For the second year in a row, Rush City eliminated the Nevis volleyball team from the Section 5A tournament.
In the 2017 section quarterfinals, Rush City defeated the Tigers 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-20). Rush City also posted a 3-0 win in the section quarterfinal rematch at Aitkin on Oct. 30, but this match was a lot closer as Nevis saw its season end with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 setback. Rush City entered as the No. 1 seed in the North A bracket with an eight-match winning streak while the Tigers were the No. 3 seed in the North B bracket.
MaKenna Frazier opened the match with a kill before Rush City went on a 9-1 run to take the early lead in Set 1. A kill by Kia Heide was followed by an ace serve by Cora Umthun during a 5-0 run as the Tigers cut the gap to 9-7 before another kill by Heide and ace serves by Jessica Swanda, Carol Keezer and Ashley Pyburn gave Nevis a 14-13 edge. Rush City responded with another 9-1 run as three kills by Jamie Guphill, two blocks by Guphill and Alexis Ertz, and a pair of ace serves by Ellie White produced a 22-14 advantage. Kills by Ava Isaacson and Andrea Dudley and three ace serves by Umthun cut the margin to 24-20 before a kill by Shawna Mell gave Rush City the first set.
Rush City used ace serves by Katie McDonald and Guphill and a kill by Guphill to claim a 7-2 lead to start Set 2. Two kills by Heide and a kill by Swanda were offset by two kills by Mell as Rush City held an 11-7 lead. After a kill by Heide, Rush City used two kills by Guphill and an ace serve by McDonald to extend the advantage to 16-10. Rush City followed a kill by Pyburn with an ace serve by Guphill and two kills by Mell for a 20-13 lead. A kill by Swanda and four kills by Pyburn rallied the Tigers to within 23-21 before a kill by Guphill and a block by Guphill and Ertz ended that set.
Nevis regrouped to build a 13-6 led to start Set 3. Pyburn, Umthun and Maggie Carrier served aces while Heide had two kills and Frazier, Swanda and Pyburn had kills in the early going. The Tigers clung to a 16-8 advantage before White served an ace and six straight points to pull Rush City to within 16-15. Guphill had two kills during that span. Kills by Heide and Pyburn were countered by a pair of kills by Mell as the set was tied 21-21. A kill by White and an ace serve by Mell gave Rush City a 24-21 advantage before a kill by Dudley made it 24-22. A kill by Kaylen Bowen ended the match.
Heide (8) and Pyburn (7) combined for 15 kills as Nevis finished with 23 kills and 16 hitting errors. The Tigers put 57 of 64 serves in play with 10 aces with Umthun serving five of those. Dudley tallied 18 set assists and joined Sadie Thurner with eight digs as Nevis ended the season with a 19-10 record.
Guphill’s 13 kills and Mell’s 12 kills led Rush City, which ended the season with a 19-8 record following a 3-1 loss (25-13, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22) to Pine River-Backus in the Section 5A North championship match.Nevis statistics