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Bethlehem Academy edges Wadena-DC for third place

The Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball team is pictured with their fourth place trophy from the Class A Volleyball Tournament in St. Paul. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal1 / 2
Wadena-Deer Creek's Casey Volkmann leaps up for the attack attempt against Bethlehem Academy in the Class A third place match. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal 2 / 2

The Wadena-Deer Creek volleyball team started out quickly, but ran into too much power from Bethlehem Academy’s Mary Campbell when they were defeated 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 in the Class A third place game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Nov. 11.

It was a tough end to a remarkable season for the Wolverines. They finished the year with a 26-8 record and the fourth place trophy. They opened the state tournament with a dominant victory over Ada-Borup/Norman County West, but fell short in an upset bid against Mayer Lutheran. The Wolverines had energy but couldn’t get some key bounces when they needed to against the Cardinals.

Kennedy Gravelle

Mary Campbell was on fire all match for the Cardinals. She finished with 22 kills, pacing the potent Cardinal attack. The outside hitter started strong with seven kills in the first set. Laney Donahue added 10 kills for the Cardinals, with seven of hers coming in the opening set.

Casey Volkmann led the way for the Wolverines. She finished with 17 of the team’s 30 kills in the loss. The All-State senior had seven kills in the first two sets, but the Cardinals slowed her down a bit in the third set. Ellie Miron added seven kills while Kennedy Gravelle finished with four kills.

Errors hurt the Wolverines in their bid for the third place title. They finished with 21 attack errors and had four more errors than kills in the final set.

Ashley Adams, who went over the 1,000 assist mark during the tournament, finished with 28 assists for the Wolverines. Courtny Warren finished with 19 digs, while Lila Lohmiller added 17. Volkmann finished with 13 digs. The Wolverines ended with 64 digs in the match as a team.

Ellie Miron

The Wolverines started strong in the first set, building up a 6-2 lead behind three kills from Volkmann. However, the Cardinals would come back and the teams would exchange the lead during the middle portion of the set. The Cardinals broke a 12-12 tie on an error by Wadena-DC and never relinquished the lead. The Wolverines trailed by one after a kill by Volkmann, making it 24-23, but Campbell followed with a kill ending the first set 25-23.

The Wolverines took an early lead in the second set, but the Cardinals came storming back, building up a 15-11 lead. Volkmann followed with a pair of kills and four errors by the Cardinals gave the Wolverines a 17-15 lead. Yet, the momentum switched back to the Cardinals, who closed out the set with an 10-5 advantage, winning the set, 25-20.

The Wolverines struggled to get any traction in the third set after holding 3-3 and 6-6 ties with the Cardinals. However, the Cardinals took control of the match, never trailing in the third set. Campbell had six kills, while Donahue and Ellie Cohen had three kills in the 25-14 win for the Cardinals.

The Wolverines entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed and finished in fourth place overall, finishing with a record of 26-8 overall. It marked the final game for Volkmann, Lila Lohmiller, Katlyn Heaton and Ellie Miron. The four players made it their goal of making it to the state and overcame the challenge of losing in the Section 8AA finals their junior year to accomplish their goal during their senior season.

Lila Lohmiller

Bethlehem Academy def. Wadena-DC 25-23, 25-20, 25-14

BA: Haley Lang 1SA, 4D; Mary Campbell 22K, 7D; Meagan Donahue 3K, 1SA; Abby Jandro 37SA, 12D; Jacie Jasinski 3K, 2D; Laney Donahue 10K, 13D; Oliva Nass 2SA, 15D; Jessica Oathoudt 2SA, 2D; Ellie Cohen 7K, 1D.

WDC: Lila Lohmiller 17D; Ashley Adams 2K, 28SA, 9D; Kennedy Gravelle 4K; Casey Volkmann 17K, 1AS, 13D; Ellie Miron 7K; Courtny Warren 19D, Katlyn Heaton 1AS, 5D.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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