Cardinals take control, beat defending Class B champion Thompson in 4 sets

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich's Kaylee Lowery (12) goes up for a block attempt on Thompson's Mackenzie Hughes kill attempt during a NDHSAA volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 in Langdon.

LANGDON — Throughout last season, Thompson had Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich's number on the volleyball court, winning  two of the three matches that they played and after the Tommies took the opening set Thursday, Sept. 12, it looked as if was going to be Groundhog Day for Rich Olson’s Cardinals team.

“I told them that hey, it’s still best out of five let’s move on. That’s the thing you learn about about volleyball, you can’t dwell on what just happen. You have to move on to the next play or the next set and I knew we weren’t playing up to our capabilities,” Olson said.

When the Cardinals rose up, it spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E for the Tommies.

Langdon-Edmore-Munich won three straight sets after dropping the first to beat the 2018 Class B defending champion Tommies 3-1.

“We came out kind of flat and we had a lot of unforced errors in that first set,” said Olson. “We kind of finished that way too but we were making more plays in between that made up for it.”

The Tommies (1-3) controlled the first set from the start, jumping out to the 10-4 lead. However Langdon-Edmore-Munich was able to get back into the game, tying the score at 18. But the Tommies outscored the Cardinals 7-3 down the stretch with Mackenzie Hughes’ kill ending the set with a Thompson win 25-21.

Hughes finished with nine kills, 16 assists and six digs.

After Thompson scored the first point of set No. 2, it was all Cardinals after a Kaylee Lowery kill put Langdon-Edmore-Munich ahead 12-6. Another kill by Lowery later in the set gave the Cardinals a 10-point advantage as the Cardinals cruised to the 25-17 win that tied the match at one game apiece.

The Cardinals were in control in the third set, leading by as many as seven but Thompson stormed back, eventually taking the lead at 20-19 behind consecutive aces by Kaia Sorby. With the score tied at 21, Lexi Olson had back-to-back kills to put the Cardinals up two and leading by one, a Calyn Crockett kill and a Lowery ace gave the Cardinals the 25-22 win and a 2-1 match lead.

The Cardinals (3-1) won the fourth set 25-20.

“Langdon has always got a good team and they have a lot of good hitters, they put the ball down and their serves were fantastic tonight,” said Thompson head coach Lisa Strand. “They just took charge, they played the game in their style and we couldn’t get back into ours.

“So once they had it under their control, we just did not respond very well to that.”

Callie Ronningen had 17 kills and 16 digs, Olson had six kills, four blocks and 22 digs and Crockett had eight kills, three blocks, four aces, 26 assists and 12 digs for the Cardinals.

“It was a good match. It was good for our girls to play such a good team like Thompson and I think we’ll get a lot out of it in the end,” Olson said.

Allie Ness had eight kills and seven digs and Lauren Cunningham had 19 digs for the Tommies.

Chris Harris can be reached at and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