FARGO — Fargo Davies dethroned Bismarck Century in last year’s Class A state volleyball championship, erasing the Patriots' shot at five straight state titles.
The Patriots hadn’t forgotten. It was in the back of their minds Friday as the teams clashed in the semifinals at the Fargodome.
The second time was the charm.
Century notched a 27-25, 25-22, 25-23 sweep over Davies to secure its 10th straight championship appearance.
“It feels amazing. All throughout the season, we didn’t know if this was going to be a thing — the state tournament,” said Century senior Julia Fitterer. “So just getting here and getting to the championship is amazing.”
Top-seeded Century (21-0) will face either Jamestown or West Fargo in Saturday’s state championship at 7 p.m. at the Fargodome. Second-seeded Davies will play for third place at 4 p.m.
The 5-foot-10 outside hitter Fitterer posted a double-double with 15 kills and 22 digs. She also secured the sweep with a set-clinching kill in the third frame. Fitterer didn’t think the Patriots would cruise to the championship match in three straight sets.
“They’re such a good team,” Fitterer said. “We knew it was going to be a battle, but we really came out and we performed really well today.”
The 3-0 set score was deceptive to how competitive the match was. The balanced Eagles had four players post double-doubles to stay in it.
Maggie Krueger paced Davies with 29 assists, 17 digs and two aces. Olivia Marcil helped in the back with 15 digs and 10 kills. Ava Wild registered 17 digs and 10 kills, and Grace Solberg led the attack with a team-high 14 kills with 11 digs.
The first set was a sign of just how tight the match would be. Small runs gave Century a slight upper hand in the first half of the opening frame. Trailing by four at 15-11, the Eagles put together a 9-2 run to get out front for the first time in the match at 20-17.
Century didn’t stay down for long, eventually regaining the advantage and finishing off the back-and-forth set on a Davies attack error.
“If we lost a point, we would bounce right back,” Fitterer said. “I think we really tried to keep the momentum on our side, and we just tried to not make the easy things hard.”
Jocelyn Julson had 30 digs for Century. Logan Nissley tallied 11 kills and 17 digs, while Halle Mattern recorded 20 assists and nine digs.
The Patriots quickly found their groove in the second set and pulled out to a 19-11 lead. Davies took some momentum back and trimmed the margin with six straight points, but Century held on to go up 2-0.
Down 2-0 with a state title berth on the line, a pair of Marcil kills jump-started a strong 6-2 start for the Eagles. Century bounced back by the midway mark in the third set to pull ahead. A Wild kill tied it at 23 apiece, but two straight Patriot points sealed the deal.
“Not that it was revenge, but it was kind of, in a way,” Fitterer said. “We wanted to beat them so bad.”