M-L-S earns first state tournament victory

It came a day later than hoped, but the Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood volleyball team won its first Class B state tournament match Friday, defeating Beulah in straight sets in a consolation semifinal.

The apparent nerves from Friday’s match with top-seeded Northern Cass were noticeably absent against the Miners, allowing the Mavericks to play the way that got them to state. The result was a 25-16, 25-23, 25-20 victory at the Minot State University Dome, sending M-L-S to the fifth-place match against No. 2-seeded Thompson today at noon.

“We’re used to the environment and Beulah plays just like everyone in our region, which was good for us because we’re used to playing that kind of a scrappy play,” M-L-S coach Culynn Solloway said. “It was good for us that they played the same way as us.”

M-L-S (27-10) jumped on Beulah early, scoring nine of the first 10 points of the match. Junior outside hitter Callie Carlson recorded three kills during that stretch and seniors Alex Mott and Shania Brackenbury added one each, prompting Beulah coach Kevin Peterson to burn both of his timeouts.

“We weren’t verbal at all and we weren’t moving our feet,” Peterson said. “We earned our way to be here. We just weren’t ready to play. I didn’t like how we were carrying ourselves so I used those two timeouts.”

The Miners (26-14) played better from there, but couldn’t fully recover. Beulah got within 20-16, but errors reared their ugly head down the stretch like they did the night before against Carrington. The Mavericks closed the set winning the final five points.

M-L-S again took the early advantage in the second set as consecutive aces by Brackenbury gave the Mavericks a 5-1 lead. The Mavericks never trailed in the game, but the Miners pulled even three times. Carlson and Mott combined for nine kills in the set.

The Miners turned to junior outside hitter Jaime Murschel, putting the ball on the hand of their best attacker. Murschel recorded six kills, two blocks and an ace in the second set, but it wasn’t enough as Carlson and Mott tallied the final two points to give the Mavericks a 2-0 match lead.

Carlson recorded 12 kills and 21 digs and Mott added eight kills and two blocks.

“We definitely wanted this one a lot because we didn’t want to play for last place,” Carlson said. “It feels good to get the win and make our team proud and make our community proud.”

Murschel finished with 12 kills and 11 digs.

Errors were Beulah’s ultimate downfall again in the third set with the Miners trying to extend the match. The Miners committed 11 miscues in the final game, including three in the match’s final four points. M-L-S tallied the final five points of the match Beulah’s three errors and two kills by senior outside hitter Sierra Smith.

“It feels really good,” Solloway said. “I’m sure the girls will echo me on that it feels amazing to get that first state victory and have our crowd here with us.”

The Miners play Grant County in the seventh-place match at 10 a.m.

Thompson 3,

Grant County 0

Thompson (38-5) looked like the No. 2-seeded team in the Class B state tournament Friday, dominating Grant County in straight sets to advance to the fifth-place match against Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood today at noon.

Sophomore middle blocker Shaice Marx had a match-high 13 kills and senior middle blocker Shannon Galegher added 12 in the 25-14, 25-13, 25-12 victory. Senior setter McKenna DeMoe compiled 25 assists, six aces, six digs and two kills.

Grant County junior middle blocker Sydney Bentz led the Coyotes (28-5-2) with eight kills. The rest of the team combined for nine.