Wadena-DC moves on with a sweep
The fourth-seeded Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines came out ready to attack in their Class A quarterfinal volleyball match, sweeping Ada-Borup/Norman County West 25-17, 25-16, 25-23 on Nov. 9 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The game was a measure of revenge for the Wolverines, who were defeated earlier in the season by the Cougars during a tournament in Moorhead. Members of the Wolverines said they were excited for the matchup with Ada-Borup and they came out on fire early, taking command of the match.
“It was a revenge factor because we had lost to them earlier in the year,” Wadena-DC head coach Sue Volkmann said. “We knew that we could play with them and by winning those first two games was huge on our part.”
Casey Volkmann led the way for the Wolverines with 14 kills, while Kennedy Gravelle finished with nine and Ellie Miron added eight.
The Wolverines made a few adjustments against the Cougars from their first matchup, using a strong block against the Cougars big hitters.
“We knew they had a good middle hitter (Bailee Bromenschenkel). We knew we had to get a big block up against her and play good defense against her,” Gravelle said. “They have another outside hitter, Mariah McKeever, that we knew we had to put up a block against.”
Casey Volkmann said they changed their defense to adjust for the tips that hurt them against the Cougars in the first contest.
In the Section 6A championship, the Wolverines started a bit nervous, but in their state opener they channeled that nervousness into excitement, racing out to an early lead, keeping the Cougars on their heels.
“I think it was pretty important. They are a team that feeds off of their intensity,” Volkmann said. “If they would have gotten a lead right away, they would have fed off of that and just kept playing better and better. It was really important for us to get that start.”
The Wolverines jumped ahead to a 9-3 lead in the first set and stretched it out to 19-10. The Cougars made a small run late, but the Wolverines kept momentum on their side, closing out with a 25-17 win.
The Wolverines continued the momentum in the second set. They jumped ahead to an 11-3 lead before the Cougars rallied, cutting the eight-point lead down to five. However, a Miron kill followed by blocks by Volkmann and Miron erased any thoughts of a comeback. The Wolverines closed out the second set 25-16.
It was a more even third set with the Cougars starting to settle in on the big stage. They grabbed a 6-2 lead before the Wolverines started their run.
“We got a little complacent and got back on our heels. I told them to calm down and play each point as it comes,” Sue Volkmann said. “We just kept it close and that was important even though we weren’t playing well, we were keeping it close. I just knew that if we really got it going again by keeping it close we were going to be able to finish it and we did.”
It remained close until the end when the Wolverines scored three of the final four points, closing out the match 25-23.
Ashley Adams dealt out 30 set assists, while recording 13 digs. Volkmann added 11 digs to go with her 14 kills. The Wolverines finished with 18 block assists as a team and 11 team blocks in the win.
The Wolverines will now face the state’s No. 1 seed in Mayer-Lutheran. The Crusaders defeated Cook County in their opener and boast a 30-2 record overall. The Wolverines enter the contest with a 26-6 record.
“I am super excited going in to play the No. 1 seed,” Volkmann said. “They are obviously a good team and we are going to have to play to the best of our ability to beat and I’m excited.”
Wadena-DC def. Ada-Borup-NCW 25-17, 25-16, 25-23
WDC: Lila Lohmiller 1AS, 5D; Ashley Adams 1K, 30SA, 3BA, 13D; Kennedy Gravelle 9K, 5BA; Casey Volkmann 14K, 1SA, 1AS, 11D, 2BA; Ellie Miron 8K, 4BA; Aly Daigneault 3K; Courtny Warren 7D, 1SA; Kylee Hopp 2SA, 3BA; Katlyn Heaton 1AS, 3D.
AB: Breanna Qualley 1SA, 5D; Mariah McKeever 8K; Brookelynn Erickson 3K; Kora Kritzberger 14K; Bailee Brommenschenkel 8K; Ivy Johnson 1K.