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Holen leads LaMoure back to 'B' title match

FARGO--LaMoure's Anna Holen is lethal from every inch of the volleyball court. The two-time all-state outside hitter unleashed against Langdon-Edmore-Munich in the Class B state semifinals on Friday at the Fargodome. Holen posted a match-high 34 ...

Anna Holen of LaMoure spikes against Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich during the semifinal round of the North Dakota Class B Volleyball Tournament on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, at the Fargodome.Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Anna Holen of LaMoure spikes against Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich during semifinal play of the Class B state volleyball tournament on Friday at the Fargodome. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO-LaMoure's Anna Holen is lethal from every inch of the volleyball court.

The two-time all-state outside hitter unleashed against Langdon-Edmore-Munich in the Class B state semifinals on Friday at the Fargodome. Holen posted a match-high 34 kills in a 3-1 triumph over the Cardinals that has the Loboes heading back to the state championship match.

LaMoure will attempt to defend its state title tonight at 8 p.m. against Minot Our Redeemer's Christian School.

"You pretty much throw the ball up in the air and you know she's gonna go up and get it," said LaMoure junior setter Jackie Meiklejohn, who has already posted over 3,700 career assists. "I can depend on all my hitters, too. It's one big team.

"But it's so nice to be able to toss a ball up to a hitter that can just crush it every time."

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Holen was crushing it from both the front row and the back against the Cards, and she also knew when to find the weak spot in the defense with a dump to the floor. The rematch of last year's state championship game between LaMoure and Langdon, where Holen set a title-match record 31 kills, had an identical 3-1 final score.

"It's tough to get a ball down on them. They're an incredible team and she's an incredible player," Langdon coach Rich Olson said of Holen and the Loboes. "But I really thought that was the toughest serving we've faced all year. They hit their seams, they served short, they served deep. They pretty much had us out of system all night long."

The Cardinals' two-time all-state senior Madison Hart wound up with 22 kills, 17 digs and four aces, which helped keep Langdon viable throughout the match. She scored four kills and an ace during an 11-3 run to close the first game with a 25-23 Cardinal victory.

LaMoure senior libero Kallene Klever and the LaMoure defense was kept busy all night, but ultimately it was all Loboes thereafter.

"They're coming hard, but you've just got to get there to get the pass up to the setter and to the hitters," said Klever, who finished with 18 digs. "It's unbelievable. We just had to come out with confidence, slow down the ball and play our game."

LaMoure jumped out to quick leads in the second and third games, but the Cardinals were able to claw back to tie the sets at 19-all and then 23-all, respectively. The Loboes closed out the second game 25-23 behind a kill from Holen and a block assist by Holen's younger sister, freshman Ellie Holen.

In the third, Anna again ended things 25-23 with an undefendable ball to the back corner of Langdon's side and a slam off the Langdon block and down for set point. Meiklejohn finished with 44 assists, while teammate Kindra Hamlin posted a match-high 26 digs.

"The girls just made some amazing plays," LaMoure coach Laurie Good said. "We played defense like we needed to and it happened.

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"We knew it was going to be a real tough match," Good added. "Langdon has been here a whole ton of times and Rich is a great coach."

The Cardinals began to run out of steam in the end, allowing the Loboes to jump out front 7-1 in the fourth. LaMoure dominated the final game 25-14.

Rachel Hill finished with 40 assists for the Cardinals. Callie Ronningen added 11 kills.

"They just made plays when the pressure was on and give them a lot of credit for that," Olson said.

The Loboes (35-3) know what they're up against tonight against Our Redeemer's (42-2). The Knights handed LaMoure one of its three losses earlier this year in the championship match of the Volley In The Valley tournament in Casselton.

"At the beginning of the year our dream was to get back to the state championship," Klever said. "We're just going to play our hearts out (tonight)."

LaMoure 3, Langdon-Edmore-Munich 1

Langdon 25 23 23 14

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LaMoure 23 25 25 25

Langdon-Aces: Madison Hart 4, Rachel Hill 1, Jordyn Worley 1, Callie Ronningen 1, Madison Pritchard 1. Assists: Hill 40, Hart 2, Pritchard 1, Arynn Crockett 1. Kills: Hart 22, Ronningen 11, Sydney Ellington 5, Worley 4, Tara Hiller 2, Hill 1. Blocks: Hill 1, Hart 1, Ronningen .5, Hiller .5. Digs: Hart 17, Worley 17, Ellington 16, Ronningen 16, Hill 6. Pritchard 5, Hiller 2.

LaMoure-Ace: Ana Mart 3, Jackie Meiklejohn 3, Kindra Hamlin 1. Assists: Meiklejohn 44, Kallene Klever 2, Anna Holen 1. Kills: A. Holen 34, Ellie Holen 8, Hamlin 5, Meiklejohn 1. Blocks: A. Holen 2.5, Hamlin 2, Alyssa Thielges 1, E. Holen .5, Alyson Rodin .5, Meiklejohn .5. Digs: Hamlin 26, Klever 18, A. Holen 16, E. Holen 14, Meiklejohn 9, Mart 2.

Records: LaMoure 35-3; Langdon 41-3.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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