FARGO — Shiloh Christian didn’t have much problem at the beginning or through the middle of its match against Thompson on Thursday at the Fargodome.
The Skyhawks struggled at the end, however, and that was the difference in a 3-0 quarterfinal at the state Class B volleyball tournament.
Shiloh led 14-12 in the first set; 11-7 in the second and 13-7 in the third, but was unable to extend the match past three. Thompson, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, faces second-seeded Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich in the semifinals today.
“We seemed to hit a wall a few times and couldn’t quite get over it,” Shiloh co-head coach Lisa Wingerter said. “The girls came out strong. At times, we played really well, but every team at the state tournament is very good and it’s not easy to win.”
Wingerter said her Skyhawks struggled to solve the Tommies at the net.
“We struggled with their block. They have great blockers and we couldn’t get around it consistently enough,” Wingerter said. “We tried some different things, but we couldn’t quite do enough to break through.”
Shiloh was in position to take an early lead. A kill by Graycin Wanzek and a pair of Thompson errors knotted the opening frame at 23-all. Wanzek led the Skyhawks in kills (11) and blocks (3.5).
But Macy Jordheim terminated to put Thompson on top and an error by the Skyhawks closed out the opening set, 25-23.
Thompson jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the middle game, but the Skyhawks came storming back. Consecutive kills by Jesse Ebach and Brittan Grubb, followed by an ace from Rachel Mischel put Shiloh on top 11-7.
But Thompson reeled off 14 of the next 18 points to surge out front, 21-15. Ebach got Shiloh within 23-21 off a clever feed from Josey Griess, but an error and a booming spike from Izzy Shirek ended it.
Lisa Strand, coach of the Tommies, said her team rarely panics.
“We have a pretty resilient group. They don’t get too high or too low in any situation,” she said. “As long as the score was still in the teens, I don’t get too concerned. It’s a different story if it’s in the 20s, but our kids just keep playing whether things are going good or not so good.”
They proved that in the third set.
Shiloh led 18-13, but the Tommies again got hot, scoring 10 of the next 11 points. Kailen Dolleslager delivered three kills in the run. Dolleslager was one of four Thompson players with at least seven kills. Taylor Zak was a force at the net with 5.5 blocks.
“The girls trust each other. They believe in each other,” Strand said. “When you play together as long as some of these girls have, you develop that type of mentality that you feel like eventually something positive is going to happen.”
Despite the loss, Wingerter expects her team to rally today against Watford City.
”When you lose in the first round of the state tournament you can’t get down, you still have to keep fighting in the consolation rounds and have a good showing,” Wingerter said. “We’ll be excited to play tomorrow.”
LANGDON AREA-E-M 3, WATFORD CITY 0
Callie Ronningen totaled 17 kills and 3.5 blocks in leading Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich to a 3-0 win over Watford City in the first match of the day.
The Wolves were held under 20 points in all three sets.
Avery Sundeen led Watford City in digs (21) and aces (3). Tia McGorman hit eight kills, while Morgan Rolfsrud passed out 18 assists.
The Cardinals served 12 aces in three sets of action. Calyn Crockett and Jordyn Worley had three aces each.