Lady Cards finish great season; third at state

The Langdon-Edmore-Munich Cardinals went to the program’s 18th Class B state volleyball tournament with the hopes of getting to the title match against a team they hadn’t beaten in three tries this season — the LaMoure/Litchville-Marion Loboes. Things just didn’t turn out that was, but the Cardinals came home with the third place trophy and two players named to the all-tournament team, a very select squad. As a result of their performance in the regular season, and the ensuing tournaments at the end of the season, L-E-M was seeded #2 in the pre-tournament seeding process. LaMoure was seeded first, Thompson was seeded third, and Our Redeemer’s of Minot was seeded fourth. Dickinson Trinity #5, Shiloh Christian #6, Watford City #7, and Central Cass #8.

All-Tournament team –
The following were named to the Class B All-State Tournament team: back row, l-r: Macy Kuntz, Dickinson Trinity; Carlie Kieffer, Central Cass; Jordyn Worley, Langdon-Edmore-Munich; Macy Jordheim, Thompson; Taylor Zak, Thompson; Izzy Shirek, Thompson; Kindra Hamlin, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion; Anna Holen, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion; front row: Rachel Hill, Langdon-Edmore-Munich; Mikka Haugeberg, Watford City; Ryleigh Popinga, Our Redeemer’s; Tessa Olson, Our Redeemer’s; Karlee Zablotney, Our Redeemer’s; Ellie Holen, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion; Jackie Meiklejohn, LaMoure-Litchville-Marion. Anna Holen was selected as the Class B Senior Player of the Year.

Langdon 3, Watford City 0
In the opening round, the Lady Cards faced the Watford City Wolves, the representative from Region VIII. The Cards entered the match with a 39-3 record while the Wolves had a 25-9 overall record. The two teams had met prior in the Des Lacs-Burlington Invitational with the Cards coming out on top, 2-0.
The Cards built up an early lead by breaking away from a 4-2 early advantage to a lead of 9-4. The difference remained at five until the Cards has another run to extend their lead to 21-14. Rachel Hill took her turn at serving when the score was at 21-14, and the Wolves didn’t get the ball back! In that first set, Callie Ronningen had six kills and Rachel Hill registered 8 assists. Madi Pritchard and Jordyn Worley each had two service aces.
The second set was much closer, and the score was14-13 mid-way through the set. The Cards got a little breathing room when Ronningen scored two while serving to make it 17-14. Arynn Crockett pushed the score to 19-15, and the Wolves couldn’t get any closer. The final was 25-19. Ronningen had five kills in the second set while Worley had four kills. Ronningen also had two service aces.
Watford City jumped to a 5-0 lead on the Cards early in the third set. However, the local girls regained their composure, and Calyn Crockett served four points to bring the score to an 8-all tie. The Cards moved to a 16-10 advantage, and things didn’t look good for the Wolves. They did get within three points at 17-14 but the Cards got real tough at the net in the last portion of the third set and won it on a tip-kill by Ronningen, 25-17. Ronningen had three of her four total blocks in that latter portion of the third set to go with her six kills. Calyn Crockett had two service aces early in the set.
The win moved the Cardinals into the semifinal round and, as it turned out, a familiar foe in the Thompson Tommies. Their record stood at 40-3 after a very well-played game.

Watford City 14 19 17
L-E-M 25 25 25
Cardinals Statistics
Kills (37) Ronningen 17, Worley 10, Hill and C. Crockett 3 each, Madi Pritchard and Morgan Freije 2 each; Blocks (9) Ronningen 3.5, C. Crockett 2, Hill 1.5, Worley and Freije 1 each; Service Aces (12) Worley and C. Crockett 3 each, Ronningen and Pritchard 2 each, A. Crockett and Hill 1 each; Assists (32) Hill 27, Pritchard 2, Freije, Ronningen, and A. Crockett 1 each; Defensive Digs (38) Worley 15, A. Crockett 7, Pritchard 5, Hill and Ronningen 4 each, Freije 2, C. Crockett 1; Unforced Errors (24) 7 – 10 – 7 = 24 Double-Double – Worley 15 digs, 10 kills
Wolves Statistics
Kills (23) Tia McGorman 8, Mikka Haugeberg 7, Sydney Sanford and Emma Mogen 3 each, Kaylin Monsen and Sydney Faller 1 each; Blocks (1) Monsen 1; Service Aces (3) Avery Sundeen 3; Assists (22) Morgan Rolfsrud 18, Sanford 2, Sundeen and McGorman 1 each; Defensive Digs (74) Mogen 24, Sundeen 21, Haugeberg 14, Rolfsrud 9, Sanford and Faller 2 each, Monsen and McGorman 1 each; Unforced Errors (19) 7 – 7 – 5 = 19

