ALL-STAR: Stilwell with 13 kills, Niemeier with 26 digs but East wins
FARGO -- It took until the 17th point of the fifth set but the East All-Stars were able to hang on to defeat the West All-Stars 25-17, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 17-15 in the Optimist All-Star volleyball game Monday in the Spartandome at Fargo North Hi...
FARGO -- It took until the 17th point of the fifth set but the East All-Stars were able to hang on to defeat the West All-Stars 25-17, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 17-15 in the Optimist All-Star volleyball game Monday in the Spartandome at Fargo North High School.
With the game tied at 10 in the fifth set the East and West traded the next eight points to tie the score 14-14. The West took the next point to go up 15-14. With the game on the line the East got the next three points to win the game 17-15. Alexandra Erickson of Kindred came through with a key kill in the 3-0 run.
"I just knew we were close to winning so I just went up and gave it my all and hit around the blockers and was looking for that last kill," said Erickson who led the East 13 kills and 11 digs.
The West rallied back and won the third and fourth sets to force a fifth set after the East won the first two. The East All-Stars had a 17-12 lead in the third set when the West fought back and took seven of the next eight points to go up 19-18. Jenna Stilwell from Jamestown tallied four kills during the run. The East would come back to tie the set at 23. Another kill from Stilwell gave the West a 24-23 lead. The West sealed set number three by getting a point after a long rally.
The fourth set ended the same as the third. Tied at 23 the West was able to seal the final two points to win 25-23 and force the fifth set.
"It was a well fought battle and we came out on top." said Sarah Hagler of North Star who had 12 blocks and 10 digs for the East. "It could have gone either way but I'm glad it went our way. It was really fun and exciting, really competitive. I love getting in games like that. They're a lot of fun. Especially when the outcome was the way it was."
A tight game should have been expected when the best seniors from Class A and B as voted on by the coaches played against each other.
"You're looking at 24 of the best volleyball players in the state of North Dakota," said East coach Curtis Johnson. "We knew that this was going to be a great match no matter what. It came down to who wasn't going to make errors and both teams played good defense and swung away. It was just a great night."
Julina Niemeier of Jamestown set the record for most digs in Optimist All-Star game history with 26 for the West. The previous record of 25 was set by Blake Selisker of West Fargo in 2009.
The East and West All-Stars will play again Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Bismarck High School.
EAST (kills-blocks-aces): Fraase 7-2-1, Prost 0-0-1 (11 digs), Olson 2-1-1, Waite 5-1-0, Lauren Sandy 1-0-1 (28 assists), Bucholz 3-0-0, Erickson 13-0-1 (11 digs), Jorgenson 6-0-3, Bokinskie 1-2-1, Hansen 0-0-1, Romsdal 6-2-1, Hagler 12-0-0.
WEST: Hasche 10-2-0, Fisher 15-1-0 (38 assists), Suko 8-0-0, Bauman 0-0-0, Stilwell 13-0-0, Niemeier 1-0-1 (26 digs), Nelson 0-2-0, Styer 0-1-0, Murschel 6-1-0, Brown 0-0-2, Bentz 8-1-1, Hewson 2-0-0.