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D-G-F builds on lone loss

One of the keys for Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's No. 1 ranking in Class 2A volleyball was a loss - the Rebels' only setback. It occurred back on Sept. 9, when D-G-F lost the championship match of the Apple Valley Invitational. The Rebels fell to hos...

One of the keys for Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's No. 1 ranking in Class 2A volleyball was a loss - the Rebels' only setback.

It occurred back on Sept. 9, when D-G-F lost the championship match of the Apple Valley Invitational. The Rebels fell to host Apple Valley, currently ranked No. 7 in Class 3A.

"They were very, very scrappy," said D-G-F coach Jean Lopez. "We weren't prepared for the balls coming back to us all the time. It certainly prepared us for the rest of the season."

The Rebels take a 25-1 record into the Class 2A, Section 8 tournament, which begins today with a 6 p.m. north subsection quarterfinal match against Crookston.

Two years ago, D-G-F won a section title before placing second at the state tournament. Last year, D-G-F lost in the section semifinals to Lake of the Woods - a team that went on to claim the 2A state championship.

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This year, D-G-F beat No. 5-ranked Lake of the Woods in the recent Moorhead Invitational. That was the same tourney in which the Rebels beat host Moorhead in three games.

"That was a nail biter," Lopez said. "The two teams were really perfect for each other."

D-G-F has been led by the trio of junior hitter Jenna Green, senior setter Stacie Drechsel and junior hitter/setter Jennifer Lopez - the coach's daughter.

Jean Lopez says Green's expertise at blocking makes a lot of opponents alter their shots. Drechsel is described as a great server and consistent setter. Jennifer Lopez, whose older sister is redshirting this year at North Dakota State, is described as an all-around player with good court knowledge.

"The leadership that the three of them bring to the team is really a nice mixture for us," Lopez said. "We've been playing all right lately. There's always room for improvement."

Smart sets assists record at Ada-Borup

It's not often you don't see Kelli Smart without a volleyball.

That's a big reason why the senior from Ada-Borup set a school record for assists recently. Smart, a starter since she was a freshman, has 3,232 assists as Ada-Borup prepares for the Class 1A, Section 8 tournament.

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"Kelli has had a lot of contact with the volleyball," said Ada-Borup coach Ruth Hayden. "She has just put in a lot of hard work and dedication."

Smart is one reason why the 24-1 Cougars are ranked third in the latest 1A poll. Ada-Borup has its sights set on its first state tournament appearance since 2003 - when Smart was a freshman.

"That's the ultimate goal," Hayden said. "But we know the competition in our subsection will be tough. The top six teams on any given night can beat anybody."

Ada-Borup, the No. 2 seed for the south subsection, will play Norman County West at 6 p.m. Friday in Fertile. Clearbrook-Gonvick is the top seed in the south while Kittson Central is the top seed in the north.

"Records don't mean a whole lot this time of year," said Hayden, whose team's only loss came against Wadena-Deer Creek. "We're playing pretty good right now. But now we have to play even better."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549 or kschnepf@forumcomm.com

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