BISMARCK — Northern Cass was not going to be denied.

The No. 1-seeded Jaguars found a way to defeat Kenmare and advance on Friday night in the semifinals of the state Class B volleyball tournament at the Bismarck Event Center.

Forced to a decisive fifth set, the Jaguars bounced back from a rough fourth set, jumping out to a quick lead and going on to finish off a 25-20, 26-28, 25-18, 13-25, 15-11 victory over the Honkers.

There wasn’t a lot of time for the Jaguars to recover from a rough fourth set and get set for the winner-take-all final, but Northern Cass jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead and led 10-4 en route to clinching a spot in Saturday’s state final.

“We did not have our day today,” Jaguars coach Angie Johnson said. “Just rallying together, playing like a team. We told them you’ve worked this hard to get this far. We need to finish together and that’s what they did.”

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“It was just our mistakes,” said senior outside hitter Emma Lucas. “We were just kind of struggling on our side. They’re a good team but we got it together in the fifth and that’s what was important.”

Lucas finished with nine kills – including a couple of big kills early in the fifth – to go along with four blocks and 16 digs for the Jaguars.

“I just told them, you know we can’t play like the No. 1 team in the state every day,” Johnson said. “Tonight was not our night. We weren’t on but I think our middles did a really good job of stepping up and getting some of those kills. They found a way to finish together and that’s all I can ask for.”

Getting everyone on the same page was the key.

“Just playing together and communication,” Johnson said. “Through the second and the fourth set we really struggled to go and have that good communication and trust one another and I think they turned that around in the fifth set.”

Josie Jensen and Halle Crockett had 15 kills apiece to lead a balanced Jaguar attack. Ellie Lucas added nine, Emma Lucas eight and Eleise Sand six.

“That’s how we play our best,” Johnson said. “If everybody can contribute a little bit then that’s when we’re playing at our best. I know Emma struggled a little bit in the first two, three sets but she really stepped it up in the last set.”

The Jaguars stretched their winning streak to 15 matches. They’re 32-0-1 since a 2-1 loss to No. 2 seed Linton-HMB, their title-game opponent on Saturday. Included in that win streak was a 3-2 win over the Lions in their rematch late in the season.

Northern Cass will be making it second state championship game appearance after winning the title in 2013.

The Jaguars started strong, taking an 11-4 lead in the first. A kill by Crockett and an Abby Richman ace pushed the lead to 14-8 and a block by Eleise Sand, three kills by Crockett and one each from Ellie Lucas and Emma Lucas helped them finish off a 25-20 win in the opener.

Kenmare built an eight-point lead in the second after a kill by Brenna Stroklund made it 14-8. The Honkers led 19-15 before Northern Cass battled back, taking a 21-20 lead. The set went back and forth, with eight ties before the Honkers finished on a 4-1 run to even it up with a 28-26 decision. Stroklund – who finished with 23 kills, two aces, three blocks and 17 digs, had a big ace down the stretch and Abbey Kohler’s kill scored the game point.

Crockett had a kill, Makensie Anderson a block and Abby Richman an ace to give the Jaguars a 12-9 lead in the third and the Jaguars closed out a 25-18 win with a 5-0 run to regain the lead at 2-1. Crockett had a kill and a block, Richman an ace and Jensen notched game point on a kill.

The fourth was all Kenmare as Stroklund had several big swings for kills and the Honkers scored 17 of the final 22 points, turning an 8-8 tie into a 25-13 victory.

The Jaguars were able to recover, win and advance to the final.

“It doesn’t need to be pretty, we just needed to win,” Johnson said.

Richman led the Jaguars (36-1) with three aces and 20 digs and Noelle Erickson had 26 assists. Sand had nine blocks, while Emma Lucas and Jensen each had four.

Kate Zimmer finished with 39 assists and 15 digs for Kenmare (40-4).

Northern Cass will take on defending state champion Linton-HMB, the No. 2 seed, at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Main Arena for the Class B championship.

“They’re a good team,” Lucas said. “We know it’s going to be a fight but we have to come out better than we did tonight.

“When we’re swinging and we’re getting our blocks, that’s what works for us when we’re picking everything up and that’s what we’ve got to do tomorrow.”

Kenmare will play Thompson at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Main Arena for third place.

Northern Cass 3, Kenmare 2

KENMARE – Kills: Amber Houck 7, Madison Melin 8, Abbey Kohler 5, Brenna Stroklund 23. Blocks: Stroklund 3. Assists: Kate Zimmer 39, Houck 3, Melin 2. Digs: Zimmer 15, Stroklund 17, Brooklyn Rodin 15. Aces: Zimmer 1, Houck 1, Stroklund 2.

NORTHERN CASS – Kills: Halle Crockett 15, Allie Slinger 1, Gretta Ebertowski 1, Josie Jensen 15, Ellie Lucas 9, Emma Lucas 8, Makensie Anderson 1, Eleise Sand 6. Blocks: Crockett 1, Jensen 4, El.Lucas 2, Em.Lucas 4, Anderson 2, Sand 9. Assists: Abby Richman 3, Slinger 1, Ebertowski 18, Noelle Erickson 26. Digs: Richman 20, Crockett 14, Slinger 6, Ebertowski 11, Erickson 7, Jensen 1, Cady Evenson 1, El.Lucas 3, Em.Lucas 16, Sand 2. Aces: Richman 3, Erickson 2.