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Kevin Schnepf, Published November 09 2010

North Dakota Class B, Region 1 volleyball tournament: A Tornado turnaround

LIDGERWOOD, N.D. – The Oakes volleyball team has earned the nickname “cardiac kids” for a reason.

“We have had our share of comebacks this year and sometimes it’s too late,” said Oakes head coach Kathy Warren.

It wasn’t too late Monday at the Class B Region 1 tournament.

Trailing 2-0, Oakes rallied for a 3-2 win over Fargo Oak Grove to advance to tonight’s semifinals against Kindred. After losing the first two sets 25-17 and 25-18, Oakes regrouped to win the next three sets 25-23, 25-14 and 15-10.

“We didn’t want to make this our last game,” said Josie Bopp, one of three seniors for Oakes. “We just pulled together.”

The 2-hour, 44-minute match had its share of drama.

Trailing 24-19 in the third set, Oak Grove threatened to end the match by cutting the lead to 24-23. But Oakes hung on to extend the match.

After outscoring Oak Grove 17-6 to win the fourth set, Oakes jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the final set. Oak Grove rallied to tie the score 10-10. Bopp’s tip gave Oakes a 13-10 lead. Her kill made it 14-10. And when Oak Grove was whistled for four hits, Oakes had another come-from-behind win.

“Nothing was clicking in those first two sets,” Warren said. “We just woke up and it started to click”

“You have to give Oakes credit,” said Oak Grove coach Denny Stinar, whose team’s season ends with a 23-12 record. “Their back row played a lot better, and that seemed to spark them a little bit.”

Oakes, now 22-12, is hoping that spark continues tonight against Kindred – a team it lost to 3-0 in the season opener.

“I think we wanted to play Kindred more than anyone else,” said Bopp, who had 21 kills against Oak Grove. “We know they are a very good team. We just want to see if we have improved since that first match of the season.”

OAKES (kills-blocks-aces): Bopp 21-3-2, Warren 9-0-1, Sell 4-0-0, Schmit 0-2-5 (19 assists), Quandt 0-2-0, Breitbach 0-0-0 (17 assists), Skjefte 0-0-0 (3 digs).

OAK GROVE: Selisker 19-2-0, Vandevoort 14-2-2, Christianson 10-0-0, McDonald 0-3-0, Osmundson 0-0-3 (43 assists), Martinson 0-0-2, Rust 0-0-0 (21 digs).

Kindred 3, Lisbon 1

Juniors like Kyla Bugner remember their last region tournament experience. It was an opening-round loss to Lisbon two years ago.

“It was nice we got to play Lisbon right away again and redeem ourselves,” said Bugner, who helped the young Vikings to a 25-20, 18-25, 25-13, 25-10 win.

Bugner is one of six juniors who played as freshmen. After failing to reach regions last year, the Kindred team that does not have one senior on the roster now take a 31-4 record into tonight’s semifinals.

“We’re young but we’re pretty experienced,” Bugner said.

Kindred, which beat Lisbon 2-0 in a tournament earlier this season, started out shaky. But midway through the third set, the Vikings found their groove.

“We came out with a lot of jitters,” said Kindred coach Brooks Dockter. “Actually, for much of the match, I thought Lisbon outplayed us.”

That was until sophomore Kellie Schmit produced six of her 11 kills, one of her three blocks and one of her two aces in the final set. Bugner had two of her four blocks in the final set and ended the match with one of her nine kills.

LISBON: (kills-blocks-aces): Carlson 13-1-0, Manske 7-1-0, Kitchen 6-0-0, Reinke 0-0-3, Urbach 0-0-1 (14 digs), Lorenz 0-0-1, Well 0-0-1, Meyer 0-1-0, Hoaby 0-0-0 (29 assists).

KINDRED: Schmit 11-3-2, Bugner 9-4-0, Dahl 6-3-0, Graff 0-0-1, Perhus 0-0-1, Otterson 0-0-0 (45 assists), Casey 0-0-0 (8 digs).

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549. Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com