Weather Forecast


Stepping Up: Hamlin helps Loboes reach semifinals

LaMoure-Litchville-Marion's Anna Holen (2) delivers the ball to the net Tuesday against Oakes' Makayla Wetzel (3) and Sadie Hansen during the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Hazelton. Looking on is Ellie Holen. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 3
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion's Ryleigh Podoll (8) and Ellie Holen get a block Tuesday against Oakes' Marisa Garza during the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Hazelton. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 3
Oakes' Claire Wagner (2) and Bailey Skjefte reach for the ball Tuesday against LaMoure-Litchville-Marion during the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Hazelton. John M. Steiner / The Sun3 / 3

HAZELTON, N.D.—LaMoure-Litchville-Marion hiccupped in the second set here Tuesday in the North Dakota Class B Region 3 volleyball semifinals.

But it was nothing a quick drink of water couldn't solve before set 3.

The two-time defending state champion Loboes defeated Oakes 3-1 after committing 14 errors in a 25-20 second-set loss to the Tornadoes. L-L-M (40-1) will face Medina-Pingree-Buchanan (35-3) in Thursday's championship match.

"We were just getting a little too into our heads," L-L-M senior outside hitter Kindra Hamlin said. "We just calmed ourselves down and said, 'Guys we can regroup. Let's just push.' So we just had to really bring it back once we got down."

Hamlin played solid all night. She recorded 15 kills and 13 digs, complementing an 18-kill, four-ace evening from senior standout Anna Holen. Hamlin sent three early kills and an ace to the floor in a 25-14 set 1 victory for the Loboes.

"I just had to come in confident," Hamlin said "Anna's arm is hurting a little bit, so I just knew I had to step up."

But then the second happened. Oakes' Marisa Garza came up with a kill and Taylor Roney added a block to breakup a 20-20 tie in the closing stages.

The Tornadoes' freshman setter Sadie Hansen ended it with a tip-over down for a kill.

"I said if we're going to lose tonight, let's make them work for it," L-L-M coach Laurie Good said. "I felt we went out flat, but they fought hard at the end and I'm proud of how they came out and reacted after that."

A string of four kills by Hamlin in the third helped the Loboes separate 13-7 before winning 25-17. Back-to-back kills by Holen erased a 13-13 tie in the fourth and swung the momentum to the Loboes in a 25-20 set, match win.

Credit Oakes for handing the Loboes two of their eight set losses this season. The Loboes defeated the Tornadoes 3-1 on Sept. 7.

Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Schmitz led the Tornadoes with 15 kills.

"The small details are the things you need to take care of when you're playing a team like that, and we had to be on our very best," Oakes coach Shari Christenson said. "We had some communication errors and we had some nerves.

"But I just loved watching these kids compete. They left it all out on the court."

M-P-B is responsible for the Loboes' lone loss this season. The Thunder topped L-L-M 3-2 in LaMoure on Oct. 24.

The state tournament begins Nov. 16 at the Fargodome

"We just need to bring up our intensity," Hamlin said, "and push all the time."

Region 3 Volleyball Tournament

At Hazelton

Thursday's semifinals

LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 3, Oakes 1

Oakes 14 25 17 20

LLM 25 20 25 25

Oakes—Kills: Nicole Schmitz 15, Makayla Wetzel 8, Marisa Garza 6, Sadie Hansen 3, Alyssa Petersen 2. Aces: Hansen 1.

LLM—Kills: Anna Holen 18, Kindra Hamlin 15, Ellie Holen 11, Ryleigh Podoll 4, Jackie Meiklejohn 4. Aces: A. Holen 4, Meiklejohn 2, Ana Mart, Podoll, Hamlin, Allie Hebl. Blocks: Podoll 3, E. Holen 2, A. Holen, Alyssa Ragan 1. Assists: Meiklejohn 40. Digs: Mart 16, A. Holen 14, Hamlin 13, E. Holen 11, Hebl 9, Meiklejohn 6, Ragan 2, Podoll 1.

Records: LLM 40-1. Oakes 25-10.

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