Fargo Shanley tops West Fargo in five sets for EDC volleyball win

FARGO - Despite being without one of its key senior leaders, the West Fargo volleyball team managed to rally and push Fargo Shanley to a fifth set on Tuesday.

West Fargo senior Amanda Levin
West Fargo senior Amanda Levin, center, cheers with her teammates during Tuesday's Eastern Dakota Conference volleyball match against Fargo Shanley. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO - Despite being without one of its key senior leaders, the West Fargo volleyball team managed to rally and push Fargo Shanley to a fifth set on Tuesday.

The Deacons ultimately won the decisive set to earn a 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-27, 15-2 Eastern Dakota Conference victory at McCormick Gymnasium.

West Fargo was playing without 5-foot-10 middle blocker Amanda Levin, who was on crutches with a wrap on her left knee. Levin said she landed awkwardly during a match at a tournament in Bismarck over the weekend.

Levin, who was named to the all-state second team a year ago and is a three-time individual state track champion, underwent an MRI on Tuesday. She said she'll learn the severity of the injury today.

"We don't know the answer yet," West Fargo head coach Paula Pierson said of Levin's injury. "It's a knee injury. ... There are a lot of things we miss without Amanda on the floor. Yes, she blocks and hits well, but she is the emotional leader for us on the court."


West Fargo (3-4, 0-1 EDC) edged Shanley in the opening set, with Courtney Suppa and Shelby Gustafson each posting seven kills.

Shanley (7-0, 1-0) countered with wins in the next two sets, but the Packers wouldn't allow the Deacons to make it a third, winning the fourth set 27-25.

Suppa finished 24 kills and an ace serve to pace the Packers. Gustafson added 17 kills.

"Overall, I thought we played extremely well," Pierson said. "Without Amanda (Levin), we only had one day to adjust to a new rotation. Our younger players stepped up."

The fifth set belonged to the Deacons. Shanley jumped out to 6-0 lead and was powered by 6-foot junior middle hitter Alivia Fraase, who posted five of her 22 kills in the fifth set.

"We just knew we had to get back in the flow of what we know we can do," said Fraase, who is committed to play volleyball at the University of North Dakota. "We played timid at first, but we had to keep pushing. Our motto with the five setters is push to five, push to 10 and push to 15. We were just really pumped to get it going."

Shanley head coach Curtis Johnson thought Tuesday's EDC opener would be a close one.

"West Fargo is very good team," Johnson said. "They'll get better and this match is exactly what we expected. It was going to be tight all the way. In the fifth set, we got a couple points off, and we built from there."


Fraase also had four blocks and two ace serves. Junior middle blocker Somer Bucholz added 13 kills and two ace serves for Shanley.

"We are a very young team," Johnson said. "We are still learning our system and rotation, but to come out and defeat West Fargo at home is a nice start to the season."

WF (kills-blocks-aces): Sand 3-2-0, Suppa 24-0-1, Gustafson 17-2-0, Langerud 1-1-0, McIntosh 0-0-1 (33 assists), Waite 3-4-0, Larsen 1-3-1, Cookman 1-0-0 (9 assists).

S: Fraase 22-4-2, Krauter 2-0-1 (22 assists), Stark 6-4-4, Sandy 3-0-3 (16 assists), Jacobson 10-0-1, Buholz 13-0-2, Vetter 1-0-0 (10 assists).

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562

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