Area Volleyball: Verndale to play for consolation title
ST. PAUL - The Verndale Pirates will be playing for the Class 1A consolation championship in their first state tournament experience. Following a disappointing loss in the quarterfinals, they bounced back to beat the Cook County Vikings 3-1 in th...
ST. PAUL - The Verndale Pirates will be playing for the Class 1A consolation championship in their first state tournament experience.
Following a disappointing loss in the quarterfinals, they bounced back to beat the Cook County Vikings 3-1 in the consolation semifinals of the 1A state tournament Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.
The 29-6 Pirates relied on the attacking skills of Shania Glenz and Jordyn Glenz who turned in 24 and 14 kills, respectively. Sarah Moenkedick and Megan Dougherty each had 16 digs and Dougherty contributed 20 set assists. Haley Stinar had 21 set assists.
For the second day in a row, Verndale started a little slow trailing most of the first set. It managed 10-9 and 12-11 leads but the Vikings responded with an 8-1 run for a 19-13 lead. The Pirates fought back to within 23-21 and were serving, but the Vikings closed out the set with a kill and ace serve.
"We just didn't play well that first set," said Verndale head coach Shelley Glenz. "The game before us went five sets and we stood around waiting for a while after we had warmed up. I guess we just had to warm up again."
Cook County took a 1-0 lead to start the second set, but three kills by Jordyn Glenz and one by Morgan Glenz made it 4-2 and the Pirates never trailed again. After the Vikings tied it 10-10, the Pirates went on an 8-0 run with Jordyn Glenz serving and a Morgan Glenz kill wrapped up the 25-20 win.
Verndale continued to control the match in Set Three. A 13-13 tie was the closest the Vikings could get and a Jordyn Glenz kill started Verndale on its way to a 25-19 win.
Cook County fought back in the fourth set and Verndale didn't get the lead until 10-9. Trailing 13-11, the Pirates went on a 6-0 run with Jordyn Glenz serving again. A kill by Jordyn Glenz sealed the 25-19 win.
Jordyn Glenz finished the match with 26 serving attempts, the most by either team, and had two aces and two serving errors.
"When Jordyn is serving, Shania is in the front row and gets a lot of kills off of Jordyn's serves," said Shelley Glenz. "Jordyn is very effective in the back row - that's probably our strongest rotation."
"We really didn't want to go to a fifth game. At the end, we kind of backed off and weren't playing as well. I called a timeout and reminded them that we were at the state tournament and that seemed to fire them back up."
Verndale plays Park Region Conference rival Sebeka 9 a.m. Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center. A victory would give the Pirates the consolation title and their first 30-win season.
The Pirates defeated Sebeka twice in the regular season - 3-1 on Sept. 10 (25-23, 25-20, 24-26, 25-14) and 2-1 at the Minnesota Showcase (14-25, 25-21, 15-13).
"They're our conference rival and we know what their weaknesses are and we need to focus on that," said Shelley Glenz. "They also know our weaknesses and they will focus on that too. We will have to play our quick game and be on, but I think the girls will be fired up to play them."
"It's been a good experience for the girls. They've definitely enjoyed being on the floor instead of sitting in the stands watching the tournament."
Cook County 25 20 19 19
Verndale 21 25 25 25
Allison Olsson 1 set assist, 2 digs
Alyssa Thompson 1 kill, 3 set assists
Shania Glenz 24 kills, 6 digs
Jordyn Glenz 14 kills, 2 set assist, 2 ace serves, 10 digs, 1 block
Sarah Moenkedick 4 kills, 2 ace serves 16 digs
Morgan Glenz 6 kills, 7 digs
Haley Stinar 2 kills, 21 set assists, 10 digs
Megan Dougherty 20 set assists, 1 ace serve, 16 digs
Alexys Thompson 1 kill, 3 set assists
Alexys Steege 1 set assist, 11 digs
Overall: V 29-6. Next: Verndale vs. Sebeka, consolation championship, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, 9 a.m. Saturday.