10/27/2017 10:47:00 AM Vikings lose finale to Elk River, keep top seed in Section 7AA
North Branch cruised to the end of their regular season schedule last week, and seemed to have their sights set on the postseason just a bit early.
North Branch 3, Princeton 1 The Lady Vikes beat Princeton in their Mississippi 8 Conference finale 3-1, and got plenty of swings to other players in the match. Macy Bombard led the offense with 10 kills and Lydia Langevin had nine. Cianna Selbitschka worked on perfecting her defense in the match and mostly stayed off the attack.
They won the opening set 25-22 and the second set 25-14 before falling 25-13 in the third set that featured many subs. In the fourth set, North Branch came back out with some starters and won 25-16.
Both Selbitschka and Sophie Linder had 12 digs on the defensive side of the ball.
Elk River 3, North Branch 1 The Vikings closed their regular season with a rare loss, 3-1 to Elk River.
The Elks are a big school that has a strong record this year at 19-9, but North Branch seemed to be looking forward to the postseason at times. They lost the first set 25-20 before rebounding for a 25-19 win in the second set.
However, Elk River won the next two sets 25-21, 25-22 to finish the win. There were times when North Branch didn’t take advantage of Elk River mistakes in the way they normally do, and a few points that typically go NB’s way went the way of the Elks.
Selbitschka was back at her ferocious best, knocking down 19 kills to go with 19 digs and three blocks. Langevin had eight kills, Madison Hadrava had six and Bombard had seven on the night. Haley Hadrava had another all around wonderful performance, with four aces, 19 digs and 38 assists.
The loss gave North Branch a 23-3 record on the year, and did nothing to jeopardize their top seed in Section 7AA.
They drew south subsection eight seed Aitkin in the first round and were at home on Wednesday, October 25 after the Press went to print. Assuming a win there, they’ll face the winner of Cloquet and Esko in the second round, also at home on Friday, October 27.
If they can make it to the final four, they’d cross over with the North subsection, which features a top seed of Greenway and a second seed of Hermantown. Duluth Marshall is the second seed in the South subsection.
Selbitschka ended the regular season sixth in the state of Minnesota in kills with 365. The Vikings enter the postseason ranked fourth in Class AA by the Associated Press and second in the class by minnesota-scores.net.