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Eric Peterson, Published October 30 2010

Top-seeded Central Cass tops Oak Grove at District 2 volleyball

HUNTER, N.D. – Central Cass was challenged early in Friday’s district semifinals at Northern Cass High School, but the Squirrels responded like a top seed.

Senior hitter Jenna Kost smacked 15 kills to spark No. 1 seed Central Cass to a 25-22, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19 victory against Fargo Oak Grove at the North Dakota Class B, District 2 volleyball tournament.

“I think that we didn’t come out as strong as we could have, but we got momentum going and we capitalized when they made mistakes and I think that is really what made us come out on top,” said Kost, who added three aces.

The defending district champion Squirrels (32-7) play Kindred (29-4) on Monday night for the district crown. Oak Grove (21-11) faces Northern Cass (16-13) for third place at 6 p.m. The championship match is scheduled for 25 minutes after completion of the third-place match.

“My guess is that it’s going to go to the wire,” Kindred coach Brooks Dockter said of the title match against Central Cass. “Both teams compete when they play each other.”

The Grovers were in position to win the first set Friday against Central Cass, building a 22-20 lead after a junior Amy McDonald kill on the right side of the net.

“They were hitting at us, tipping at us and mixing up their shots really well and we didn’t adjust our offense like we needed to,” Central Cass coach Dana Stansbury said.

“We got flustered,” Kost added. “They started getting points on us and they got runs. When we get frustrated we just have to move on and blow it off after mistakes.”

That short-term memory approach worked.

The Squirrels scored the final five points in the set for a 25-22 victory. Central Cass junior hitter Courtney Dixon started that key rally with a kill. The Squirrels earned set point on an Oak Grove hitting error.

“That was a big momentum swing,” Oak Grove coach Denny Stinar said. “We had the lead there and we let it slip away at the end. That was a big change in the match.”

Oak Grove rallied for a 25-23 victory in the second set, but the Squirrels seized control from that point.

Central Cass raced to an 18-10 lead in the third set and a 15-6 lead in the fourth and final set. The Grovers didn’t have enough to rally back from either deficit.

Oak Grove senior hitter Logan Selisker finished with a match-high 21 kills and added four blocks. Stinar felt his team played one of its most consistent matches this season, despite the loss.

“All of our girls on the court played well tonight,” Stinar said. “We played like a team.”

Kindred 3, Northern Cass 0

Braidy Dahl had 12 kills and Kellie Schmit added nine kills, seven blocks and three aces to lift the Vikings to a semifinal sweep.

“We did a nice job blocking,” Dockter said. “It changes the way a kid hits the ball. We blocked really well. We defended well and that starts with the block.”

The Jaguars hung close with Kindred early in each of the three sets, but the Vikings were able to rattle off long scoring runs that proved to be the difference.

Kindred finished Set 1 on a 9-1 run. Schmit capped the surge with a kill at set point for a 25-14 win. In the second set, the Vikings went on a 13-1 run that fueled a 25-12 victory.

The Jaguars cut the Vikings lead to 20-18 in the third set after an Alexis Johnson kill. However, Kindred scored 5 of the next 6 points for a 25-19 to close out the match.

“We played really good defense and we blocked good and we just worked together as a team,” Dahl said. “When we get into a rhythm and we really pick up the intensity and feed off each other’s cheering and stuff.”

Central Cass def. Oak Grove 25-22,

23-25, 25-14, 25-19

OAK GROVE: Kills, Selisker 21, VandeVoort 10, Christianson 7. Blocks, Selisker 4, McDonald 1. Aces: Rust 2, Lang 2. Assists: Osmundson 37. Digs: Rust 8.

CENTRAL CASS: Kills, Kost 15, Kraft 9, Dixon 8. Blocks: Kraft 5, Voss 2, Dixon 2. Aces: Kost 3, Marschke 2, Weber 1. Assists: Voss 14, Marschke 7. Digs: Weber 12.

Kindred def. Northern Cass 25-14,

25-12, 25-19

NORTHERN CASS: Kills, Johnson 5, W. Ward 4, Burgad 3. Blocks, none. Aces: C. Ward 1, Spiesz 1, Verwest 1. Assists: C. Ward 8, Erickson 6. Digs: Verwest 14.

KINDRED: Kills, Dahl 12, Schmit 9, Olson 4. Blocks: Schmit 7, Otterson 2, Glasow 1. Aces: Schmit 3, Graff 3, Dahl 2. Assists: Otterson 28. Digs: Casey 19.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com