Thompson 3, Langdon 1
The semifinal match between Langdon-Edmore-Munich and Thompson had two of the most storied volleyball programs in the history of the sport in North Dakota. The Langdon program had been to the state tournament eighteen years while Thompson was appearing in its 13th state tournament. Their coaches, Lisa Strand and Rich Olson, are among the state’s best; Strand has won four state titles in 1997, 1998, 2004, and 2005. Olson has won three state titles in 2003, 2008, and 2010. They have played each other for a number of seasons during the regular season in a dual match. The teams also participate in the same tournaments held in the state each year. There were no secrets to bring out at the state tournament. The match was sure to be a defensive one from the start, and a match with five sets would not surprise anyone.
The first set was close from the star with Thompson leading by a few points in the early going. Langdon’s Jordyn Worley took the serve with her team trailing 8-9 and served to a 12-9 lead. The Cards went from that slim lead to a 21-15 lead with Rachel Hill serving. Hill had an unforced error which gave Thompson a side-out. From that point on, the Langdon girls had a lot of trouble with communication and getting the job done. With the score 24-23, Worley sent a kill shot long and the set went to the Tommies. At this point, although it wasn’t known by this reporter until the end of the match, Callie Ronningen landed on the foot of a Thompson player in a congestion at the net and sprained her right ankle badly. She was able to continue play, but it took a lot of her aggressiveness at the net away.
The Lady Cards got untracked in the second set, and moved from a closely contested first few points to a 12-5 lead. The Cards had four service aces in the second set to propel them to the lead. After getting five kills in the first set, Ronningen was limited to two kills in the second. Madi Pritchard led the team in the second set with four kills. Worley had two service aces in the set.
The third set was very close at the outset and remained that way to the mid-way point at 13-13. With a few lead changes, the score remained tied at 18-18. Each team could only muster one kill apiece in the third set. Both teams had a rather high number of unforced errors — L-E-M with 11 and Thompson with 9. Coach Olson used a timeout when Thompson built a 21- 18 lead and another when they led 23-18. The Cards score never did get higher than 18 as the Tommies scored the last seven points in the match. Worley had four kills in the set for the Cards, and Taylor Zak had four kills and three timely stuff blocks for the Tommies.
It was a must set for the Cards in the fourth set. Win it, or go home. The Cards led early but Zak served four points in her turn at serving for Thompson and a 6-5 lead. Callie Ronningen, who had been limited to two kills in each of the second and third sets, caught fire. She had six kills in the fourth set plus a stuff block. In the entire set, the Lady Cards had 16 kills compared to the Tommies’ five kills. Again, the Cards had eleven unforced errors in the set which kept the Tommies in contention. However, two Tommie time-outs couldn’t halt the Cardinals’ desire to get the set. It ended with a lift called on the Tommies and the match would go to the fifth and final set.
When a match goes to the fifth set, it is important for a team to avoid early mistakes and give the opponent an early lead. The Cardinals, unfortunately, trailed in the early portion of the fifth set. The Cards’ Coach Olson called a time-out with the score 8-4 in favor of the Tommies. He called another at 10-5. With the score d13-6, Langdon scored two straight points to force Coach Strand of the Tommies to call a time-out. The Cards just could not get any closer. Thompson won the set, 15-9 on an Allison Ness kill. Both teams had five unforced errors in the final set. Langdon only made three kills; two by Worley and one by Calyn Crockett. Madi Pritchard had a service ace. The Tommies had seven kills and two stuff blocks.

Thompson 25 16 25 17 15
L-E-M 22 25 18 25 9
L-E-M Statistics
Kills (53) Ronningen 14, Worley 13, C. Crockett 8, Freije 7, Hill 6 and Pritchard 5; Blocks (9) Hill and Freije 3 each; Pritchard, Ronningen, and C. Crockett 1 each; Service Aces (9) Hill, Worley, Pritchard, and A. Crockett 2 each, C. Crockett 1; Assists (49) Hill 44, C. Crockett 2, Worley 1; Defensive Digs (86) Worley 19, Ronningen 17, C. Crockett 15, Pritchard 14, A. Crockett 7, Freije 4, Hetler 1; Team Serve Receive %age – 96%; Unforced Errors (47) 11- 9 – 11 – 11 – 5 = 47 Double-Double – Worley – 13 kills, digs 19; Ronningen – 14 kills, 17 digs
Thompson Statistics
Kills (46) Zak 12, Shirek 11, Jordheim 8, Ness 7, Dolleslager 4, Nistler 3, Hughes 1; Blocks (9) Zak 5, Jordheim 2, Dolleslager and Shirek 1 each; Service Aces (5) Warcken 2, Zak, Nistler, and Hughes 1 each; Assists (47) Bohlman 24, Sorby 19, Nistler 3, Dolleslager 1; Defensive Digs (91) Zak 25, Ivesdal 21, Sorby 14, Warcken 11, Bohlman 10, Nistler 6, Dolleslager 4; Unforced Errors – (32) 7 – 5- 9- 6 – 5 =32
Double-Double – Zak – 12 kills, 25 digs; Sorby – 14 digs, 19 assists; Bohlman 10 digs, 24 assists

