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Tom Mix, Published November 16 2012

Kindred sweeps Linton-HMB in Class B volleyball semis

MINOT, N.D. – Make it two wins all-time at the North Dakota Class B state volleyball tournament for Kindred.

Fresh off its first-ever victory at state on Thursday, The Vikings followed with a 25-13, 25-23, 25-15 win over Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock in the semifinals on Friday at the Minot State Dome.

Kindred senior outside hitter Kellie Schmit paved the way with 18 kills and seven ace serves.

The Vikings (34-10) advance to the play the winner of Park River-Fordville-Lankin and Langdon for the championship at 8 p.m. today.

“I’m so excited that we actually got the chance to be here,” Schmit said. “We came to take first, not second.”

Like most teams playing Kindred this fall, the Lions keyed in on trying to stop Schmit.

Linton-HMB’s block was effective at times against Schmit, but the Lions couldn’t block the 5-foot-11 NCAA Division I North Dakota volleyball commit at the service line.

“I thought Linton did a nice job of taking away some of her options,” Kindred head coach Brooks Dockter said. “They blocked her well to begin with, but she made up for that at the service line.”

Schmit’s jump serve hurt Linton-HMB. At two points in the match, Schmit had back-to-back ace serves.

“We knew their blockers that would be attacking me,” Schmit said. “We knew our other hitters would have to take swings and they did, and they scored.

“We wanted to make it up on the service line serving aggressive. We knew they wouldn’t be ready for that.”

Kindred hasn’t lost a set or a match since a 3-0 loss to Region 1 rival Central Cass on Oct. 30 in the District 2 championship.

The set streak was in jeopardy on Friday when Linton-HMB took a 22-20 lead late in the second set.

A Lions’ error coupled with a Schmit kill and ace serve helped the Vikings retake the lead and eventually the set win.

“We got a little too complacent on tipping the ball in that second set,” Dockter said. “Our game is to take swings. They did a nice job of taking away some of that, but our kids did a nice job of battling back. We came out in that third set after winning a close second set and the kids put it away.”

Alexandra Erickson added 11 kills for the Vikings.

Nicole Nieuwsma posted 14 kills to lead the Lions (26-11).

Linton-HMB head coach Jaime Richter said the Lions’ inability to totally shut down Schmit was ultimately the difference in the match.

“(Kellie Schmit) is the real deal,” Richter said. “She is a phenomenal player. … She is not only a great hitter, but she is a great volleyball player. Right when we think she is going to hit the ball, she’ll score on a tip shot. She is hard to stop.”

KINDRED (kills-blocks-aces): Heitkamp 4-0-1, Ness 0-0-1, Podolak 6-0-0, Allmaras 4-0-1, (35 assists), Schmit 18-0-7 (8 digs), A. Erickson 11-0-0, Braaten 2-0-0.

LINTON-HMB: Gerving 1-0-0 (23 assists), Larson 0-1-0, Nieuwsma 14-0-0, Flyberg 3-0-0 (8 digs), Beck 1-1-0, Haak 3-0-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562