Our Redeemers sweeps Trinity in Class B volleyball quarterfinals
FARGO—Knowledge didn't help when it came to slowing down Karolynn Winger and Ryleigh Popinga.
The two senior outside hitters combined for 20 kills Thursday in the Fargodome. Setter Karlee Zablotney had a team-leading 12 kills in recording a triple double as Minot Our Redeemer's swept Dickinson Trinity 25-18, 25-21, 25-15 in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B high school volleyball tournament.
"We've played them before,'' Trinity coach Breanna Messer said. "We knew they (Winger and Popinga) were their go-to hitters. We knew their sweet spots on the court. But they have a lot of power. They know where to put the ball down.''
The 5-foot-4 Popinga finished with 11 kills while the 5-5 Winger had nine.
"You want your two best hitters out there on the outside,'' Knights coach Kara Nunziato said. "We're fortunate to have two good hitters like that.''
Trinity has big hitters of its own, with three players having more than 270 kills this season. But, other than Masy Kuntz, whose 11 kills accounted for almost half of the team's total of 26, Trinity struggled offensively.
"Our defense has done a tremendous job,'' Nunziato said. "They work really hard.''
Said Messer: "They're a scrappy team. They covered the court well and could read our hitters. They always seemed to be in the right spot.''
Trinity did stay in contention with some big runs late in the first two sets.
The Titans were down 19-9 in the first, but the serving of Kuntz sparked a 7-0 run that pulled them within 19-16, only to see Our Redeemer's answer with five unanswered points.
In the second set, Trinity scored nine unanswered points—four of them on blocks—to pull even at 19-19. The Titans were within 22-21 when Our Redeemer's closed the set with three straight points.
The runs "boosted our confidence,'' Messer said. "But then they would make a huge stop and we couldn't seem to get back into the flow.''
Zablotney had 14 assists and 15 digs to go with her 12 kills. Popinga also had a double double with a match-high 16 digs for the 37-7 Knights..
Kuntz, in a strong all-around performance, also led Trinity (32-8) with four blocks and shared the team lead with three service aces.
TRINITY (kills-blocks-service aces): Tessier 2-0-0, Mayer 6-2-0, Kuntz 11-4-3 (5 digs), Krebs 1-2-0, Zeller 0-0-3, Willer 6-2-0, Walby 0-0-0 (26 assists, 5 digs), Jahner 0-0-1.
OUR REDEEMERS: Winger 9-0-1, Popinga 11-0-0 (16 digs), Zablotney 12-0-2 (14 assists, 15 digs), E. Olson 1-0-1 (17 assists), Folden 3-3-0, Frederick 0-2-0, T. Olson 1-0-0.