Lions sweep to state

For the third straight match, the Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock Lady Lions dominated the volleyball court and swept their way into next week's state volleyball tournament in Minot.

For the third straight match, the Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock Lady Lions dominated the volleyball court and swept their way into next week's state volleyball tournament in Minot.

The Lions once again displayed its talented front row dept against the Napoleon Imperials in the championship match of the Region 3 volleyball tournament in Linton on Thursday night.

Linton-HMB's sophomore outside hitter Robin Weber racked up 13 kills and senior middle hitter Lacey Ryckman connected for eight more as the Lions shutdown the Imperials 25-8, 25-11, 25-15.

The District 6 champions didn't lose a set in this year's regional, sweeping both Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal and Ellendale before Thursday's championship, en route to the team's first state tournament appearance. The Lions will face Flasher, the champions of Region 5, in the opening round at the Minot State University Dome at 2 p.m. next Thursday.

"This is so amazing. I'm so proud of our team," Linton-HMB junior libero Paula Nagel said. "We wanted this so bad, it's been our goal since the beginning of the season.


"We never underestimated anyone. We came out and played as hard as we could."

Nagel led all scoring with 26 digs against the Imperials.

Weber and senior defensive specialist Sarah Nagel got things rolling in set No. 1 for the Lions. After being tied at 5-5, Weber put together back-to-back kills and Sarah Nagel blasted an ace through the Imperial defense to help Linton-HMB forge out a 12-6 advantage.

The Lions' Katie Kalberer would later score two of her three aces to help Linton-HMB take the first set 25-8.

The Lions successfully shutdown Napoleon's hitters -- scoring 11 team blocks on the night -- forcing the Imperials out of its offense on numerous occasions. Napoleon hitters Chasity Fettig and Shenille Laber struggled to get shots past, and many attacks went over the net by way of the tip.

Laber led the Imperials with four kills, while Fettig posted just three.

A pair of Kayln Schneider's seven kills aided the Lions to an early 8-4 lead in the second set and a 6-0 run with Christa Nagel serving ballooned Linton-HMB's lead to 16-6. The Lions went on to win 25-11.

Christa Nagel kept things rolling in the final frame with a 3-0 serving run to start the set. The Lions then went on a 5-0 run, highlighted by two kills each by Schneider and Weber, putting the Lions out front 10-4.


Another 5-0 run that included two of Christa Nagel's seven kills increased the advantage to 19-9, sealing the match and the championship for the Lions.

After knocking of the District 5 champion Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 3-2 in the opening round, and Kidder County 3-0 in the semifinals, the Imperials -- who were the No. 4 seed out of District 6 -- finishes the season with an overall record of 21-15.

Kalberer and Whitney Gerving combined for 29 assists in the championship match, while Ryckman and Schneider each posted three blocks. Linton-HMB recorded 82 digs against the Imperials.

Linton-HMB coach Jaime Richter was named the Region 3 Coach of the Year following the match, while Kidder County's Eli Benz was awarded senior athlete of the year honors.

Paula Nagel explained the Lions (31-5) will be taking the same attitude into next week's state tournament that helped them sweep through this week's regional.

"We are going to take it one game at a time, like we did here," Nagel said. "We'll try to do our best and hopefully we'll come up with some wins."

In the third place match, Benz slammed down a match-high 31 kills for Kidder County but it wasn't enough to get past the Ellendale Cardinals.

Meg Martin rolled off 25 kills and nine blocks as Ellendale won a five-set barn burner 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 26-24, 16-14.


Ashley Herman also hit double figures in kills with 11, while teammate Kiley Fuller set up 44 assists in the match. Shalee Martin and Tina Haibeck combined for 33 assists for Kidder County.

Region 3 Tournament at Linton

Championship match

Linton-HMB 3, Napoleon 0

Napoleon 8 11 15

Linton-HMB 25 25 25

Napoleon -- Kills: Shenille Laber 4, Chasity Fettig 3, Sheridon Dewald 2, Alicia Rodlund 1. Aces: Dewald 2, Megan Hilzendeger 1. Assists: Amber Piatz 5, Hilzendeger 4, Rikki Schmidt 1. Blocks: Fettig 2, Laber 1. Digs: Jenna Gross 3, Hilzendeger 3, Rodlund 2, Kayla Gross 2, Piatz 2, Dewald 2, Schmidt 1.

Linton-HMB -- Kills: Robin Weber 13, Lacey Ryckman 8, Christa Nagel 7, Kayln Schneider 7, Alexis Jasper 1, Jessica Weiser 1. Aces: Katie Kalberer 3, Sarah Nagel 1. Assists: Kalberer 16, Whitney Gerving 13, Jasper 4, Paula Nagel 1, Weiser 1, Ashlee Feist 1. Blocks: Ryckman 3, Schneider 3, Jasper 2, Weiser 2, C. Nagel 1. Digs: P. Nagel 26, Feist 9, C. Nagel 9, S. Nagel 7, Weiser 6, Gerving 6, Weber 5, Kalberer 5, Jasper 4, Schneider 2, Lindsey Hulm 2, Ryckman 1.


Records: Linton-HMB 31-5; Napoleon 21-15.

Third-place match

Ellendale 3, Kidder County 2

Ellendale 20 25 23 26 16

Kidder Co. 25 21 25 24 14

Ellendale -- Kills: Meg Martin 25, Ashley Herman 11, Kelsey Mertz 8, Audri Orwig 6, Kiley Fuller 5, Kinsey Holm 5. Aces: Fuller 3, Herman 2, Mertz 1. Assists: Fuller 44, Martin 1. Blocks: Martin 9, Orwig 1, Mertz 1, Holm 1. Digs: Sarah Johnston 9, Herman 5, Fuller 2, Orwig 2, Martin 2, Mertz 1, Holm 1.

Kidder Co. -- Kills: Eli Benz 31, Kelsey Dockter 5, Shalee Martin 3, Bailie Ziesch 3, Amber Rangeloff 2, Tina Haibeck 1. Aces: Dockter 2, Danielle Bosch 2, Rangeloff 1, Alex Schmidt 1, Benz 1. Assists: Martin 19, Haibeck 14, Kristen Eckroth 2, Ziesch 1, Dockter 1. Blocks: Samantha Rangeloff 2, Eckroth 1. Digs: Benz 19, Dockter 18, Martin 17, A. Rangeloff 14, Haibeck 11, Schmidt 5, Ziesch 5, Bosch 4, Eckroth 3.

2009 Region 3 Coach of the Year: Jaime Richter, Linton-HMB


2009 Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year: Eli Benz, Kidder County.

Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at

What To Read Next
Get Local