|10/11/2019 11:13:00 AM|
North Branch wraps up first Mississippi 8 Conference crown
North Branch 3, Monticello 2
Just one obstacle remained for the North Branch volleyball team to win their first Mississippi 8 Conference championship since 2015, and that was the Monticello Magic.
On Thursday, October 3, the Vikings cleared that obstacle, wrapping up their first M8C title with an unbeaten 7-0 record.
“It was a great accomplishment for them, especially with an undefeated record,” Head Coach Mike Selbitschka said. “We have played at a high level up to this point in the year, and we need to stay focused still going forward.”
The Vikings absolutely cruised through the first two games and looked like they’d be celebrating the title with an early night. They won 25-11 in the opening game and 25-18 in the second stanza.
But, Monticello, who’s second in the conference, wouldn’t send their home fans away too quick. They scratched and clawed their way back in the third set to win 26-24 before winning another in the fourth set 25-22.
All of a sudden, what looked like an easy sweep came down to a race to 15 in the fifth set. North Branch got out of the gates quick and didn’t let Monticello get in rhythm, keeping them off balance. That led to a 15-7 blowout win for the Vikings, and a conference-winning celebration.
Cianna Selbitschka, the best pure hitter in the state, showed her mettle, with 29 kills in the match, 10 digs, four blocks and two assists. Paige Sheehan played a huge role all over the court. Mainly, she was NB’s dead-on accurate setter, with 38 assists, but she also had 18 digs, six kills, five blocks and three aces. Reagan irons had seven kills and seven blocks and Macy Brodin had 27 digs, two aces, one kill and two assists.
Although the conference championship is great, especially after being stymied two years in a row by a Class AAA opponent in St. Michael-Albertville, the coach still knows there are bigger things that this team is shooting for, namely a repeat of last year’s state title. “Our goal is still the state tournament and a high finish if we’re there,” he said. “They will be highly challenged the rest of the way, which will put our training to the test. We will see what we need to work on on and work to be ready for when the playoffs start.”