|11/21/2020 2:41:00 PM|
North Branch can't topple Monticello before dropping tough one to Becker
North Branch's lone loss this year came at the hands of Monticello, a team Head Coach Mike Selbitschka knew would be dangerous this year.
Althought the Magic swept NB in the first meeting, the game was a bit closer than it would appear, so Selbitschka was hoping in their second match up on Thursday, November 12 that the Vikings could turn the table on the Magic. Unfortunately, it didn't happen that way, as Monticello secured lopsided wins in the first and third set, sandwiched around a tight affair in the second set.
NB's offense was just out of rhythm from the start, as Monti's serving and offense is a strong suit this year. That allowed the Magic to jump out to an early lead and win the first set In the second set, NB did get some things going, with Paige Peaslee, Regan Irons and Maddie Helin having their best sets of the night, but Monticello, who essentially wrapped up the Mississippi 8 Conference title with the win, did just enough to hold off NB and win the second set 26-24.
In the third set, NB got out of system often again, and Monticello made them pay, running away with the sweep, winning 25-12.
The big key was Monticello's serves. On the night, they had 13 aces, included four from star Natalie Emmerich. She also led them in kills with 11. On North Branch's side, Irons and Peaslee both had five kills and Helin had three.
Becker 3, North Branch 2
The Vikings lost their second game in a row for the first time in three years, with the Bulldogs of Becker avenging an early season loss to North Branch on Monday, November 16. North Branch won the first meeting 3-1, but it was tight throughout, and Becker was able to reverse their fortunes in this tangle.
The Bulldogs won the first set 27-25, and then held on to win the second set 25-21 to take a commanding 2-0 lead. North Branch wouldn't quit, fighting back to win the next two sets 25-19, 25-23. In the fifth set, though, Becker just made a couple more plays than NB, winning 15-13.
The offense was varied for NB in this one, with four girls in double digits in kills. Peaslee led the way from the middle with 15. Sheehan took an uncharacteristically aggressive approach, and ended up with 11 kills to go along with her 41 assists. Irons added 10 kills from the middle and Lindsey Bunes had 10 kills from her outside hitter spot. Lauren Hicks chipped in nine kills in her first extended varsity action.