Although the start of the District 12 volleyball tournament did not go as they had hoped, the Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood Mavericks, Surrey-Sawyer Mustangs, Berthold Bombers and Glenburn Panthers had a chance to advance to a qualifying match for the regional tournament. with a win on Friday night.
Now entering a win-or-go-home scenario, emotions and energy were high when these teams hit the court as they set their sights on returning for another game on Monday. First up were the Mavericks and Mustangs, who got the party started on Friday.
The Mustangs jumped out of the gates with a six-point lead thanks to a handful of kills from Harli Dickman, which forced the Mavericks to take an early timeout in the first stanza. After the break, Arianna Dew made an acrobatic dig and Mia Aberle began adding kills of her own as the Mustangs quickly took control.
Extending the lead to double digits, the Mustangs stayed in control and took the first set by a 25-12 finish. Late in the first set and early in the second set, Mekenzie Neighbors began to make her presence known at the net, racking up multiple kills as the Mustangs took an immediate lead in the second set.
Likewise, the Mustangs took a double-digit lead at 14-4 in the second set as they had no trouble setting up their offense and taking advantage of Mavericks mistakes. Behind the serve of Graclyn May and a kill from Kendra Adams, the Mavericks battled back.
They continued to battle with Jamie Thompson and Ginger Savelkoul picking up a variety of points at the net, cutting the Mustangs’ lead to 21-16. However, the early deficit was too much to overcome as the Mustangs took set two 25-17.
In another back-and-forth affair in the third set, the Mustangs held a 12-10 lead, but the Mavericks kept fighting and made the Mustangs talk. The break did not slow the Mavericks down as they took a 14-12 lead.
The Mavericks got stronger as the game went on, but the Mustangs’ powerful punch at the net proved to be too much as the Mustangs took set three 25-15 to sweep the Mavericks. With the win, the Mustangs will face the loser of the Bishop Ryan game and Des Lacs-Burlington.
Harli Dickman (18), Mekenzie Neighbors (7) and Mia Aberle (4) led the Mustangs in kills, Dickman (3) led the way in aces and Kaitlyn Reiter (12), Aberle (11) and Dickman (8) . ) conducted in excavations.
The Mavericks were led by Jamie Thompson (6), Isabell Buynak (3) and Kendra Adams (2) in kills, Adams (4) was the leader in aces, and Emma Southam (31) and Rilynn Beck (12) to lead the path in the excavations.
Ready for their chance to move one step closer to a regional tournament bid were the Bombers and Panthers who took to the court next. Both teams couldn’t control their emotions early as there were errors at both ends in a 6-6 tie to start the first set. The Bombers’ Reidun Askvig and the Panthers’ Emma Jones provided the highlights in net, but still, neither team could establish much of a lead.
With their biggest lead at five points, the Bombers looked to pull away in the first leg. A handful of Panthers hitting errors would push the lead to seven points at 20-13 as they closed in on a first set win. A timely kill by Mya Neshem and a serve by Kasey Simons would help the Bombers close out the first set with a 25-15 win.
Spectral to a similar start to the second set, an 11-8 run by the Bombers was their biggest as both teams struggled to get into a groove. The Panthers’ Ella Post would help keep her team going throughout the set, but the Bombers held a five-point lead at the end and looked like they weren’t about to let it slip away.
The serving prowess of Sophi Cunningham and DeAnna Heinze down the stretch helped the Panthers push to a 21-21 final tie where they would force the Bombers into plays. It worked in the Panthers’ favor as they took two sets 25-22.
With it now anyone’s game with no advantage, an already intense match was taken to another level as both teams were hungry to win the third set. It was again the Bombers who had the early lead with an 11-7 start. The Panthers, however, again showed late fight as they went on a 10-3 run to take a 17-13 lead.
Now was the time for a late push for the Bombers, who got a boost from the services of Autumn Haaland to go on a 12-6 run in the final points to win the third set 25-23. In a match where even the tiniest bit of momentum could make a significant difference, the third-set win made it feel like the momentum was back on the Bombers’ side.
Sensing the momentum shift, a pair of mistakes by the Panthers would see them trail 14-8 to start the fourth set and take a timeout to regroup. The Bombers would continue to add to their lead after the break, using a back-to-back attack and aces to maintain control.
They came out victorious in an exciting battle were the Bombers, who won the third set 25-15 and will play on Monday. The Bombers will face the loser of the game Our Redeemer’s and South Prairie-Max.
The Bombers were led by Kasey Simons (17), Mya Neshem (8) and Aubree Schepp (2) in kills, Autumn Haaland (2) and Macey Moore (2) in aces, and Teegyn Anderson (25), Moore (20 ). ), Neshem (19) in excavations.
Emma Jones (18), Valerie Stevens (5) and Ella Post (4) led the Panthers in kills, DeAnna Heinze (5), Jones (1) and Brooklyn Heinle (1) in aces, and Jones (26) , Stevens (23) and Hallie Matehs (11) led the team in digs.
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