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Eagles rally past Mustangs, claim outright lead in EDC volleyball

WEST FARGO -- After surrendering a big lead in the third set, Fargo Davies looked to be on the brink of falling behind West Fargo Sheyenne in the Eastern Dakota Conference volleyball standings.

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Morgan Hall of Fargo Davies hits against West Fargo Sheyenne during their volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at Sheyenne. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

WEST FARGO - After surrendering a big lead in the third set, Fargo Davies looked to be on the brink of falling behind West Fargo Sheyenne in the Eastern Dakota Conference volleyball standings.

Instead, the Eagles decided to stage a pair of their own monster rallies.

Davies overcame a six-point deficit in the fourth set, and a five-point deficit in the fifth, edging the Mustangs 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11 in a Thursday battle of EDC unbeatens in West Fargo.

The Eagles looked to be on their way to dominating the third set, jumping out to an 11-3 lead.

Still down 22-15, things began to turn Sheyenne’s way when Olivia Dobrinz and Cady Borchardt each recorded two kills over the next four possessions.

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Though the Eagles would get the next point, it would be their last in the set, as Dobrinz kick-started the last rally with another kill.

Down 23-22, Katelyn Galde delivered the play of the match, making a full lunge to save what looked to be an easy kill attempt inches from the ground. The play eventually resulted in an unforced Davies error for the tying point.

Defensive mistakes plagued the Eagles at the end of the set, as the Mustangs would also score the matches final two points on unforced errors.

“We played some ugly volleyball at times,” Eagles Coach Missy Wilson said. “We had some moments where our communication wasn’t good.”

The tenor of the third set seemed to carry over to the fourth, as the Mustangs looked primed to hand Davies its first loss of the season after taking a 13-7 lead.

But after struggling at the net during the third set collapse, the Eagles found their rhythm, as kills by Morgan Hall and Grace Solberg sparked an 8-1 run that tied things up at 14.

The Mustangs kept it close for awhile, but net play again helped the Eagles pull away, and a Madaline Cooper kill capped and 18-7 finish to the set.

Another slow start, this one leading to an 8-3 deficit, again seemed to put the Eagles in a deep hole in the fifth and final set.

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But following an unforced Sheyenne error, Maggie Krueger helped launch a 5-0 run with an ace.

After playing to an 11-11 tie, another return error by the Mustangs gave Davies its first lead of the set, one it wouldn’t relinquish.

Facing their stiffest challenge of the season, Eagle players were ecstatic to come out of a hostile environment with a difficult win, improving them to 12-0 overall and 6-0 in conference.

"It's nerve wracking to play an amazing team,” Solberg said. “But pulling together as teammates is what really helped up at the end. That level of play, is really fun."

Madi Langlie finished with a team-best 19 kills for Davies, while Kenzee Langlie had 27 assists.

For a Mustang team looking to make its first ever state tournament, a win likely could have provided a major momentum boost, as it too entered Thursday 5-0 in the EDC.

Though confident her team will bounce back, Sheyenne Coach Leah Newton said missed opportunities caused them to lose a winnable match.

“We just didn't take of things all the way through the way we needed to,” she said. “We were just giving them too many easy balls to hit back at us. We need to make more good decisions with the ball and make fewer errors.”

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D (kills-blocks-aces): Averi Beyer 0-0-2, Keely Terry 11-3-1, Madaline Cooper 11-3-0, Grace Solberg 12-3-1, Madi Langlie 19-2-1 (26 digs), Morgan Hall 7-0-0, Natalie Hallstrom 1-2-0, Ava Wild 0-1-1, Kenzee Langlie 0-0-1 (27 assists), Maggie Krueger 0-0-3.S: Lexi Hoffner 0-0-0, Nadia Kranz 0-0-2 (29 digs), Olivia Dobrinz 10-3-0, Mya Lambert 0-0-1, Jadyn Feist 13-3-0, McKenzie Newton 11-0-1, Ellie Such 5-3-0, Brooke Prochaska 0-0-2, Katelyn Galde 2-1-0, Cady Borchardt 7-3-0.

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McKenzie Newton, from left, of West Fargo Sheyenne hits against Morgan Hall and Keely Terry of Fargo Davies during their volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at Sheyenne. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

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