High School Notebook: Midkota continues successLast year, the Midkota High School volleyball team beat Central Cass in the championship match of the annual Valley City Optimist tournament. However, the Mustangs were clipped by Stanley 3-2 in the semifinals of the Class B state volleyball tournament last November at the Fargodome. They went on to beat Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock for third.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Midkota has started back down that path with hopes of a different ending. Once again, the Mustangs beat defending state champion Central Cass in the championship match of the Optimist, 25-18 and 25-21 on Saturday.
“They’re a little taller, but I thought we hit the ball a little stronger,” Midkota coach Michael Timm said. “It’s a big win for us early in the year.”
Midkota fell behind in the first game, but rallied.
“Once we came back and tied it up, and got the lead, they felt confident,” Timm said of his players. “Things went pretty well for us.”
This year, it beat Richland, Dickinson Trinity, North Sargent, Valley City, Oakes and Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page to get to the title. Only Oakes was able to steal a game from the Mustangs in the tournament, though Midkota won the two-game tiebreaker on point differential.
Timm’s hoping his team will catch fire much like it did last year after winning the Optimist.
“I thought last year when we beat Central Cass, it was the turning point,” Timm said. “That set the tone for the rest of the year. Hopefully, it does the same for us this year.”
Midkota’s certainly not short on hitters, which Timm called the team’s strength. All-state senior Emily Berge anchors the group, but she gets plenty of help from senior Kallie Frappier and juniors Caitlin Harding and Shaye Ronningen.
“(Emily’s) our go-to girl if we have one, but we have four big hitters,” Timm said. “We’re not afraid to go to any of the four.”
But the Mustangs compete in the one of the toughest districts and regions in the state and repeating as region champions won’t be easy.
“District 7 is pretty good. We have four pretty good teams and who knows about the other two,” Timm said. “It’s up for grabs.”
Midkota will get a chance to avenge a loss in the championship game of a Lakota tournament earlier this season, when the Mustangs travel to Carrington on Tuesday. This time, Midkota plans to have the services of starting junior setter Callie Harding.
“They look like a quality team,” Timm said. “I think we know we can play and beat anybody. On the other hand, we know we can be beat, too.”
Time to buckle down for JHS
But the Blue Jays volleyball team recently lost five-game heartbreakers to Dickinson and Bismarck Century.
As Jamestown gets into the meat of its schedule, opportunities will be there for victories if the Jays can close the door.
Jamestown hosts Bismarck St. Mary’s on Thursday, followed by a trip to Williston on Friday. The Jays host Mandan the next Tuesday. Mandan and Williston both sport losing overall records, while St. Mary’s is 8-6.
Shiloh Invite boasts area teams
The Shiloh Christian Invite starts on Saturday in Bismarck.
Area teams competing in it are Kidder County, Napoleon, New Rockford-Sheyenne, South Border and Strasburg-Zeeland.
Hatton-Northwood and Dakota Prairie will be heading to Grafton for a tournament.
Blue Jay bits
The swimming and diving team has a busy week ahead of it. The Jays go to a Grand Forks double dual on Friday night and then compete at the Grand Forks Invite on Saturday. They travel to Fargo Davies on Tuesday in nonconference dual action. … The boys tennis team has a tough one ahead of it with a dual against Bismarck High today. However, Jamestown welcomes in Dickinson High on Saturday in what could be a very competitive dual. It’s scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bolinger Courts. … The boys soccer team plays Century at 2 p.m. Saturday at Rotary Field. … The cross country squads go to the Bismarck Invite on Saturday at McDowell Dam, which is right outside of Bismarck. … The girls golf team competes at the West Region meet on Monday at Prairie West Golf Course in Mandan, where freshman Sierra Bennion recently earned medalist honors.