Bulldogs end Tigers' run
NEW ENGLAND -- For Bowman County, it was just too fitting of an ending to their District 13 playoff tale. After nearly being upset by Beach and escaping Heart River, the Bulldogs were once again in a fight for their tournament lives on Tuesday night.
NEW ENGLAND -- For Bowman County, it was just too fitting of an ending to their District 13 playoff tale.
After nearly being upset by Beach and escaping Heart River, the Bulldogs were once again in a fight for their tournament lives on Tuesday night.
The third-seeded Bulldogs fought off deficits of 20-14, 20-16, and 12-8 to pull out a 25-23, 25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 24-22 upset of top-seeded New England to capture the District 13 volleyball championship.
"I look up at the clock and I see 24-22, and I'm like, we need to keep playing. We have to go to 25," Bowman County coach Kent Harding said. "I forgot we were in Game 5.
"They dug down and won it for us. They don't like to lose. They get after it and they dig down."
Bowman County rallied from 20-14 and 20-16 margins in Games 1 and 2 to take a 2-0 lead heading into Game 3, but just as they had done in their previous two matches, the Tigers had a strong awakening, dominating the two ensuing matches to force a Game 5.
"In Games 3 and 4, our passing wasn't there so our hitters weren't hitting," Harding said.
Once again, the Bulldogs found themselves in a dogfight.
Bowman County fell behind 12-8 in the final game and appeared to have run out of luck at 14-12. The Bulldogs fought off eight New England match points, however, and squandered two of their own before a side out by New England secured the 24-22 win and a No. 1 seed in the Region 7 tournament.
"Over 10 points, it could have gone either way," Harding said. "It was one little thing here or there. It was going to be who made a little mistake at the end. In a way we got lucky. A ball that I thought they could have easily got went by them."
Bowman County was led by junior Allison
Hanson's 20 kills, two aces and four blocks.
The Bulldogs' all-district selection worked the outside posts with kills to quick for the Tiger defenders to dig up.
Bowman County senior Brittany Anderson had an equally strong performance, posting 11 kills, two aces, nine digs and five blocks.
"Bowman is a great team," said Tigers coach Jodi Jung, who was named District 13 coach of the year. "Defensively, they were getting up everything we were hitting. Allison Hanson, she is a great player."
The Tigers were led by a pair of all-District 13 selections. Senior Dana Kuhn stepped up to lead the New England with 21 kills. She also had two aces and 22 digs. Junior Shari Hewson tallied 17 kills, two aces and 29 digs.
"We started off a little slow," Jung said. "We just couldn't get out offense going. We just couldn't get the ball rolling really.
"We finally turned around in Game 3 and started to get the momentum and in Game 5, we just couldn't get over that hump."
The Tigers found themselves in control of the majority of the match, but their inability to close out Games 1, 2 and 5 cost them their third-straight district title. The Tigers held the advantage in Game 1 right up until Bowman County took a 24-23 lead and in Game 2, a 7-1 run by the Bulldogs put them up 22-21.
"It seemed once we hit 20, we were at a standstill," Jung said. "We just couldn't get over that hump there, we almost let up a little bit. Our intensity level seemed to go down a little bit between Games 1 and 2. Our girls did an awesome job hanging in there. I have to give them props."
Wildfire 3, Cougars 0
After a three-day layoff, fourth-seeded Mott-Regent opened Day 3 of the tournament with a 25-20, 25-14, 25-23 upset of second-seeded Heart River to advance to the Region 7 tournament.
The Wildfire were led by senior Heather Landis' 34 assists, 12 digs and three aces. Senior Emily Krauter, who was named the district's outstanding senior of the year, led the Wildfire with 13 kills. Lynae Rambousek led the Cougars with 13 blocks and nine kills.
Black Devils 3, Buccaneers 1
Hettinger became the fourth and final team to qualify for the Region 7 tournament with a 25-15, 15-25, 25-17, 25-19 win over Beach.
Sophomore Gwen Kristy paved the way for the win with her 13 kills, one ace, six blocks and 14 digs. Senior Caitlin Pearson also put forth a strong effort with her eight kills, three aces and 14 digs.
For Beach, sophomore Emily Hardy had 10 kills while senior Therese Hardy posted 17 digs. Junior Teal Waldal had a game-high four aces.