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Tom Mix, Published November 03 2012

Underwood wins Class 1A, Section 6 volleyball title

HAWLEY, Minn. – The Underwood volleyball team has waited since 2004 to make it to the state tournament.

It wasn’t about to waste any more time waiting on Saturday night.

The Rockets jumped out to a two-set lead and punched their ticket to state by sweeping Barnesville 26-24, 25-19, 25-17 in the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 championship match at Hawley High School.

During the break after the second set, Underwood stressed the importance of closing out the match.

“We decided in the huddle that we need to dig deep and get it right away,” Underwood senior outside hitter Carly Masloski said.

Masloski finished with 16 kills, one block and an ace serve to pace the Rockets (28-4).

“She has had a solid season,” Underwood head coach Diane Ross said of Masloski. “She has been our go-to girl all year. She puts the ball away.

“I’m glad our team gets to go to state and showcase our talent.”

Underwood advances to the state quarterfinals set to begin Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

After two highly competitive sets with the Trojans, the Rockets closed the match out well aware Barnesville could rally.

“We won the first two, but we couldn’t let up because (Barnesville) is a solid team with a lot of energy and could have easily came back,” Ross said. “The girls played hard and we probably played our best defense of the year.”

Kaitlyn Holen added 14 kills for the Rockets.

The Trojans (28-3) were plagued by errors the entire match.

“We had way too many errors,” Barnesville coach Megan Askegaard said. “We played not to lose instead of playing to win. We got a little too tentative and were not as aggressive as we were in the first two sets. It came down to Underwood putting the ball away.”

Askegaard was named Section 6 coach of the year.

Holly Vancura finished with 12 kills and 13 assists for Barnesville.

UNDERWOOD (kills-blocks-aces): Holen 14-1-0 (14 digs), Masloski 16-1-1, Mortenson 0-2-0, Johanson 0-1-0, Obright 2-0-0, Biegler 8-2-0, Fitzgibbons 0-1-2 (35 assists)

BARNESVILLE: Anderson 1-0-0, Aakre 1-0-0, Lentz 5-0-1 (6 digs), Boom 8-2-2, Vancura 12-2-0 (13 assists)

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562