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Tom Mix, Published November 04 2013

Kindred tops Maple Valley in five sets to avance to Region 1 volleyball tourney

CASSELTON, N.D. – Facing elimination, the Kindred volleyball team found a way to keep its season alive Monday.

Kindred posted a 12-25, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11 win over Maple Valley during a region-qualifying match at the North Dakota District 2 tournament at Central Cass High School.

The Vikings (25-14) battled back after losing the opening set, but found themselves locked into a deciding fifth set with the Raiders.

A loss would have meant the defending Class B champions would watch the rest of the postseason from home.

That didn’t sound appealing to senior middle hitter Tessa Heitkamp.

“We knew in our hearts we could win the match,” said Heitkamp, who finished with a team-high 20 kills. “In the end, we got it done.”

Kindred advances to the Region 1 tournament set for Nov. 11-14 at Kindred High School. The Vikings will be the No. 4 seed from District 2 and play the No. 1 seed from District 1 in the quarterfinals.

“Our top hitter Alexandra Erickson had an off night offensively, but thankfully still found ways to lead the team on the court,” Kindred head coach Kelsey Peterson said. “We needed other players to step up and they did. Tessa Heitkamp had a great match. If there is one thing about our team is the girls are hungry. It doesn’t take much to get them going.”

Erickson added 15 kills for the Vikings. Errors prevented Kindred from seizing momentum in the match and Maple Valley took advantage.

Maple Valley (19-11-2) jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the fourth set. Kindred rallied to make it 16-16, but never took a lead allowing the Raiders to force a fifth set.

Maple Valley sophomore outside hitter Rylee Nudell finished with a match-high 26 kills and added four blocks.

“There were times in the match when Kindred wanted it more and there were times where we wanted it more,” Maple Valley head coach Kasowski said. “At the end Kindred was able to pull through.”

MAPLE VALLEY (kills-blocks-aces): Tinjum 0-0-0 (25 assists), Punton 1-0-1, Berntson 2-0-0, Pautz 0-0-1, Nudell 26-4-0, Kasowski 8-5-0.

KINDRED: M. Braaten 0-0-2 (14 assists), A. Braaten 3-1-0, Heitkamp 20-4-0, M. Erickson 2-1-0, Otterson 0-0-2, A. Erickson 15-1-1, Piatz 3-1-0 (27 assists), Hall 3-0-0, Graff 3-0-3.

Fargo Oak Grove 3, Enderlin 0

Fargo Oak Grove is headed back to the North Dakota Region 1 volleyball tournament.

The Grovers swept Enderlin 25-16, 25-20, 25-10 during a region-qualifying match at the District 2 tournament at Central Cass High School.

Oak Grove (27-8) will be the No. 3 seed from District 2 at the Region 1 tournament. The Grovers will play the No. 2 seed from District 1 in the quarterfinals on Nov. 11.

“Qualifying for the region tournament was one of our team goals,” Oak Grove head coach Jennifer Lopez said. “It feels good to accomplish that.”

Oak Grove dialed up its offense early with senior outside hitter Jenna Zaeske posting seven of her 15 kills in the first set.

“I thought we attacked well early on in the match and I think our passing had a lot to do with that,” Lopez said. “We wanted to end the tournament on a good note and I thought the team did that.”

Senior middle hitter Hannah Kelley added eight kills and two blocks for the Grovers.

Errors kept Enderlin (14-10-5) off balance most of the match. The Eagles committed nine errors on serves, which prevented them from getting on any lengthy scoring rallies.

“We would have been right there with them in Set 2 if we would have made our serves,” Enderlin head coach Faith Friederichs said. “We haven’t missed that many serves in a match all season, so it was upsetting, but the girls did learn from the early mistakes and didn’t make any serving errors in the third set.”

Senior Rachel Osmundson collected three ace serves and three kills for Oak Grove.

ENDERLIN (Kills-blocks-aces): M. Johnson 10-2-1, Rettig 3-3-2, Syverson 1-0-0, N. Bartholomay 1-0-0, Pfaff 0-0-0 (10 assists).

OAK GROVE: Lang 0-0-1, Osmundson 3-0-3, Kounovsky 4-0-0, Zasada 0-0-3, Zaeske 15-0-0, Kelley 8-2-0, Bokinskie 0-1-0 (30 assists), Sharpe 1-0-0, Herzog 0-0-1, Holt 1-0-1.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562