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Cougars fight past Beulah for semifinal berth

In a matchup as even on paper as it was in real life, fourth-seeded Heart River used a 30-28 third set victory as fuel for a 3-1 match victory over fifth-seeded Beulah in the Region 7 volleyball quarterfinals Monday night at the Knights of Columb...

Heart River middle blocker Becky Binstock attempts to volley the ball over two Beulah defenders Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Heart River middle blocker Becky Binstock attempts to volley the ball over two Beulah defenders Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

In a matchup as even on paper as it was in real life, fourth-seeded Heart River used a 30-28 third set victory as fuel for a 3-1 match victory over fifth-seeded Beulah in the Region 7 volleyball quarterfinals Monday night at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"We played them during the season and went to five sets. We knew we were almost an identical team," said Beulah head coach Brian Filibeck. "(Heart River head coach Hope Klein) and I were talking before the game, saying it sucked that one of us had to go home."

After the Cougars jumped out to a 6-2 first-set lead, they held off the Miners the rest of the way for a 25-17 victory.

Then, when Beulah evened the score at 1-1 with a 25-20 second set victory, the two teams stayed within two points of each other for the entire third set, until Heart River finally put away the Miners with two consecutive points to clinch the 30-28 victory, stealing away the momentum for the rest of the game.

In that set, Beulah had a chance to put it away on three separate occasions, and at one point led 22-20, which prompted a Cougars timeout.

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"Coach just told us that we just needed to play defense and play our game the way we know how," said middle blocker Becky Binstock, who led the Cougars with 19 kills and two blocks. "We just came out and tried to do the next thing right and play how we know how to play, encourage everybody and just be us."

After that timeout, Heart River scored two straight to tie the game, then the lead changed another five times until the Cougars were finally able to sneak two in a row past the Miners for the win.

In the fourth set, the Cougars, still with the adrenaline of the previous set, charged out to a 10-4 lead. The Miners regrouped to pull within one point at 11-10, but Heart River scored the next five points to put away Beulah for good.

"I think in the end, we got a couple of rolls. After the last game we kind of had the momentum going into that third game," said Klein. "It didn't seem - well, they got it back for a little bit there - then for some reason we were able to get it back and extend our lead to eight. With that lead, the momentum was with us."

Heart River moves on to face Dickinson Trinity in the semifinals at 5 p.m. today

Heart River 3, Beulah 1

HR 25 20 30 17 - 3

B 17 25 28 25 - 1

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Kills: HR, Becky Binstock 19, Ashlyn Privratsky 15, Margie Sibernagel 4. B, Jade Schafer 15, Abbey Schantz 10, Hunter Keller 10, Hannah Baranick 9.

Blocks: HR, Binstock 2. B, Alyssa Bjornson 3, Schafer 2, Schantz 2.

Aces: HR, Bailey Olson 3, Afton Shypkoski 2, Jenna Obrigewitch 2. B, Keller 5, Phoebe Garman 4.

Digs: HR, Olson 27, Bayli Krance 25, Binstock 19. B, Garman 39, Kourtney Hintz 23.

Assists: HR, Olson 37. B, Hintz 48.

Related Topics: HEART RIVER COUGARSBEULAH MINERSPREP SPORTS
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