November 9, 2006 at 9:13 a.m.
Hibbing came out fast and took the match in three games by scores of 25-12, 25-22 and 25-15. Hibbing, a traditional volleyball power, always seems to play its best in the section tournament. “I don’t think they made a mistake until near the end of the game one,” said North Branch head coach Kari Francis. “Hibbing is always a tough draw in the region, but we knew we would need to play well in order to have a chance. They came ready to play in game one.”
According to the coach, the Bluejackets have a very balanced attack, “So you can’t key on just one player,” Francis added. “I was proud of how we responded in game two. We stayed together as a team and fought hard the entire match.
“The score was not an indication of effort we put forth. Hibbing played at the top of their game that night. I have been proud of the girls the entire season and it took dedication and commitment the entire season to make it this far,” the coach commented.
Francis complimented the contributions of her seniors, Megan Ranger, Kacie Ramberg, Randi Zentner and Tess Prouty-Kunshier, when she said, “We will miss our four seniors. Each one of them contributed to this season and they where great leaders on the court.”
The coach also made a point to thank all of the parents and fans who followed North Branch volleyball this year. “It took a commitment by everyone to make this season such a successful season,” Francis concluded.
(Hibbing went on to beat Forest Lake in three games Thursday, November 2 to earn another trip to the state tournament.)
The Vikings will conclude their season with a team banquet Tuesday, November 14.