Goal Accomplished: Bearcats take state
By Harry Lipsiea
Winning a state title is the ultimate dream for every single high school sports team on their first day of practice. For the North Star volleyball team, however, it wasn’t a dream to reach for: it was a goal.
“While winning regionals and making it to state was definitely part of it, the goal of this group is to contend for the state championship,” Marla Hagler, North Star volleyball coach, told the Journal prior to the State Class B volleyball tournament last Thursday in Minot.
Through tough matches, adversity and a lost set here and there, North Star kept that focus throughout the entire tournament. It paid off as the Bearcats capture the title with a three-set sweep over Hankinson to win its first-ever volleyball championship in the squad’s first state tournament appearance.
The Bearcats won the title game by scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-21. As usual, the squad’s work at the net was the difference.
Senior Sarah Hagler had 24 kills. Macey Kvilvang also had a big night adding 14 kills and three blocks. Faith Krom added 32 assists in the win.
Making the championship was a definite challenge for the Bearcats. A night prior to winning the state championship, North Star battled with a salty Our Redeemer’s squad to keep its season alive.
In a match similar to its Region 4 title contest against Langdon-Munich, the Bearcats found a way to win in the end. Behind 27 kills and six blocks by Hagler and 22 kills and four blocks by Kvilvang, North Star won in five exciting sets by scores of 19-25, 25-15, 22-25, 25-13 and 15-8.
It was a key part of the championship run by the Bearcats. The squad is now able to fully celebrate the accomplishment of reaching its initial goal.
It was a goal, however, that took tons of work and not just during the three-month season, coach Hagler noted.
“These girls worked harder to improve this offseason than any other group I have ever seen,” the coach stated. “It really is a credit to them and their hard work.”
North Star: (Kills-blocks-service aces): Faith Krom 0-0-0 (32 assists), Peyton Halvorson 1-0-1 (11 digs), Sarah Hagler 24-0-0 (11 digs), Taylor Krom 0-0-1 (8 digs), Macey Kvilvang 14-3-0 Stephanie Miller 0-0-2, Gabbie Miller 0-1-0, Kristin Murchie 0-0-6.
Hankinson: Alyssa Theede 0-01 (12 digs), Mya Steinwehr 3-0-2 (27 assists), Alexis Pankow 0-1-0, Hannah Gaukler 6-0-1 (10 digs), Madelyn Jean 0-0-1, Betsy Asp 16-0-2 (17 digs)
North Star (kills-blocks-service aces) — Kellie Jo Huschle 0-2-0, Faith Krom 2-1-3 (43 assists), Peyton Halverson 2-1-0, Sarah Hagler 27-6-2 (22 digs), Macey Kvilvang 22-4-0, Stephanie Miller 0-0-1, Gabbie Miller 2-1-0, Kristin Murchie 0-0-2
Our Redeemer's — Megan Hogue 2-0-0, McKensie Popinga 5-2-1, Ryleigh Popinga 0-0-1, Gabrielle Boeckel 9-0-4, Karlee Zablotney 1-0-4 (30 assists), Morgan Olson 17-0-2, Makayla Gartner 17-1-0