The road to state
A fantastic season kept rolling along last Saturday as the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines swept Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 25-23, 25-10, 25-13 for their third consecutive Section 8AA championship.
Squaring off on the same Hawley High School court where they met for the 2009 championship match, the No. 1 seeds from the north and south half of Section 8AA played three brisk matches. After a seesaw battle in Game 1, WDC's strong defensive play kept the Rebels at bay in the second and third games.
"I think both teams came out with a lot of hustle and made a lot of defensive plays," said WDC setter Courtney Volkmann, who regarded the Rebels as the toughest team the Wolverines faced during the regular season.
Fellow captain Rachael Carlisle was proud of the way her teammates handled the challenge of playing the Rebels in the championship game.
"I thought there was a lot of pressure from the fans and the town expecting us to do well but I thought we handled it well," Carlisle said. "We weren't as nervous as we were going into the semfinal round. I thought our team played very well tonight, I thought our defense was awesome, perfect."
The victory sent the Wolverines into the state tournament with a 30-0 record.
Brittney Noon has made trips to the state tournament every year since first earning a starting spot as a freshman. Noon racked up a team-high 12 kills against DGF. She considered the defense to be the catalyst Saturday night but added that playing a club as good as the state-ranked Rebels was a great springboard for state.
"We love good competition because we rise to a different level when we are playing good teams," Noon said.
Freshman libero Hope Theisen had 14 digs to lead the Wolverines in the back court Saturday night. Like Volkmann, she credited the Rebels as well as the Wolverines with a good effort.
"We all played great tonight," said Theisen. "DGF played good, they were able to pick up some of our hitters, they played good."
The road ahead for Theisen and her teammates was a glittering one following Saturday's match. The Wolverines finished the regular season ranked second in the state. Their last game match defeat was in the 2009 state quarterfinals to eventual state champ Marshall.
"It's really exciting," Theisen said. "I hope we can go down there and do really, really good. We have a good team."
Kaylee Pender and Emily Frink combined for 13 kills against the Wolverines.
"Our team chemistry is the No. 1 factor that makes this team go and they never lost sight of their goal to get back down to state," WDC head coach Sue Volkmann said. "DGF is always a tough opponent for us and we know we have to limit our mistakes against them. We served and passed well and our offense kept them off balance in games two and three for the win."
Volkmann was named Section 8AA Coach of the Year following Saturday's match.
Avery Jackson joined Volkman with four ace serves. Jackson was 23 of 24 at the serving line. Volkmann led the team with 29 assists. Emily Miron and Rachel Craig combined for 19 blocks.
Kills - Courtney Volkmann-4, Kelsi Crawford-5, Rachael Carlisle-3, Rachel Craig-4, Brittney Noon-12, Emily Miron-8
Digs - Courtney Volkmann-8, Kelsi Crawford-2, Rachael Carlisle-2, Mandy Perkins-8, Brittney Noon-7, Avery Jackson-6, Caitlin Volkmann-9, Emily Miron-1, Hope Theisen-14
Serving - Courtney Volkmann-9 for 11 with 4 aces, Many Perkins-8 for 9, Brittney Noon-9 for 10, Avery Jackson-23 for 24 with 4 aces, Caitlin Volkmann-5 for 5, Hope Theisen-15 for 15
Blocking-Courtney Volkmann-4, Kelsi Crawford-2, Rachael Carlisle-1, Rachel Craig-9, Brittney Noon-6, Emily Miron-10
Setting Assists-Courtney Volkmann-29
Fergus Falls 23-21-14
Three Wolverines had double figure kill nights as the Wolverines defeated Fergus Falls 3-0 for the South Sub-Section 8AA championship Nov. 4 at Prairie Wind Middle School in Perham.
The Wolverines managed to overcome a ton of unforced errors but rallied in Games 1 and 2 against the Otters, who sharpened their skills this fall against big school competition in the Central Lakes Conference.
Kelsi Crawford paced the Wolverines with 11 kills while Brittney Noon and Emily Miron each came up with 10.
Hope Theisen had a busy night in the back court as the WDC libero collected 17 digs.
While the Otters had superb height on the court, they did not have Courtney Volkmann. The senior standout was 18 of 20 at the serving line and had seven aces. Volkmann also had a good setting night with 30 assists.
Mariah Monke had 11 kills for the Otters while Brianna Rasmusson dished out 16 assists and Laura Gaustad recorded 12 digs.
The Otters ended their season with a 15-12 record.
The two teams were meeting in the sub-section finals for the first time since 2007 when the Otters upset the Wolverines 3-2 in a showdown at Detroit Lakes. The Otters went on to face the undefeated DGF Rebels and lost a 3-0 match.
Kills - Courtney Volkmann-8, Kelsi Crawford-11, Rachael Carlisle-6, Brittney Noon-10, Caitlin Volkmann-1, Emily Miron-10
Digs- Courtney Volkmann-10, Kelsi Crawford-2, Rachael Carlisle-2, Mandy Perkins-6, Brittney Noon-1, Avery Jackson-9, Caitlin Volkmann-5, Emily Miron-1, Hope Theisen-17
Serving - Courtney Volkmann-18 for 20 with 7 aces, Mandy Perkins-9 for 10 with an ace, Brittney Noon-12 for 13 with an ace, Avery Jackson-14 for 14 with an ace, Caitlin Volkmann-8 for 8, Hope Theisen-9 for 9 with an ace
Blocking - Courtney Volkmann-2, Rachael Carlisle-4, Rachel Craig-9, Brittney Noon-3, Emily Miron-7
Setting Assists- Courtney Volkmann 30