Century's streak of Class A state volleyball titles ended in Fargo 10 days ago, but the Patriots went down fighting.
Fargo Davies stopped Century's state championship streak at four, but even without injured star Lauren Ware for the entire season, the Patriots nearly again pulled it off.
"Really, it was a good season overall," said Century coach Jamie Zastoupil. "We had some challenges to overcome, but the girls continued to push all season long. They worked hard together. We were able to overcome some big, competitive games, the West Region was really good this year, and at the end of the season I thought we played some of our best volleyball."
Century finished with a banner 28-3 record and were rewarded with three all-state players on Monday. The elite list, which featured 12 first team selections and six second team choices, was selected by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association.
Senior defensive specialist Chloe Markovic and junior outside hitter Julia Fitterer were named first team all-state. Senior setter Kaia Lill was named to the second team.
"They're very deserving," Zastoupil said of the trio.
The Patriots won 22 straight matches until losing to Fargo Davies 3-1 in the championship match at the Fargodome on Nov. 23. While the state title streak is over, Century's equally remarkable run of nine straight years of playing in the title tilt lives on.
With a strong team set to return in 2020, the Patriots will again be among the favorites.
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"We're losing a lot, but we're returning a lot. That's part of the program that, even before I was here, the girls have always had that competitive mindset," Zastoupil said. "There's a lot of work to be done in the offseason. The girls have to be willing to put the work in, but every year we have high expectations to make sure we're staying competitive in our conference and in the state."
LOCAL TRIO SELECTED
Macy Wetsch of Bismarck High, Abbi Kopp from St. Mary's and Mandan's Lakyn Darras earned all-state first team honors.
Wetsch, a 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter for the Demons, surpassed 250 kills on the season and owned the wickedest jump serve in the west. In conference matches alone, Wetsch served 55 aces.
Kopp, a 5-5 senior for the Saints, led the West Region during the regular season in digs with 449.
Darras, a 5-11 middle hitter, ranked second in the conference in kills during the regular season with 245.
Fargo Davies had three players named to the all-state team, including twin sisters Kenzee and Madison Langlie, picked to the first team. Junior Grace Solberg was named to the second team. The Langlie sisters, and Jamestown's Kameron Selvig, were named the Co-NDHSCA Outstanding Senior Athletes of the Year.
Davies coach Carolyn Olson was named NDHSCA Coach of the Year.
Peyton Selle, a 5-9 senior outside hitter from Dickinson, was named to the second team.
Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or email@example.com