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Tigers rebound from Win-E-Mac loss to win consolation trophy

     For the fourth time in four trips, the Nevis volleyball team brought home a trophy from the state Class A tournament.

     The Tigers captured the consolation trophy for the third time by defeating Martin County West 25-19, 26-24, 25-13 Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

     Nevis, the No. 5 seed, opened the state tournament with a 25-21, 25-20, 25-20 loss to No. 4 Win-E-Mac in Thursday’s quarterfinals before advancing to the consolation title match with a 25-22, 25-20, 18-25, 18-25, 17-15 win over Ada-Borup in Friday’s consolation semifinals.

     The win over Martin County West gave the Tigers their third state consolation trophy. Nevis also won the consolation title in its first state appearance in 2009 and claimed the consolation title last season. The Tigers were the state Class A runner-up in 2011.

     Megan Norby capped off her senior season by being named to the Class A all-tournament team and to the Class A all-state team.

     Southwest Christian, the No. 3 seed, defeated No. 1 Fillmore Central in the championship match while No. 2 Minneota defeated Win-E-Mac for third place.

     In the final state Class A poll, Fillmore Central was No. 1, Southwest Christian was No. 2, Minneota was No. 3, Win-E-Mac was No. 4 and Nevis was No. 10.

      “Win-E-Mac was a very good team and they played very well against us. However, we did not play well as a team Thursday. I am extremely proud of this team in how they did rebound and never gave up in the next two matches,” said Heidi Wormley, who guided the Tigers to a 24-10-2 record in her first season as head coach. “Our seniors stepped up and led us to the consolation title and our underclassmen played great. It really took everyone on our team to improve our record at state to 8-4 in four trips.”

Win-E-Mac wins clutch points

     For the second year in a row, Win-E-Mac defeated Nevis in the state quarterfinals.

     Two service aces by Norby, a kill by Hannah Bliss, a kill by Melissa Stenberg, four kills by Denia Brown and a kill by Norby gave the Tigers a 13-9 advantage in Set 1. A pair of ace serves by Korbyn Ross and three straight kills by Shelby Kaster gave Win-E-Mac a 23-17 edge. Two kills by Bliss and an ace serve by Taylor Drury kept Nevis within 24-21 before the Patriots closed out the set.

     In Set 2, seven kills by Norby and a kill by Bliss sparked the Tigers to a 16-12 advantage. After kills by Stenberg and Norby gave Nevis a 20-18 edge, the Patriots used two kills by Ross and an ace serve by Kaster to close out the set.

     Four kills by Norby, two kills by Brown, an ace serve by Bliss and a kill by Stenberg gave the Tigers an 11-10 lead in Set 3. After Win-E-Mac used three kills by Kaster to claim a 16-13 lead, two kills by Norby and a kill by Brown tied the set at 18-18. An ace serve by Ross and four attack errors by the Tigers ended the match.

     Kaster’s 15 kills, Jordyn Ose’s 23 digs, and Ross’ nine kills, 17 digs and four ace serves helped Win-E-Mac advance to the semifinals with a 31-3 record.

     Norby finished with 16 kills and 11 digs, Brown had eight kills, Toft tallied 18 set assists and 14 digs, and Savannah Gatewood had 10 digs for the Tigers, who had 32 kills to go along with 26 attack errors.

Nevis statistics

Attacks: Bliss 15 (4 kills), Brown 28 (8 kills), Toft 10 (1 kill), Drury 7, Vedbraaten 1, Norby 50 (16 kills), Stenberg 17 (3 kills), Wolf 2.

Serving: Bliss 9 for 10 (1 ace), Brown 4 for 5, Toft 13 for 13, Drury 11 for 12 (1 ace), Vedbraaten 8 for 8, Norby 13 for 14 (2 aces).

Service points: Toft 8, Norby 7, Drury 6, Bliss 4, Vedbraaten 4, Brown 1.

Solo blocks: Brown 1.

Assisted blocks: Bliss 1, Drury 1.

Digs: Toft 14, Norby 11, Gatewood 10, Bliss 6, Vedbraaten 2, Stenberg 2, Wolf 2, Brown 1, Drury 1.

Set assists: Toft 18, Bliss 3, Norby 2, Gatewood 2, Brown 1, Drury 1.

Serve receive: Bliss 10 for 10, Drury 1 for 1, Vedbraaten 8 for 11, Norby 19 for 19, Booker 0 for 1, Wolf 6 for 7, Gatewood 17 for 18.

Nevis rallies to advance

     Ada-Borup appeared ready to complete a dramatic comeback before the Tigers closed the match with a 12-4 run in Set 5 to return to the consolation final.

     In Set 1, the Cougars jumped out to a 9-3 lead before Nevis rallied to take a 16-14 advantage behind an ace serve by Vedbraaten and two kills apiece by Norby and Bliss. Two kills by Stenberg and a kill by Toft led to a 20-19 edge before the Tigers closed out the set with two kills by Norby, a kill by Drury and an ace serve by Toft.

     Despite three kills by Norby, the Tigers faced a 13-9 deficit in Set 2. A kill by Stenberg, an ace serve by Drury, two kills by Brown, a kill by Norby, and a block by Brown and Norby tied the set at 17-17. Four kills by Norby and a kill by Bliss closed out that set.

