State championship caps perfect season
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines wrapped up their 2010 season with a shining 33-0 record Saturday as they claimed their first Class AA state volleyball championship in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center.
The Wolverines maintained their excellent chemistry and focus throughout the three-day event and capped it Saturday afternoon by beating top-seeded Hutchinson 25-20, 25-19, 29-27. The team ended the season with a 33-0 record and did not lose a set against the three opponents they faced at state.
"Sometimes it is still hard to believe that it actually happened but I am just so happy that we got one, we got an opportunity and made the most of it and won the championship," Head Coach Sue Volkmann said. "The kids are so deserving."
Volkmann acknowledged that other teams at state might have had more talent but that there was no better team in the tournament.
Volkmann saw a year-round commitment to volleyball from all of her players.
"You knew that there was something special there by the time they were sixth-, seventh-graders, and you could see those coming behind them and you could just see the meshing taking place when they were in junior high. This has been coming."
The Hutchinson team that WDC faced in the Class AA state championship match had outstanding height and went into the state tournament seeded No. 1.
What the Tigers lacked was the kind of speed the Wolverines had.
"We knew they were good," Volkmann said. "We knew they were tall but they weren't quick."
Volkmann credited her team's defensive play for the victory over Hutchinson. "Our defense played unbelievable," Volkmann said. "Our defense made our offense go."
Hope Theisen led the Wolverines with 16 digs in the title match while Courtney Volkmann had nine and Avery Jackson had eight.
Brittney Noon and Kelsi Crawford led the Wolverines in kills with 11 and 10 respectively.
Jessica Zieman paced the Tigers at the net with nine kills.
The third set became interesting when Hutchinson's Sara Carlson scored a kill to put the Tigers up 25-24. Facing match point, the Wolverines got a kill from Volkmann to tie the game. Hutch jumped ahead again on a ball-handling error by Rachael Carlisle, but Rachel Craig's kill made it 26-all. A kill by Zieman was answered by a kill from Crawford. Noon and Volkmann scored back-to-back kills to finally cage the Tigers.
Volkmann, Carlisle and Noon were named to the Class AA All-State Tournament team. Volkmann was also named the Class AA Player of the Year and was selected to Class AA's first team. Noon received honorable mention.
Wadena-Deer Creek (33-0)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Brittney Noon 11-1-1; Kelsi Crawford 10-0-2; Courtney Volkmann 6-0-2; Emily Miron 6-0-3; Rachel Craig 4-0-6; Rachael Carlisle 4-0-3; Totals 41-1-9.0. (Assists) - Courtney Volkmann 29. (Dig leaders) - Hope Theisen 16; Courtney Volkmann 9; Avery Jackson 8
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Jessica Zieman 9-0-3; Kayla Tronick 7-0-1; Sara Carlson 7-1-0; Kelci Viesselman 6-0-5; Amanda Tronick 3-0-1; Ellie VanDeSteeg 1-1-0; Michaela Piechowski 0-1-0; Totals 33-3-6.0. (Assists) - Ellie VanDeSteeg 31. (Dig leaders) - Julia Witt 17; Sara Carlson 11; Michaela Piechowski 9
Sauk Centre 20-17-18
The Wolverines entered Friday's rematch with Sauk Centre with some first-hand knowledge.
The two clubs met in Wadena Sept. 30 and the Mainstreeters proved their potential by forcing the Wolverines into a high-scoring 32-30 set. WDC's 3-0 victory that night came over a young, talented Sauk Centre team.
"I could tell as the year went on they were going to get better and better," Volkmann said. "They were an excellent blocking team."
Realizing the potential of the Mainstreeters, the Wolverines brought their "A Game" to the state volleyball court.
"We had a good game plan in place and they executed it to a tee," Volkmann said, in praising her Wolverines. "We controlled all three of those games."
Courtney Volkmann had a whopping 39 assists in the game while Noon recorded 17 kills and Emily Miron had 13. Theisen led WDC with 13 digs and Mandy Perkins chipped in with 10.
Kali Peschel had 10 kills for the Mainstreeters.
Sauk Centre finished the state tournament Saturday with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-16 loss to Stewartville in the third-place match.
Wadena-Deer Creek (32-0)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Brittney Noon 17-0-1; Emily Miron 13-0-1; Rachael Carlisle 9-0-2; Kelsi Crawford 6-0-1; Courtney Volkmann 4-2-0; Rachel Craig 1-0-3; Mandy Perkins 0-1-0; Avery Jackson 0-3-0; Hope Theisen 0-1-0; Caitlin Volkmann 0-1-0; Totals 50-8-4.0. (Assists) - Courtney Volkmann 39. (Dig leaders) - Hope Theisen 13; Mandy Perkins 10; Caitlin Volkmann 9
Sauk Centre (28-6)
(Kills-aces-blocks) - Kali Peschel 10-0-5; Krista Primus 6-0-0; Macy Weller 6-2-2; Shelby Deters 3-0-2; Kendra Zenzen 3-0-0; Ashley Kollman 1-0-0; Emily Petermeier 0-0-2; Jenna Klaphake 0-1-0; Totals 29-3-6.0. (Assists) - Jenna Klaphake 14; Alexis Berscheit 11. (Dig leaders) - Kendra Zenzen 8; Alexis Berscheit 5