ST. PAUL - The No. 4-seeded Nevis Tigers advanced to the Class A volleyball consolation championship, defeating the Martin County West Mavericks, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17, during Friday's consolation semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Hitters Riley Hanson and Megan Norby blasted 18 and 16 kills, respectively, to power the Tiger offense to the three-game sweep.
The Tigers (25-9-1) advance to face Underwood (27-5) at 9 a.m. today in St. Paul.
ELEVATION — Martin County West’s Hailey Leiding (right) elevates off the Xcel Energy Center’s floor to hammer a spike over a pair of Nevis blockers during a Class A state consolation semifinal volleyball match on Friday in St. Paul. Maverick teammate Kate Thiesse watches the action. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
The Mavericks ended their season with a 23-12 overall record.
Nevis showed its firepower early by jumping out to a quick lead. Both teams traded service errors, before Norby and Hanson pounded home their first kills to take a 7-4 lead.
Taryn Tumbleson responded with her own blasts, pounding home a Kennedy Janssen set assist from the back row to make it 10-7, before powering through a double block to make it a two-point deficit.
"That was a fun match for us," said Martin County West head coach Mary Sussenguth. "They had a couple great hitters, but we played a lot better and kept fighting."
A five-point run for Nevis later made it 17-9, but Maverick hitter Hailey Leiding sent a Morgan Williamson set assist to the floor to stop the momentum.
Martin County West's Libbie Lange attacked on a Leiding set assist before an ace from Tumbleson reduced the gap to 17-12.
Both teams traded attacks throughout Game 1, but the Mavericks could not muster a lead as Norby sent down an Olivia Toft set assist for the 25-17 victory.
"I think that we frustrated them a little bit this match. We had our hitters back and playing well, and that was really exciting," said Sussenguth.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick lead in Game 2 behind back-to-back blocks from Denia Brown and Toft.
A tip over the net from Williamson found the floor to give the Mavericks their first point to make it 3-1.
Hanson then made sure the Tigers maintained the lead with four straight kills.
The Mavericks got within six with the help of a Leiding pass just inside the antenna to make it 19-14, but two ace serves from Norby sealed Nevis' 25-16 victory in Game 2.
Martin County West grabbed its first lead of the match on the serving of Leiding, rattling off three straight points at the opening of Game 3.
Jordan Gregory's block, Kate Thiesse's rejection on a Hanson attack and a Thiesse sizzling spike helped the Mavericks take a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers quickly set up Norby to take their first point of Game 3, before Hanson and Brown tied the game at 3-3 with kills.
An ace serve from Norby, followed by a Toft set to Hanson for the kill, gave Nevis a two-point lead.
Tumbleson sent a shot down the line, before Thiesse tipped an overpass down to tie the game at 6-6.
The Tigers took the lead, and never looked back from there. Up 11-8, they rattled off three straight points to take the 14-8 lead.
Lange stopped the run momentarily, blocking a Nevis overpass to make it 14-9.
Trailing 22-16 later in Game 3, Tumbleson and Lange rejected a Hanson attack down to chip away at the Tigers' lead at 22-17.
The Tigers, however, rattled off three straight points to seal the 25-17 game victory to win the match.
"We stayed together as a team in the match, and played much better than the first day," said Sussenguth. "We have some great seniors who set the bar really high and we'll miss them, but now this should be a great experience for our younger girls and hopefully we'll be back here again next year."
Tumbleson finished with six kills, while Thiesse had five for the Maverick offense. Lange and Gregory contributed four kills, while Leiding and Williamson each had three.
Williamson also distributed 16 set assists and made eight digs. Molly Klima led the Maverick defensive effort with 11 digs and Leiding added nine.
Toft doled out 30 set assists in running the Tiger offense.