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Published November 14 2010

W-DC in three: Wadena-Deer Creek wins MN Class 2A volleyball title

ST. PAUL – All match long, the question any fan wearing blue and gold kept asking was “What time is it?”

For most of the game it was “Noon” anytime Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball player Brittney Noon got a kill. Yet when the game was over, it went from noon to party time pretty quickly with Wadena-Deer Creek sweeping Hutchinson 25-20, 25-19, 29-27 to win the Minnesota Class 2A state volleyball championship at the Xcel Energy Center.

The win gives the Wolverines their first championship in program history while achieving another first in program history by going 33-0 for an undefeated season.

“It’s unbelievable you think you are going to wake up because you think it’s not true,” said W-DC coach Sue Volkmann. “Our seniors are so dedicated to this program. They coach our little kids and they deserve it and our younger players have also worked hard and they also deserve it.”

The Wolverines made their mark early in the match by getting out to six-point leads in the first two sets.

At times, W-DC got points off Hutchinson (27-4) committing errors. But most of the points just came from the Wolverines executing.

Whether it was Caitlin Volkmann sliding all over the court for a dig or her older sister, Courtney, setting up the perfect pass, everything just seemed to click.

“A lot of what we did came from the passing and if the passing is great, it helps us win games,” Noon said about Volkmann. “Courtney always sets it up great. I don’t know how she does it every time, but she does.”

Hutchinson might have been asking the same question given some of Volkmann’s passes. There were times where Courtney Volkmann, who had 29 assists, would have her back turned to Noon and without even looking at where she was on the court, found her teammate who had a game-high 11 kills.

By the time the ball came anywhere close to Noon, no one had to look at a watch to figure out what time it was.

Noon and Courtney Volkmann’s partnership was so formidable, it was why the duo along with senior Rachel Carlisle was named to the all-tournament team.

The first two sets were quick for the Wolverines, but that third set was a tricky one. Being challenged in the third set is a rarity for the Wolverines because they’ve only lost two sets all season.

W-DC had to play catch up multiple times before tying and eventually winning the set on a soft drop by Courtney Volkmann.

How fitting. The daughter giving her mother, the head coach, her first state title.

Whether it is the Volkmann family or any player, there are a lot of people who felt the Wolverines deserved the success.

They’ve faced questions all year about coming back from the tornado that ravaged and destroyed the town of Wadena in June.

It has been about having their high school destroyed and having to share classroom space at the elementary school and the technical college just down the block.

Or how they’ve had to practice and play home matches at the elementary school gym.

The situation made it easy for the Wolverines to be the sweetheart to cheer for, but they never saw it that way.

Instead, they embraced it by taking a team photo at the front entrance of the high school for the tournament program guide. The photo has players sitting inside door frames that had windows or one player in a trash can. A student manager sat on a piece of debris while the most noticeable aspect of the photo was the yellow tape keeping people away.

“It shows that we’ve had a lot of setbacks as a community and as a school,” Courtney Volkmann said. “But it gives everyone something to be happy about.”

The photo will also give people plenty of memories too because the image was inserted inside the championship trophy, which is customary.

So here they are. A team that in the summer left a volleyball tournament only find out their homes was destroyed by a storm.

Months later, they’re heading home as the state’s best team while battling a snowstorm.

“We all had a goal,” Carlisle said. “It was something we said as sixth-graders that we wanted to win a state championship as seniors. Now that we’ve done it, we want the younger generation we’re working with now to do it too.”

WDC (kills-blocks-aces): Ca. Volkmann 0-0-0 (7 digs), Crawford 10-2-0, Co. Volkmann 6-2-0 (29 assists), Noon 11-1-1, Perkins 0-0-0, Craig 4-4-0, Theisen 0-0-0 (16 digs), Jackson 0-0-0, Carlisle 4-3-0, Miron 6-3-0.

HUTCHINSON: Stamer 0-0-0, Carlson 7-0-1, VanDeSteeg 1-0-0 (31 assists), Tronick 3-0-0, K. Tronick 7-3-0, Zieman 0-0-0 (17 digs), Piechowski 0-0-1, Viesselman 6-4-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548