Bearcat volleyball eager to keep historic run going at state tourney

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

By Harry Lipsiea

Journal Sports

Watching the State Class B volleyball tournament in the stands a year ago, North Star head volleyball coach Marla Hagler notes that the team’s underclassmen set a goal for the 2014 season.

“A couple of the girls mentioned that next year that they wanted to be playing in the state tournament and not just watching it,” the coach told the Journal.

A year later and the Bearcat volleyball team is preparing to hit the court at the State Class B Tournament in Minot. On Thursday, the squad takes on Thompson in the opening match of the event at noon.

It’s a historic moment for the North Star volleyball program as the Bearcats play in its first-ever state tournament. While excited to clinch a state berth, the squad is not just happy being there, Hagler pointed out.

“This group is extremely focused,” the coach said. “Their goal all season long has been to contend for a state championship.”

What has stood out for the coach is the players’ efforts to reach that goal. In the offseason, the team worked on strength, speed and conditioning by lifting weights, attending acceleration classes and participating in track and field.

The off-season has paid off in a big way for the 35-2 squad.

“The girls worked harder this offseason to achieve their goal than any group I have ever been around.”

The Bearcats open up the state tournament Thursday against a team that knows a thing or two about the state tournament. Thompson is a perennial powerhouse and North Star knows the Tommies are a tough opponent.

“They are a very tough defensive team with a definite go-to player,” Hagler pointed out. “Thompson has a great program and they know what to expect out of a state tournament.”

For North Star, the Region 4 qualifier, it’s about sticking to their strengths.

“We have just talked about the importance of good passing, solid defense and getting the ball to our middle hitters,” the coach said.

The Bearcats are tremendously excited about their opportunity and have been working hard each day in practice.

“The past few days of practice have went very well,” Hagler stated. “The girls are extremely excited.”