L/E/M falls to Linton H-M-B in volleyball Class B state championship game

Jack Williams
Devils Lake Journal
Devils Lake Journal

The Cardinals punched their ticket to a second straight appearance at the NDHSAA Class B state title game in hopes to repeat as champions taking on top seeded Linton H-M-B. The Cardinals swept Kenmare and Thompson prior to their Saturday night appearance. 

Langdon/Edmore/Munich (22-3) played the Lions tight through three sets, but couldn't find the extra edge for the win as they would fall to Linton H-M-B 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 26-24). The Lions cap off an undefeated season, only losing three sets the entire season, with their volleyball title in program history.  

From the first serve, the Lions and Cardinals were neck in neck. L/E/M would eventually find an edge off of a defensive surge to pull forward to a 20-18 lead. The defensive effort was led off by senior middle hitter Lexis Olson, who recorded a team high 24 digs and three blocks. However, the Lions play at the net would give them the narrow victory in extra points. 

The second set saw the Lions and Cardinals once again go back and forth with scoring. A handful of errors and miscommunication by the Cardinals would allow Linton H-M-B pull ahead to a 20-17 lead. The Lions offense was led off by junior outside hitter Teegan Scherr, who finished with a team high 20 kills. She also was a force on the defensive end with 18 digs as well. 

The Cardinals would make a comeback in set two to pull within four of the lead, but the deficit would be too much and hand the Lions a set two victory. The front line defense came up big for both squads as the Lions would out-block the Cardinals, 9-6 on the night. Linton H-M-B saw it's largest blocking performance from senior middle hitter Emily Kelsch, who had three. 

In the third set, the Cardinals played the Lions tight from start to finish, with the game being decided by only a few points. L/E/M would eventually find a three point edge off blocks and points off the blocks. Freshman outside hitter Cora Badding was the Cardinals weapon on the outside, racking up a team high 13 kills. However, Linton go on a short run to tie the game and eventually pull out to a narrow lead.

L/E/M would push the third set into extra points but a volley into the net would seal the sweep for the Lions and the title. The Cardinals finish their season with 22 wins and three losses (Thompson, Carrington, Linton H-M-B). They won their sixth straight Region 4 title and saw their season win streak extend to as many as 19 games. 

L/E/M will be losing weapons in Olson and senior outside hitter Kaylee Lowery. Olson has been a major all around weapon over the last four years. Lowery has been a key player in the Cardinals defensive effort throughout the season, seeing her make up a big part of the Cardinals team growth throughout the season.

At the same time, L/E/M will be returning key players in junior outside hitter Morgan Freije, freshman setter Jalynn Swanson, Badding and outside hitter Halle Jabs. 

Jack Williams covers Lake Region sports and general news for The Devils Lake Journal. Contact him via email at JGWilliams1@gannett.com, on Twitter @jackgwilliams, or phone at 701-662-2127.

NDHSAA Class B State Championship: Langdon/Edmore/Munich vs. Linton H-M-B

LHMB - 27, 25, 26 - 3

L/E/M - 25, 20, 24 - 0 

Leaders: Kills - LEM: Corra Badding (13), LHMB: Teegan Scherr (20), Digs - LEM: Lexis Olson (24), LHMB: Callie Hase (28), Assists - LEM:Jalynn Swanson (32), LHMB: Gracie Schumacher (37), Blocks - LEM: Lexis Olson (3), LHMB: Emily Kelsch (3), Aces - LEM: Morgan Freije (3), LHMB: JayCee Richter (3) 

NDHSCA Class B Senior Athlete of the Year: Sadie Hansen, Oakes

NDHSCA Class B Coach of the Year: Jamie Richter, Linton/HMB