Pats, Roughriders to meet for ‘A’ titleThe ups. The downs. Jamie Zastoupil says you learn to live with it. “It’s just part of the game,” the Bismarck Century volleyball co-coach said. “Volleyball is so much momentum. We had it. We lost it. We got our energy back.”
By: By Greg DeVillers, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — The ups. The downs. Jamie Zastoupil says you learn to live with it.
“It’s just part of the game,” the Bismarck Century volleyball co-coach said. “Volleyball is so much momentum. We had it. We lost it. We got our energy back.”
Century had all the swings Friday. In the end, the Patriots got a 25-16, 25-11, 20-25, 25-22 win against Fargo Shanley in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A high school volleyball tournament.
At first, it looked so easy for the Patriots. They dominated the first two sets. Four times, they had runs of five or more unanswered points. They never trailled in either set. Shanley struggled to establish its attack — more than half of its points in those two sets were off Century errors rather than their own offense.
“We put it all together the first two sets,” Zastoupil said. “We had really good blocking. We had really good hitting.”
But in the third set, Shanley finally took its first lead of the match at 19-18. That was part of a set-closing 13-3 run.
“I don’t think we let down,” Century hitter Hannah Larson said. “We weren’t surprised the way Shanley came out (in the third set). They knew they had to win, and we didn’t come out as strong.
“We needed to hit the ball harder and not tip so much.”
Century regrouped. A 5-0 run sparked by a pair of Alexis Jacobs kills lifted the Patriots back to a 15-11 advantage in the fourth set.
Century retained a narrow lead the rest of the way, finally putting away the match on back-to-back kills by Larson and Jacobs.
“We got flustered in the third,” Zastoupil said. “We finally got over that at the end of the fourth set.”
Century had a big advantage at the net. With Jacobs getting 16 kills, Larson 13 and Kelsey T. Glatt 12, the Patriots had a 47-33 advantage in kills. Ashley Bohrer’s five blocks led Century to a 20-9 advantage in that department.
GF Red River 3, Fargo North 0
Through what has been, up to now, a perfect season, there have been some tight situations for the Grand Forks Red River volleyball team.
Those are opportunities the Roughriders relish.
“We like the tight situations,” Riders senior outside hitter Annika Strand said. “They make you focus. The intensity makes you rise to the challenge.”
The Riders handled those situations three times here Friday. Red River swept Fargo North by a narrow 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 margin in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A high school volleyball tournament.
“It has been one of those years where the kids always have risen to the occasion,” Red River coach Carolyn Olson said. “In close matches, they’ve always found a way to respond to the challenge.”
Red River is 35-0 and will seek its first unbeaten year since the 2001-02 season when it plays Bismarck Century in the state final at approximately 8 p.m. today. Century advanced to the final with a 3-1 win against Fargo Shanley.
“At the end, Red River made plays,” North coach Jerry Daily said. “We never got behind by a lot. We always came back. But Red River always did what was needed at the end of sets. That’s the mark of a real good team.”
Red River has swept North 3-0 in three matches this season. But all were close — seven of the nine sets were decided by four points or less.
On Friday, the match-ending heroics were a shared item.
In the first set, Red River broke a 23-23 tie when Hadley Steffen scored on a tip, then Cassidy Bush’s kill was the set winner. North led 21-19 in the second set, but the Riders closed on a 6-0 run, with Bush getting a pair of service aces and Strand a pair of kills, including the 25th point.
Red River clinched the match when, after trailing 19-18, it closed on a 7-3 run to win the third set. Five different Riders got kills in the spurt, with Steffen getting match point on a kill.
State Class A volleyball