Weather Forecast


Sabinash Strong: Senior hitter comes up clutch for M-P-B

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Lauren Moser and Eva Reich (12) go up for a block Tuesday against Carrington's Emerson Hoornaert during the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Hazelton. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 3
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Halle Uehran delivers one across the net against Carrington's Kadyn Mehring (3) and Addison Hoornaert Tuesday during the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Hazelton. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 3
Carrington's Emerson Hoornaert delivers a kill against Medina-Pingree-Buchanan during the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Hazelton. John M. Steiner / The Sun3 / 3

HAZELTON, N.D.—Taylor Sabinash had just about enough Tuesday night.

The senior middle hitter for Medina-Pingree-Buchanan took it upon herself to emphatically close a thrilling fifth set in the North Dakota Class B Region 3 volleyball semifinals. The Thunder found Sabinash for the final two points, lifting M-P-B to a 17-15 set, 3-2 match victory over Carrington.

The Thunder (35-3) will play LaMoure-Litchville-Marion (40-1) in the title match Thursday.

"It was just going through my head that this could be the very end of your season," Sabinash said. "You have to do this for yourself. You have to do this for the child growing up loving this sport.

"I just played for my team. I didn't know anything else to do but play for them,"

The Thunder stormed out to an 11-1 lead in the deciding final frame. But Carrington, as they did all night, battled back.

The Cards rode a 14-4 run, behind blocks from Bella Hone and McKenzie Johnson late in the rally, to tie the set at 15-all. But up stepped Sabinash.

"She definitely was clutch for us," M-P-B coach Jacie Connell said. "We can always count on her to get a kill for us, so I knew that's where that ball had to go."

The Thunders' large lead to start was backed by four kills from Halle Uehran, two blocks and a kill by Sabinash and two ace serves by Megan Moser. But Carrington nearly overcame the impossible.

"I asked the girls, 'Do you want to be part of the greatest comeback ever here? Win this set,'" Carrington coach Dale Peaslee said. "And, we almost did. We talk about leaving everything on the floor and I thought we did."

The Cardinals lost to the Thunder for the fifth time this season. M-P-B topped Carrington three times during in-season tournament play.

"This year we are doing a phenomenal job being mentally tough," Connell said. "It showed tonight."

M-P-B dealt LaMoure-L-M its only loss of the season, 3-2 on Oct. 24 in LaMoure. The winner Thursday heads to the Fargodome on Nov. 16 to play in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

"We just have to play our hardest," Sabinash said. "We know our abilities, we just have to pull through. I know we can do it."

Region 3 Volleyball Tournament

At Hazelton

Thursday's semifinals

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 3, Carrington 2

CAR 14 25 10 25 15

MPB 25 20 25 22 17

CAR—Aces: Emerson Hoornaert 2. Assists: Addison Hoornaert 34. Blocks: Bella Hone 2.5, Kadyn Mehring 2, A. Hoornaert 2. Kills: McKayla McIntosh 14, Hone 12, E. Hoornaert 7. Digs: E. Hoornaert 24, McIntosh 23, A. Hoornaert 17.

MPB—Kills: Taylor Sabinash 16, Halle Uehran 27, Megan Moser 11. Digs: Uehran 31, Moser 29, Janya Huff 38. Blocks: Sabinash 3. Aces: Sabinash 3, Uehran 2, Moser 2. Assists: Hannah Bohl 48.

Records: MPB 35-3. Carrington 27-10.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

(701) 952-8461