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Published November 11 2010

ND Region 1 volleyball: Kindred nears school history after semifinal win against Oakes

LISBON, N.D. – Four years ago, the Kindred volleyball team finished last place in the district.

That’s the moment a group of young players got together and made a vow to forget about history and to become the first team in Vikings history to advance to the state tournament.

That pact is now close to becoming reality.

Sophomore Kellie Schmit finished with 12 kills to help Kindred to a 25-12, 25-23, 25-23 victory against Oakes in the North Dakota Class B, Region 1 volleyball semifinals Wednesday at Lisbon gymnasium.

The Vikings will face Central Cass in the region title game at about 7:45 p.m. today in Lisbon.

“Kelly Schmit played fantastic. She carried us tonight,” said Kindred coach Brooks Dockter, whose team last advanced to the region title match in 1989. “Every time we needed a big point, she scored one for us.”

Kindred blistered through the Tornadoes in the first set.

However, Oakes pulled things together after its slow start to make it tough on the Vikings the rest of the way.

The Tornadoes were two points from victory in Set 2 when Kindred battled back to take a 2-0 advantage.

Schmit and Braidy Dahl led the charge at the net for the Vikings, who endured ups and downs in its play throughout the night.

But every time it seemed Oakes could make a run, Kindred sealed the deal with a win.

Everything started with setter Jacey Otterson, who finished with 33 assists. Dahl had 10 kills.

“The first game was tough. After that we have been known to come back,” Oakes coach Kathy Warren said. “And we did a little bit, just not quite strong enough.”

Much of Oakes’ inability to come back was due to Kindred’s talented front line and a scrappy back row defense.

Kelsie Perhus had 11 digs, and Dahl and Mikaela Casey finished with eight digs apiece.

“I think they made it progressively tougher, and we made it tough on ourselves,” Dockter said of the Tornadoes. “We played with a lot of nerves. We were ready to play in Game 1. I think as the reality set in of what could happen, or what could possibly happen, it was too much on our minds. We just couldn’t play relaxed.”

KINDRED: Kills: Schmit 12, Dahl 10. Blocks: Bugner 5, Schmit 4, Glasgow 3. Digs: Perhus 11, Casey 8, Dahl 8. Assists: Otterson 33, Schmit 1. Aces: Schmit 1, Casey 1, Perhus 1.

OAKES: Kills: Warren 8, Bopp 7, Sell 4. Blocks: Schmit 2. Digs: Skjefte 1. Assists: Schmit 12, Breitbach 9, Quandt 3. Aces: Warren 2, Bopp 1.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

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