Published November 18 2010
ND state volleyball: Central Cass returns to prominence as Region 1 champs
And that gift of gab has helped tremendously on the court.
“This is a very chatty group,” said Squirrels coach Dana Stansbery, whose team will face Stanley at 8 p.m. today in the first round of the North Dakota Class B state tournament at the Minot State Dome. “They know that it is the way they are going to learn and it’s the way they are going to win.”
A traditional Region 1 power, Central Cass has been on the outside looking in since its last state appearance in 2004.
It’s been tough to swallow for a school used to dominance. The Squirrels have represented the region at state 12 times in the last 20 seasons.
Stansbery said she knew at the end of last season that this team could end the five-year drought. Central Cass played through early ups-and-downs but put things together during the postseason.
“I think we’ve peaked at the right time,” senior outside hitter Jenna Kost said. “Some teams peak at the middle of the season, and I think when it came to be tournament time, we were right on.”
The Squirrels blended their near-perfect communication skills with a great game plan to capture the Region 1 title.
Central Cass was calm under pressure during a five-set victory against Wyndmere-Lidgerwood last week in the region semifinals.
The team never tightened up. And the players continued to be as talkative as ever. Then everything went right for the Squirrels in a 3-0 win against Kindred in the region title match.
Again, the team was chatty.
“We have great chemistry,” junior middle blocker Courtney Dixon said. “We’re all very outgoing. We love to talk outside of volleyball. Then, when it comes to the court, we talk a ton.”
Dixon said the team is anxious to add to the already lengthy Central Cass legacy.
“We looked up at the banner (in the high school gymnasium) and we knew we wanted to change it,” she said. “We knew we wanted to see 2010 up there this year.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.
Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com