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Flasher team to beat in Region 5 volleyball tournament

Flasher team to beat in Region 5 volleyball tournament


Flasher's Tymber Boldt (9) and Hannah Roth (11) put up a block against Shiloh's Malina Reynolds. The Bulldogs boast a 30-3 record heading into the Region 5 volleyball tournament in New Salem. The tournament begins today.

Flasher brought a bull's-eye to Monday's Region 5 tournament in New Salem.

Winning 30 of 33 matches in a season will do that.

Coach Jerlyn Gabrielson's Bulldogs are the odds-on favorite to advance to next week's state tournament at the Fargodome. 

"We have a big target on our back," said Gabrielson, who has taken Flasher to state six times previously. "We have to take it play by play. One set at a time."

The formula has worked to smashing success this season for the Bulldogs, who feature four seniors -- Camryn and Coral Alt, Darbee Heinle and Hannah Roth -- with a good mix of underclassmen sprinkled in.

The sparking 30-3 record gets very little attention inside their walls.

"It's not something we emphasize or really talk about," Gabrielson said. "The girls get asked about it from time to time, but they do a really good job of just focusing on the daily aspects of trying to have a good season. They're very coachable. They work hard, they treat each other well and they're unselfish.

"We're very fortunate to have a nice group of kids that are also talented athletically."

Flasher has not lost a five-set match all season and went a perfect 10-0 in Region 5 play. They've lost one match the last 2 1/2 months.

"The girls know that as the season has gone on and as they've done so well, other teams want to knock us down, but they've done a really good job of keeping their edge," Gabrielson said.

The Bulldogs excel in all areas, but particularly offensively where the Alt twins, Tymber Boldt and Faith Marion provide more firepower than most teams can match. 

"I think the real story for us is our balanced hitting," Gabrielson said. "Those girls share the ball and do a really good job. They're very happy for each other when the others do well."

Marion's 149 kills lead the Bulldogs. Boldt has 147 and Coral Alt 129. Juniors Peyton Black and Leandra Schmidt share the right-side hitter position. Gabrielson credited both players' play and unselfishness.

Roth triggers' the Bulldogs' 5-1 offense from her setter position. She has 492 assists on the season.

"Hannah has been able to deliver the ball very effectively," Gabrielson said. "We've been able to add a few new wrinkles during the season."

The balanced hitting is supplemented by strong serving. The Bulldogs have served 258 aces. Coral Alt's 60 lead the way. Roth has 57.

Scoring against Flasher's size has proven challenging for its opponents.

Camryn Alt goes 6-foot-2, while Boldt, Coral Alt and Marion add to a firm wall at the net. The versatile Boldt leads in both blocks (55) and digs (203). Camryn Alt has 54 blocks. 

"I think we were more surprised and pleased with our defense around our block," Gabrielson said. "You can't always count on the block alone. The rest of the defense has to have good eye-work and cover the rest of the floor. We've been able to do that pretty consistently."

Flasher, which plays the first quarterfinal match Monday against host New Salem at 3 p.m., last went to the state tournament in 2012.

Gabrielson ranks the current version of the Bulldogs among the best she's coached, but isn't banking on anything just yet.

"I've coached a lot of good teams in Flasher but I don't know that we've had quite so much talent in having as many different girls that are good players as we have this year," she said. "This team isn't going to look past anybody. There is really good competition in Region 5 with so many good players and good coaches. Everybody is hungry. Nobody wants to be finished."

Flasher advanced to the region championship match with quarterfinals wins over New Salem-Almont (3-0) and Garrison-Max (3-1).

The Bulldogs faced Shiloh Christian on Thursday night in the region final in New Salem. The winner advances to the Class B state tournament at the Fargodome Nov. 21-23.

Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or


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