Herreid-Selby Area takes sixth in state
By Jay Davis
Herreid-Selby Area earned a win on Friday, but it was sandwiched between two losses as the Wolverines finished sixth at the State B Volleyball Tournament in Huron, Thursday through Saturday.
While the final weekend may not have been as successful as the team would have liked, nothing can be taken away from a team that survived injury and illness to earn its third straight trip to the final eight.
“Our early season woes happened mostly because of illness and injury,” said coach Jody Schmidt. “But those struggles only made us a better team. It wasn’t easy to endure, but I think the girls trusted me enough to buy into what I was trying to build. I am extremely proud of their efforts and they deserve a lot of credit for working hard to reach their goal.”
With girls missing playing time, it took the Wolverines time to find the right lineup and the right positions on the floor.
“As a coach, you try to put the best team on the floor that you think will give you the best chance to make it to state,” said Schmidt. “Early on, I just had to look at some things and decide what I wanted to do. There are so many variables- experience, chemistry, work ethic.”
The Wolverines could not get a hot streak going and dropped a 3-1 decision to Lyman in the consolation championship match on Saturday.
After Lyman jumped out with a 25-22 win, Herreid-Selby Area rallied back to win 25-16, but the Raiders controlled the last two sets 25-16 and 25-18.
Schmidt said the grueling final three weeks of the season finally caught up to the girls, both physically and emotionally.
“Before we took the court on Saturday I knew we had some girls who were not feeling well,” said Schmidt. “I think we were a step slow. It isn’t that they did not work hard or try their hardest, they just ran out of gas. Could we have played better? Certainly, but I think the girls gave it their all.”
The silver lining came with Schmidt being able to give her younger players time on the court, even though the shuffling in and out of players may have been part of the Wolverines inability to get a consistent rhythm going.
“I did play a lot of players,” said Schmidt. “I think that experience will only make those younger ones a little more hungry when next year rolls around. We can talk about goals at the beginning of next year. Those younger ones can actually understand and identify with the concept of getting back to the state tournament.”
The Wolverines fought back and forth with Harding County in consolation semifinals before pulling out the rubber set and coming away with a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
The teams took turns dominating each other early one. The Wolverines won the first set 25-13; only to have the Ranchers command set two by the same 25-13 score. Herreid-Selby Area ran away with set three 25-11. Things tightened up in set four with Harding County pulling away from a 21-21 tie to win 25-22.
“This was typical of the matches we have played this season,” said Schmidt. “We can play amazing and then play not so amazing.”
Set five was all tied up at 10-10 when the rotation brought Wolverine middle hitter Haylee Biel back to the front row. The Wolverines took advantage by feeding Biel the ball. Biel answered with back-to-back kills to make the score 12-10. Her third kill made it 14-11 and her fourth was the game-deciding point and the Wolverines pulled off a 15-13 win.
“Haylee did step up on set five,” said Schmidt. “I think everyone on the team was glad to see her get back to the front row.”
Schmidt added that it took teamwork to make everything come together at the end of the fifth set.
“Grace (Russell) did a nice job of feeding her and our passes were spot on,” said Schmidt. “Abbey (Fjeldheim) and Jana (Thorstenson) had solid games as well. They may not have had big numbers, but what they did on the floor should be commended. It takes a good pass and a good set to get that monster kill that we love to see from Haylee.”
The Wolverines played well in the opener, but the final score did not show as Warner took its first step toward a second straight state championship by beating Herreid-Selby Area 3-0 in the opening round on Thursday.
The Monarchs defeated the Wolverines 25-10, 25-15, 25-11.
While the score showed a dominant win for Warner; that was the norm for the entire state tournament. In scoring 36 points, the Wolverines scored more points than Alcester-Hudson (27) in the semifinals and Chester Area (30) in the finals.
“I am not disappointed with our effort in the Warner match,” said Schmidt. “It was fun for the girls to play. They didn’t get down or get frustrated.”
Schmidt said the girls enjoyed getting to play against the best team in state, because they could attack every chance they got.
“One of the best things they liked is the fact that they could swing as hard as they wanted, because there were likely to be some touches on their hits,” said Schmidt. “Everyone thought we were going to get killed. As it turned out, we gave them as good a challenge as anybody. They are an amazing volleyball team.”
While nine underclassmen get the chance to take what they have experienced this season and try to make a run at a fourth straight state tournament, five other girls had to say good-bye to their high school volleyball careers at the end of the tournament.
Seniors Biel, Russell, Kelsey Quaschnick, McKenzie Reierson and Jenna Vander Wal were all original Wolverines. All five with the team since the Herreid-Selby Are co-op began in 2011.
