Patriots, Bruins advance to semifinals

MINOT -- A.J. Jacobs' jump serve has been inconsistent this season. On Thursday, it was consistently producing points for Bismarck Century in its 25-21, 25-22, 25-16 sweep of Devils Lake.

Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor Fargo South's Meghan Roehrich spikes against Williston in the quarterfinal round of the state volleyball tournament on Thursday in Minot. South won 3-1.

MINOT -- A.J. Jacobs' jump serve has been inconsistent this season. On Thursday, it was consistently producing points for Bismarck Century in its 25-21, 25-22, 25-16 sweep of Devils Lake.

Jacobs had eight service aces with her powerful shot as the Patriots swept Devils Lake 25-21, 25-22, 25-16 in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota state Class A girls high school vol-leyball tournament.

"She's been working on her jump serve all season," Century coach Jeni Walsh said. "She's been on the stage with it, or hitting officials. But she got it going last weekend, thank good-ness."

Devils Lake coach Julie Faul said Jacobs' serving provided more than points. "That jump serve hurt us. We tried to prepare for it, but we still were caught back on our heels. And the whole game is momentum -- if one person does something, it carries over."

Devils Lake qualified for state after taking the No. 7 seed into the East Region tournament. The Firebirds were close early against Century, the No. 1 seed from the West Region, as the teams were tied at 20 in the first game. But Century closed on a 5-1 run.


The Patriots followed with a 10-4 start to the second game, with Jacobs serving in a 7-0 run, three of the points on aces. Devils Lake rallied to within 23-21 and 24-22 before a Madi Buck kill finished it for a 2-0 Patriots advantage.

"Devils Lake came in on a roll," Walsh said. "And they kept it going. They gave us all they had and stayed close. I felt whoever pulled out it (in the first game) would have the momen-tum the rest of the way."

Jacobs and Carli Peterson had 12 kills each and Buck 11 for the Patriots. Mackenzie Wade had a match-high 14 kills for Devils Lake, with Steph Mertens adding 11.

The win snapped a two-game winning streak for the 10-21 Firebirds. Century, meanwhile, extended its winning streak to 11 straight matches while improving to 32-5.

Bismarck Century 3, Devils Lake 0

BIS. CENTURY 25 25 25

DEVILS LAKE 21 22 16

Century (kills-blocks-service aces) -- Briana Hildebrand 0-0-0 (5 assists), Markie Henry 2-1-0, Erika Jossart 0-0-2 (14 digs), Danielle Weisz 1-0-0, Madi Buck 11-1-0, A.J. Jacobs 12-0-8, Carli Peterson 12-1-0, Tyler Loraas 0-0-2 (27 assists).


Devils Lake (kills-blocks-service aces) -- Taylor Wade 4-0-0, Autumn Wang 0-0-0 (9 digs), Kasi Eisenzimmer 1-0-0 (33 assists), Steph Mertens 11-1-1, Ashley Sebelius 3-0-0, Maren Rygh 6-1-0, Mackenzie Wade 14-0-0 (9 digs).

Fargo South 3, Williston 1

South was up 2-0 in games and 17-11 on the scoreboard in the third. But Williston made a late run to make the outcome interesting as South claimed a 25-20, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23 win.

South trailed only once in the first two games, at 3-2 in the opener, and went on a 7-1 run to build its 17-11 advantage in the third. "Then I don't know if we went on cruise control or what," South coach Tonah Safranski said. "Williston picked up its game. And I think we got a little tight. We made more errors. I was glad to see us pull it out.

"It seemed like as the match went on, Williston started hitting harder and put us more on our heels. I was very happy with the way we played the first two games."

The Bruins also led 15-10 in the fourth game, only to see Williston rally to a 21-18 lead. But two kills each by Meghan Roehrich and Raquel Wellentin sparked South to a match-closing 7-2 run.

Siri Burck paced South with 12 kills, five service aces and four blocks. Roehrich and Kara Simonson added nine kills each.

Ashley Slade's 11 kills led the Coyotes offense. Williston coach Rebecca Waitman cred-ited middle hitters Laura Maleckar (eight kills) and Danielle Clarke (four kills) for the late surge.


Even when Williston was down 17-11 in the third, "I felt we had a shot,' Waitman said. "We started shooting it to our middles. They played well."

Williston dropped to 20-13, while South improved to 23-11.

Fargo South 3, Williston 1

FARGO SOUTH 25 25 23 25

WILLISTON 20 13 25 23

Fargo South (kills-blocks-service aces) -- Jillian Bethke 1-0-1, Haley Boisjolie 0-0-3 (25 as-sists), Laurel Striegel 5-0-3, Siri Burck 12-4-5, Abby Carlson 7-0-1, Allison Fisher 0-0-0 (17 digs), Meghan Roehrich 9-2-2, Kara Simonson 9-0-0, Raquel Wellentin 2-0-0.

Williston (kills-blocks-service aces) -- Ashley Slade 11-0-1, Taylor Owan 6-1-1 (25 digs), Laura Maleckar 8-1-2, Cassandra Thomas 2-0-0, Danielle Clarke 4-0-1, Kourtney Sundby 0-0-2, Jaden Lynch 4-0-1 (23 assists), Jaclyn Lee 8-1-0.

Greg DeVillers is a sports writer for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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