FARGO — Valley City stood as the East Region’s last hope of representation in the semifinals of the state Class A volleyball tournament.
Taking the court after the other three East Region qualifiers had lost, Valley City came through with a 3-0 victory over Bismarck at the Fargodome. The Hi-Liners have now won 11 of their last 12 starts.
Valley City completes tonight’s semifinal bracket. Mandan, and upset winner over West Fargo, meets Jamestown in the 5 p.m. semifinal. Century and Valley City tangle at 7 p.m.
Bismarck will play Devils Lake in today’s 3 p.m. consolation match. West Fargo goes against Fargo Davies in the 1 p.m. consolation match.
Valley City was at its best when it needed to be against Bismarck.
The Hi-Liners leading 22-21, got two kills in prime time from Mackenzie Pederson to outlast Bismarck 25-22 in the first game.
Valley City used similar tactics in the third game, a battle that featured 12 ties, the last at 19. Cali Halgrimson rapped four kills as the Hi-Liners outscored BHS 6-1 with the money on the line.
Bismarck had no chance in the second game, falling behind 17-7 and losing 25-17.
Halgrimson, a 5-foot-7 sophomore, was a terror over the final two sets, smacking down 15 kills. That came after she barely registered on the radar in the fist game with one kill.
“I was a little nervous at the beginning,” Halgrimson said, noting that this was Valley City’s first appearance at the state Class A volleyball tournament. “But my teammates kept on cheering me on and gave me the confidence that I could do it.”
Indeed she could. She finished the night with 15 kills and two blocks.
Her sophomore sidekick, 5-9 Macy Olstad, did plenty of damage, too, coming through with 12 kills and one of Valley City’s 13 blocks.
Halgrimson said the Hi-Liners, who have only four seniors, were intent on enjoying their first trip to the state tournament.
“We all knew getting here was a big accomplishment and we just wanted to have fun while we were here,” she observed. “When we have fun, we play well.”
Valley City’s semifinal match will be a rematch, although the first encounter was in August at the season-opening Bismarck tournament.
Century won that match 19-25, 25-20, 15-10, so Halgrimson is hoping for a highly competitive rematch.
“We had two players out when we lost to them … so it’s going to be a tough match. We’ll have to bring our A game.”
Seniors Lauryn Andre and Lexus Mosbrucker topped Bismarck with eight and six kills, respectively.