“Most of them have been part of three state tournaments,” said Schmidt. “I have the utmost respect for each of them for the way they have conducted themselves this season. They led by example and are caring and compassionate people, who are perfect role models for the younger members of the team. They made my job so much easier. I only wish the best for them in the future and I know they will go far, because they know what it takes to work to achieve a goal.”
Lyman (26-9) 25 16 25 25
Herreid-Selby Area (21-13) 22 25 16 18
Lyman: Serving 8 aces (Sara Herman 4, Anna Flitner 3, Brooklyn Halverson); Setting 42 assists (Bailey Almond 20, Hanna Thiry 17, Haley Halverson 2, Herman 2, Flitner); Hitting 50 kills (Flitner 25, Jessica Welter 12, Ashton Smith 4, B. Halverson 4, Bailey Lulf 2, Almond 2, H. Halverson); Blocks 1 (B. Halverson); Block assists 6 (Smith 2, Welter 2, B. Halverson, Flitner); Digs 59 (Flitner 25, Herman 14, Thiry 6, Almond 5, Smith 3, B. Halverson 2, H. Halverson 2, Carly Uthe, Welter).
Herreid-Selby Area: Serving 6 aces (Kara Thorstenson 3, Kesley Quaschnick 2, Biel); Setting 35 assists (Grace Russell 21, Quaschnick 9, Grace Goehring 2, Biel, McKenzie Reierson, Jana Thorstenson); Hitting 43 kills (Biel 16, J. Thorstenson 11, Charlie Tisdall 7, Quaschnick 4, Russell 3, Abbey Fjeldheim, Courtney Anderson); Blocks 5 (Biel 4, Quaschnick); Block assists 2 (Anderson, J. Thorstenson); Digs 74 (Fjeldheim 21, Quaschnick 11, Russell 10, J. Thorstenson 10, Biel 8, Anderson 6, Tisdall 4, Tegan Meidinger, K. Thorstenson, Kayla Mitzel, Jenna Vander Laan).
Harding County (26-7) 13 25 11 25 13
Herreid-Selby Area (21-12) 25 13 25 22 15
Harding County: Serving 8 aces (Kyla Schleuning 4, Brianna Williams 3, Sierra Stugelmeyer); Setting 45 assists (Williams 27, Callie Shepherd 18); Hitting 47 kills (Stugelmeyer 22, Schleuning 11, Megan Adams 8, Brice Olson 3, Williams 2, Madeline Teigen); Blocks 2 (Olson, Stugelemeyer); Block assists 2 (Olson, Shepherd); Digs 29 (Schleuning 8, Kasey Teigen 7, Adams 7, Stugelmeyer 7).
Herreid-Selby Area: Serving 11 aces (Haylee Biel 3, Charlie Tisdall 3, Kelsey Quaschnick 3, Paige Feist 2); Setting 38 assists (Grace Russell 34, Quaschnick 4); Hitting 43 kills (Biel 27, Jana Thorstenson 7, Quaschnick 7, Abbey Fjeldheim, McKenzie Reierson); Blocks 7 (Biel 5, Thorstenson 2); Block assists 0; Digs 71 (Fjeldheim 16, Russell 10, Thorstenson, Quaschnick 10, Biel 9, Tisdall 8, Reierson 4, Feist 2, Tegan Meidinger, Jenna Vander Laan).
Herreid-Selby Area (20-12) 10 15 11
Warner (31-1) 25 25 25
Herreid-Selby Area: Serving 0 aces; Setting 17 assists (Grace Russell 15, Jana Thorstenson, Kelsey Quaschnick); Hitting 17 kills (Haylee Biel 5, Thorstenson 4, Quaschnick 3, Russell 2, Charlie Tisdall 2, Paige Feist); Blocks 1 (Biel); Block assists 6 (Biel 3, Tisdall 2, Russell); Digs 27 (Quaschnick 6, Thorstenson 5, Abbey Fjeldheim 4, Tisdall 4, Russell 3, Biel 2, Grace Goehring, Feist, Jenna Vander Laan).
Warner: Serving 8 aces (Kaitlyn Boesl 3, Ashley Rozell 2, Sidney Bierman, Mallory Testerman, Carly Rozell); Setting 39 assists (A. Rozell 38, C. Rozell 1); Hitting 44 kills (C. Rozell 13, Jaici Schlosser 12, Miranda Ristau 10, Kari Gascoigne 4, A. Rozell, Peyton Ellingston); Blocks 1 (C. Rozell); Block assists (Taylor Ellingston, C. Rozell, Ristau, P. Ellingston); Digs 39 (K. Boesl 8, A. Rozell 7, Testerman 6, Bierman 5, Alexis Boesl 4, Schlosser 3, C. Rozell 2, Bailee Holscher, T. Ellingston, Gascoigne, Ristau).