     Six Nevis errors gave the Cougars a 12-7 lead in Set 3 before two kills by Drury and kills by Bliss and Stenberg cut the gap to 15-12. Four kills by Lexi Merkens helped A-B close out the set.

     Four kills by Norby and three kills by Brown helped Nevis stay even at 9-9 in Set 4. Four kills by Merkens and six attack errors by the Tigers helped A-B even the match.

     The Cougars maintained that momentum to start Set 5 as three kills by Merkens sparked an 11-5 run. The Tigers rallied for a 15-15 tie behind four kills by Brown, an ace serve by Vedbraaten, two kills by Norby, a kill by Drury, a block by Drury and Norby, and a block by  Bliss and Norby. A kill by Drury and a block by Drury and Bliss ended the match.

     Toft finished with 50 set assists with Norby pounding down 24 kills and Brown adding 17 kills. Gatewood (32), Vedbraaten (23), Toft (17), Norby (17) and Bliss (12) had double digits in digs while Vedbraaten served 17 points. The Tigers finished with 61 kills and 34 attack errors.

     Merkens and Miki Lee had 15 kills each while Merkens (24) and Emma Kroshus (21) combined for 45 digs as Ada-Borup’s record fell to 23-10.

Nevis statistics

Attacks: Bliss 28 (7 kills), Brown 39 (17 kills), Toft 9 (1 kill), Drury 23 (7 kills), Norby 96 (24 kills), Stenberg 21 (5 kills), Wolf 1.

Serving: Bliss 11 for 13, Brown 5 for 5, Toft 14 for 16 (1 ace), Drury 10 for 12 (1 ace), Vedbraaten 26 for 26 (2 aces), Norby 15 for 18 (1 ace), Gatewood 13 for 13.

Service points: Vedbraaten 17, Norby 9, Toft 8, Gatewood 7, Bliss 4, Drury 3, Brown 3.

Set assists: Toft 50, Bliss 4, Gatewood 2, Norby 1.

Solo blocks: Brown 1, Norby 1.

Assisted blocks: Drury 5, Bliss 4, Norby 4, Brown 3, Toft 1, Stenberg 1.

Digs: Gatewood 32, Vedbraaten 23, Toft 17, Norby 17, Bliss 12, Wolf 6, Drury 3, Stenberg 1.

Serve receive: Bliss 5 for 6, Drury 4 for 4, Vedbraaten 16 for 16, Norby 15 for 18, Stenberg 2 for 2, Wolf 3 for 3, Gatewood 50 for 52.

Tigers win consolation title

     Nevis won the clutch points down the stretch in the first two sets to capture their third consolation title in the last five years.

     Two kills apiece by Norby and Brown and a kill by Stenberg gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead in Set 1. Two more kills by Norby and another kill by Stenberg kept Nevis in front 12-9 before four Nevis errors gave MCW a 17-15 advantage. Three kills by Brown, two kills by Norby and a kill by Drury sparked a 10-2 run as Nevis closed out the opening set to take the early lead.

     A block by Bliss and Drury, kills by Toft, Drury and Stenberg, two ace serves by Vedbraaten, a block by Brown and Norby, three kills by Norby, a kill by Drury, and three service aces by Toft, gave Nevis a 17-12 advantage in Set 2. Six attack errors offset kills by Norby, Drury and Stenberg as MCW was on the verge of tying the match by claiming a 24-21 lead. The Tigers won the next five points behind four kills by Brown and a kill by Norby to reclaim the momentum.

     Kills by Norby and Drury and a block by Stenberg and Brown kept Set 3 tied at 6-6 before Nevis took control. Brown pounded down two kills and served three aces as the Tigers claimed a 13-7 advantage. Two kills by Norby and kills by Brown and Stenberg pushed the lead to 20-11 before two kills by Norby, a kill by Brown and a block by Toft and Drury ended the match.

     Norby’s 20 kills, Toft’s 38 set assists and three ace serves, Vedbraaten’s 15 service points, Brown’s 13 kills and three ace serves, and Gatewood’s 16 digs led the Tigers.

     MCW ended the season with a 27-8 record.

Nevis statistics

Attacks: Bliss 9 (1 kill), Brown 20 (13 kills), Toft 5 (1 kill), Drury 15 (5 kills), Norby 40 (20 kills), Stenberg 13 (5 kills), Wolf 1.

Serving: Bliss 9 for 9, Brown 13 for 13 (3 aces), Toft 10 for 11 (3 aces), Drury 8 for 10, Vedbraaten 20 for 20 (2 aces), Norby 9 for 10, Schuldt 1 for 1, Wanda 1 for 1.

Service points: Vedbraaten 15, Brown 9, Toft 6, Drury 5, Norby 4, Bliss 4, Swanda 1.

Set assists: Toft 38, Drury 2, Bliss 12, Brown 1.

Assisted blocks: Brown 3, Bliss 2, Drury 2, Toft 1, Norby 1, Stenberg 1.

Digs: Gatewood 16, Vedbraaten 7, Norby 6, Bliss 4, Brown 4, Toft 4, Wolf 4, , Stenberg 2, Schuldt 2.

Serve receive: Drury 1 for 2, Vedbraaten 5 for 6, Norby 15 for 15, Wolf 1 for 1, Schuldt 1 for 1, Gatewood 27 for 29.