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Megan Norby (13), shown going up for a kill against Onamia, had 20 kills as the Nevis volleyball team defeated Braham and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa to win the Section 5A title.

Tigers win section title, earn return trip to state

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Tigers win section title, earn return trip to state
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The Nevis volleyball team seems ready to make another run at winning the state Class A title.

The Tigers defended their Section 5A title with ease with a 25-8, 25-18, 25-8 win over Braham in Thursday night's semifinals at Pierz and a 25-6, 25-23, 25-20 win over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in Saturday night's championship match at Pierz.

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In the semifinal win over Braham, Riley Hanson had 22 kills and five ace serves while Megan Norby had 12 kills and 18 digs. Olivia Toft tallied 38 set assists while Kate Dierkhising (12), Hanson (10), Toft (9) and Norby (8) combined for 39 service points. Hanson (10), Toft (7) and Savannah Gatewood (6) combined for 23 digs. Braham ended the season with a 19-5 record.

Hanson's 23 kills and three solo blocks led the Tigers past B-B-E in a rematch of the last five section titles. Katie Becker served 11 points, Norby had eight kills and 11 service points, and Dierkhising served three aces. Toft had 33 set assists, Norby had 13 digs and Hanson (7) and Ruby Vedbraaten (6) combined for 13 digs for the Tigers, who earned their third trip to state in the last four years

Nevis will carry a 24-8-1 overall record into Thursday's state quarterfinal match against Win-E-Mac at 1 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center. Nevis was rated No. 6 in the final state Class A poll and is the No. 4 seed while Win-E-Mac (27-6) was rated No. 8 in the state poll and is the No. 5 seed.

Thursday's other quarterfinal matches pit defending champion and top-seeded Bethlehem Academy (23-7) against unranked Martin County West (23-10), No. 2-seeded Minneota (29-3) against North Woods (23-3), and No. 3 seeded Southwest Christian (23-10) against Underwood (27-4).

The state semifinals are set for Friday with the finals set for Saturday.

The Tigers return plenty of experience with Becker, Toft, Hanson, Norby, Brown, Dierkhising and Gatewood back from last year's tournament team that lost to Bethlehem Academy in the title match.

Offensively, the Tigers will rely on Hanson (551 kills), Norby (318 kills), Brown (101 kills), Hannah Bliss (61 kills) and Becker (45 kills). Toft has accounted for 822 set assists. At the service line, Hanson has 95 aces, Norby has 60 aces, Toft has 54 aces and Dierkhising has 45 aces while Norby (211), Hanson (200), Toft (199), Dierkhising (177) and Becker (144) lead the way in service points.

Defensively, Hanson has 49 solo blocks and 102 assists Norby has 18 solo blocks and 61 assists, and Brown has 11 solo blocks and 71 assists. Norby (294), Hanson (254), Gatewood (182), Becker (178) and Toft (151) lead the Tigers in digs.

Nevis statistics vs. Braham

Attacks: Becker 2 (1 kill), Bliss 6 (2 kills), Stenberg 6 (1 kill), Brown 9 (3 kills), Toft 1 (1 kill), Hanson 36 (22 kills), Norby 20 (12 kills).

Serving: Hass 2 for 2, Becker 9 for 9 (1 ace), Bliss 0 for 1, Toft 14 for 14 (1 ace), Dierkhising 11 for 12 (1 ace), Hanson 14 for 15 (5 aces), Vedbraaten 4 for 4, Norby 12 for 14 (2 aces).

Service points: Dierkhising 12, Hanson 10, Toft 9, Norby 8, Becker 5, Vedbraaten 2, Hass 1.

Assisted blocks: Brown 2, Hanson 2, Norby 2, Becker 1, Bliss 1.

Sets: Bliss 7 (2 assists), Stenberg 1, Brown 1, Toft 59 (38 assists), Hanson 6 (1 assist), Vedbraaten 1, Norby 7.

Digs: Norby 18, Hanson 10, Toft 7, Gatewood 6, Becker 3, Bliss 3, Stenberg 1, Brown 1.

Serve receive: Becker 0 for 2, Hanson 5 for 6, Vedbraaten 4 for 5, Norby 10 for 11, Gatewood 4 for 6.

Nevis statistics vs. B-B-E

Attacks: Becker 3 (1 kill), Bliss 6 (3 kills), Brown 9 (3 kills), Toft 5 (2 kills), Hanson 34 (23 kills), Vedbraaten 1, Norby 17 (8 kills).

Serving: Becker 16 for 16 (1 ace), Toft 14 for 14 (2 aces), Dierkhising 15 for 15 (3 aces), Hanson 5 for 9 (2 aces), Vedbraaten 2 for 3, Norby 16 for 17 (1 ace).

Service points: Becker 11, Norby 11, Dierkhising 8, Toft 7, Hanson 4.

Solo blocks: Hanson 3, Norby 1.

Assisted blocks: Brown 3, Toft 2, Hanson 2, Becker 1, Bliss 1, Norby 1.

Sets: Becker 3, Bliss 10 (2 assists), Brown 7, Toft 62 (33 assists), Hanson 4, Norby 7 (1 assist).

Digs: Norby 13, Hanson 7, Vedbraaten 6, Becker 5, Toft 5, Bliss 3, Gatewood 3, Brown 1.

Serve receive: Becker 1 for 1, Toft 1 for 1, Hanson 6 for 6, Vedbraaten 7 for 8, Norby 21 for 25, Gatewood 1 for 6.

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