Thompson responds in state volleyball win over Northern Cass

Caroline Nistler, center, and Macy Jordheim of Thompson block against Northern Cass during their semifinal match of the North Dakota Class B state volleyball tournament Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Minot. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

MINOT, N.D. - There haven't been many times when Thompson has allowed an opponent a run of 17 unanswered points as it did Friday in the Minot State Dome.

"I don't think that's happened this year,'' Tommies volleyball coach Lisa Strand said. "But, between (the first and second) sets, I could see the girls were ready, that they were still confident.''

Thompson made the comeback. The Tommies beat Northern Cass 8-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-23 in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B state volleyball tournament.

The Tommies will play in Saturday's 7 p.m. championship.

Northern Cass closed the opening set on a 17-0 run. Libero Samantha Spiesz served 16 straight points, including a pair of aces, and Faith Aasen had four kills. But the Jaguars also scored nine points in the big run on Tommies errors. The Jaguars scored 12 points on Tommies mistakes in the set.

"We got a little scared,'' Thompson hitter Macy Jordheim said. "But I think that gave us what we needed. We really picked it up.''

Jordheim, scoreless in the first set, had six kills in the second to give the offense a spark.

Thompson took a permanent second-set lead when Lauren Cunningham served a 5-0 run for a 14-10 advantage. The Jaguars were still within 17-15, but Thompson closed the set on an 8-1 run, finishing on back-to-back blocks by Jordheim and Carrie Nistler for set point.

The Tommies went up 2-1 with a strong finish in the third set. Cunningham served an 8-0 run that expanded Thompson's lead from 14-13 to 22-13. Izzy Shirek had five kills in the run, then finished off the set with a service ace.

“I don’t know if it was anything that changed for us,’’ Northern Cass coach Tom Klapp said of Thompson’s turnaround from the first set. “Thompson adjusted. They threw a few different things at us. They threw a lot of short shots at us that we had a hard time defending. We started coming back in the fourth. I felt we had some momentum. But we ran out of time.’’

In the final set, the Jaguars rallied from a 16-10 deficit to take a 21-20 lead. But Thompson closed on a 4-1 run - the final three on Jordheim kills - for the win.

"That's the best,'' Jordheim said of the match-on-the-line points.

“Macy was awesome,’’ Strand said. “She’s a gamer - she loves to come in during pressure situations and deliver.’’

T (kills-blocks-service aces): Cunningham 0-0-4 (23 digs), Sorby 0-0-3 (17 assists), Nistler 3-1.5-1, Ness 2-1-0, Shirek 10-0-4, Hughes 3-1-0 (22 assists), Jordheim 15-2.5-0, Zak 10-2-0 (18 digs).

NC: Ness 14-1-0, Fix 0-0-1 (35 assists), Ebert 3-1-0, Yoney 1-0-2, Hildega 2-0-0, Nelson 1-1-0, Aasen 11-1-0, Anderson 6-0-1, Spiesz 18 digs.