Langdon-Edmore-Munich 3, Our Redeemer’s of Minot 1
After the disappointing loss to Thompson in the semifinals on Friday, the Lady Cardinals had to regroup and face the Our Redeemer’s Knights of Minot in the third place contest. It was obvious that the tri-captains; Rachel Hill, Jordyn Worley, and Callie Ronningen, weren’t going to go out losing the final match of the year! The team kept their errors to a minimum in the crucial first and third sets, had their serving game on, and defeated the Knights 3-1. The teams had met one time this year in pool play at the Des Lacs-Burlington Invitational Tournament in October. The Cardinals won that one, too.
The first set was a great start for the Cards as the Knights’ coach Kara Nunziato called a quick time-out when the Cards led 7-1. The lead stretched to 16-7 behind the hitting of Callie Ronningen, Calyn Crockett, Jordyn Worley, and Morgan Freije. The Cards were fired up as the four stuff blocks in the first set told the tale. With the ability of the Cards to keep Ryleigh Popinga, a tremendous hitter from Our Redeemer’s, in the back line, the Cards limited the Knights to seven first set kills. In return, the Cards recorded 14 kills to go along with their stuff blocks. The first set score ended at 25-12.
Popinga got going in the second set as she nailed seven kills. Worley matched those kills for the Cards and the teams were tied much of the set. Our Redeemer’s got a slim lead at 14-16, but the Cards pulled ahead at 20-19. Karlee Zablotney scored a kill to end the closely-played second set at 26-24.
Callie Ronningen had a powerful third set for the Cards with four kills and two stuff blocks. The team had five service aces in the set, as well. The Cards forced time-outs by the Knights with leads of 13-10 and 22-18 before the locals put the game away with a 25-19 score.
In what would be the final set, Jordyn Worley rose to the top with seven kills. Morgan Freije gave much support with her four kills of her career-high 11 kills in the match. The Cards limited Popinga, an all-tournament selection, to three kills in that final set. The Lady Cards finished off an extremely successful season with a 25-20 set win. They ended the season with a 41-4 record and a third place trophy; just as they did in 2016. They would have given anything to have played in the “ship” but it just wasn’t to be this year. Congratulations, Lady Cards, you made your communities proud!
Individual achievements by Cardinal players are noted in another article in this issue.

Our Redeemer’s 12 26 19 20
L-E-M 25 24 25 25
Cardinals Statistics
Kills (52) Worley 17, Ronningen 13, Freije 11, C. Crockett 9, Pritchard 2; Blocks (12) Hill and Ronningen 3 each, C. Crockett and Pritchard 2 each, Worley and Freije 1 each; Service Aces (14) Ronningen 6, Hill, A. Crockett, and Pritchard 2 each, Worley and C. Crockett 1 each; Assists (48) Hill 44, Pritchard 2, C. Crockett and Ronningen 1 each; Defensive Digs (112) A. Crockett 29, Worley 27, Ronningen 14, Pritchard 13, Hill 11, C. Crockett 10, Freije and Hetler 4 each; Team Serve Receive %age = 96.8%; Unforced Errors (28) 4 – 11 – 4 – 9 = 28
Double-Double – Jordyn Worley – 17 kills, 27 digs; Callie Ronningen 14 digs; Rachel Hill – 44 assists, 11 digs
Knights Statistics
Kills (38) Popinga 13, Winger 9, Zablotney 9, Folden, T. Olson, and E. Olson 2 each, Frederick 1; Blocks (2) Zablotney and Folden 1 each; Service Aces (5) Boeckel 2, Winger, Zablotney, and E. Olson 1 each; Assists (30) E. Olson 21, Zablotney 8, Popinga 1; Defensive Digs (88) Popinga 26, T. Olson 23, Winger 17, Zablotney 14, E. Olson 7, Folden 1; Unforced Errors (19) 4 – 3 – 4 – 8
Double-Double – Ryleigh Popinga – 26 digs, 13 kills

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