17, Carlson 15, Abby Warcken 12.

Records: GC 28-4, LaMoure 35-3.

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Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com  
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