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Chris Murphy, Published November 01 2012

Barnesville vaults to Section 6 title match

HAWLEY, Minn. – It’s been nearly three decades since Barnesville has gone to state for volleyball.

“I mean, my mom was a junior in high school, so that shows how long ago that was,” Barnesville middle hitter Sydney Boom said. “It gives us so much motivation to get to that state tournament.”

Barnesville made one huge step toward breaking the drought, sweeping a team that had been to state the last two seasons in Ada-Borup 25-23, 25-23, 25-23 Thursday and punching a ticket to the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 championship Saturday in Hawley.

In Set 3, Holly Vancura and Taylor Gunderson formed a wall that would wouldn’t have let a boulder through, let alone a volleyball. And an Ada-Borup (21-9) kill attempt ricocheted off the Vancura-Gunderson wall and fell to the ground on the Cougars side to clinch Set 3 for Barnesville (28-2). It was a fitting ending to a set that saw Vancura smash seven of her team-high 14 kills.

“We know that this is the year we can actually go to state, and now we’re so close,” Vancura said. “We knew we were going to have to go through Ada, and our energy was so high through the game, and we just kept it going. I hope it happens. We’re just so close.”

As close as Barnesville is now to getting to state, a couple bounces the other way and Ada-Borup would be in line to head to state for the third consecutive season. It was everything a match between a top seed and a No. 2 seed in a sub-section should be.

“They certainly didn’t make it easy,” Barnesville coach Megan Askegaard said. “It’s a confidence booster because Ada has been there before, and we knew we were going to have to go through them. You could tell the girls didn’t want to give up.”

After Ada-Borup took an 8-7 lead in Set 1, Barnesville did not regain the lead until an ace from Trista Ackerson found the floor to give the Trojans a 23-22 lead. In Set 2, the Trojans saw a 24-21 lead nearly turn into a 24-24 tie before a Taylor Peterson kill sealed it. Before Vancura and Gunderson paired up to end Set 3, the Trojans saw a 22-20 lead turn into a 23-23 tie.

“We’re the type of team that might get down once in a while, but we always find a way to work back up,” said Boom, who had eight kills. “We’re just really ecstatic right now.”

One team’s joy is another team’s tears in the postseason.

“When you lose 25-23 three times in a row, it’s a point-by-point match,” Ada-Borup coach Ruth Hayden said. “We gave up some runs, and when you’re playing a good team, you can’t do that. They deserve it. They’ve played very consistent all year.”

One school’s drought has become this Barnesville team’s goal.

“The 30 years thing is motivation,” Vancura said. “It’s so motivation.”

AB (kills-blocks-aces): Kolness 17-1-1, Lee 7-4-0, Poehler 5-1-0, Vander Linden 4-2-0, Vega 0-0-0 (17 digs), Stevenson 0-0-0 (15 assists).

B: Vancura 14-2-0, Boom 8-0-0, Lentz 5-0-0, Ackerson 2-0-2, Peterson 3-0-1, Halverson 2-0-2 (18 assists), Aakre 1-1-0, Anderson 0-0-1 (14 digs), Gunderson 0-3-0

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548