This time, North Branch didn't have to dig out of a 2-0 hole. But it still needed five sets to get the victory. Oh, and the Vikings also upset the No. 1 seed.
No. 4 seed North Branch defeated Kasson-Mantorville 20-25, 25-20, 25-11, 17-25, 15-13 in the Class 2A volleyball state semifinals Friday night at Xcel Energy Center.
"We came in and … my first words were: 'We're not supposed to win this,'" North Branch coach Mike Selbitschka said. "And that really got them going. From then on, when they began that match, they felt that they can do this."
Junior Cianna Selbitschka once again led the Vikings with 30 kills and 24 digs. The 28-4 Vikings finished the third set on a 9-2 run, and three of those points came on Selbitschka kills.
"I can't say it enough, not just as a father but as a coach, amazing job of just absolutely controlling her attack to put the most pressure on them at all times and never backing down," Mike Selbitschka said.
KoMets coach Adam VanOort cited Selbitschka's play, saying she was "lights out" no matter if she was in the front row or back row.
"She had a lot of power," said KoMets senior Peyton Suess. "I think she just kept answering to us."
The Ms. Volleyball finalist Suess led the 30-3 KoMets with 25 kills and added 16 digs.
Marshall 3, Concordia Academy 1: Marshall had a 22-18 lead in the first set but ended up losing 26-24. Although the rest of the match was close, the Tigers didn't lose again.
Marshall, seeded third, won the final three sets for a 24-26, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 victory over the No. 2 Beacons.
"Our kids battled for every point," Marshall coach Dan Westby said. "They scratched, clawed and found a way to get it done."
The second set was a game of momentum and mini-runs. The Beacons (28-4) took a timeout after trailing 18-17 following a 4-0 Marshall run. Then the Beacons responded with four of the next five points.
After a Marshall timeout, the Tigers scored the next four points to take a 23-21 lead. The Beacons tied it again before Marshall won the set.
"I think both teams did a nice job of not only taking timeouts at the right time but being able to make some adjustments during those timeouts," Westby said.
The Tigers (29-5) had four players reach double digits in kills, led by Bria Morris with 14.
Defensively, the Tigers worked on putting up a solid block, junior Logan Sherman said.
"We were able to run a good offense out of that," Sherman said.
Kira Fallert and Lydia Lecher led the Beacons with 10 kills each.
"They served tough on us," said Beacons coach Kim Duis. "They had us out of system."