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ND state volleyball: Late winning streak buoyed Bruins

The Fargo South volleyball team was disjointed and disconnected to start the year. Young players were trying to figure out the Eastern Dakota Conference, and starters wondered if things could get resolved in time to make a run at a state title. B...

The Fargo South volleyball team was disjointed and disconnected to start the year.

Young players were trying to figure out the Eastern Dakota Conference, and starters wondered if things could get resolved in time to make a run at a state title.

But everything came together at the perfect time.

"It took a little time for some of them," said Bruins coach Tonah Safranski, whose team will play Williston at 2 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the North Dakota Class A state tournament in Minot. "It just took a little while for everyone to get on the same page. Now I think we are a very balanced team."

The Bruins were sitting in fifth place in the EDC when the team began pulling together.

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South reeled off five consecutive wins to secure the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament.

Standout middle hitter Siri Burck said the team reached its potential when it focused on its team goals.

"I think mostly it's been communication, connecting with each other" Burck said. "When people started stepping up, going for everything and talking (on the court) and taking control, it led to a lot better play. ... Knowing you can count on any player to do their jobs helps a lot."

The Bruins finished runner-up to Grand Forks Red River at the EDC tournament to earn a No. 2 seed at state.

The field appears to be wide open this season, and South enters state with as much momentum as anyone is the bracket.

Senior outside hitter Laurel Striegel said South's depth will be a key to a deep run in the tournament.

"I think we've put everything together as a team," Striegel said. "We all started working more as a team, instead of individually. I think we're definitely peaking right now."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

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