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Volleyball: Braves rally to defeat EGF in thriller

Menahga advances to the Section 8AA semifinals with a dramatic 3-2 win over the Green Wave.

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High school volleyball

Menahga was on the verge of having the season end before rallying for a 3-2 win over East Grand Forks in a Section 8AA North volleyball tournament match at Menahga on Friday, Oct. 29.

East Grand Forks, the No. 5 seed in the North, won the first two sets before the top-seeded Braves responded for a 22-25, 16-25, 25-20, 25-22, 18-16 victory.

“It is one of our favorite wins of the season. It has been a while for Menahga to get to this point in playoffs,” said Menahga head coach Logan Redetzke. “It is nice to show our No. 1 seed is really what we earned.”

Janie Tormanen’s kill and ace serve gave Menahga a 5-1 lead to start Set 1 before two kills by Michaela Skoog and kills by Allie Pfeifer, Erica Tormanen, Lela Peterson and Maryn Pinoniemi kept the Braves in front 13-10. Ace serves by Peterson and Pinoniemi made it 19-18 before the Green Wave went on a 7-3 run to take the opening set.

Two kills apiece by Peterson and Meagan Holtz, an ace serve by Amanda Lake, and a kill by Erica Tormanen gave the Braves a 9-5 lead in Set 2. EGF rallied to tie the set at 12-12 before two kills and an ace serve by Janie Tormanen gave Menahga a 15-13 edge. EGF responded with a 12-1 run to win that set.

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An ace serve by Lake, two kills apiece by Janie Tormanen and Erica Tormanen, and a kill by Peterson sparked the Braves to an 11-11 tie in Set 3. Two kills by Erica Tormanen and kills by Janie Tormanen and Peterson gave Menahga a 19-16 lead before two kills by Janie Tormanen, a pair of ace serves by Erica Tormanen, and a kill by Peterson ended that set.

Kills by Holtz, Peterson and Janie Tormanen produced a 10-4 lead to begin Set 4. The Green Wave claimed a 17-13 lead, but Menahga was able to force a deciding set with a 12-5 run. Peterson and Janie Tormanen had two kills each, Erica Tormanen and Pfeifer served aces, and Pinoniemi, Lake and Erica Tormanen had kills during that stretch.

EGF jumped out to a 7-4 lead in Set 5 before Erica Tormanen’s two kills and ace serve along with a block by Janie Tormanen and a kill by Skoog gave the Braves a 13-9 lead. The Green Wave rallied for a match point at 14-13, but two kills apiece by Peterson and Janie Tormanen and a kill by Pinoniemi completed Menahga’s comeback.

“We worked on shaking off the little mistakes, to keep shooting for those tricky shots and to keep up our energy and to remember what we worked so hard for,” said Redetzke about the Braves’ comeback.

The Braves had 52 kills with 44 hitting errors, 11 ace serves and 124 digs in improving to 15-10 on the season. Janie Tormanen’s 16 kills, Peterson’s 13 kills and Erica Tormanen’s 10 kills and four ace serves led the offense. Lake (26) and Pinoniemi (15) combined for 41 set assists. Defensively, Pfeifer had 45 digs with Peterson (21), Erica Tormanen (20), Pinoniemi (14) and Lake (14) also posting double figures in digs.

Ava Pena’s 17 kills, Kendra Emery’s 15 kills and 32 digs, Addison Kujawa’s seven blocks, and Morgan Kovar’s 49 digs led EGF, which ended the season at 10-17. The Green Wave had 46 kills with 31 hitting errors.

The Braves will face Thief River Falls, the No. 2 seed in the North, in the section semifinals on Thursday (Nov. 4). Barnesville and Hawley will meet in the other semifinal match.

“In order for us to get as far as we can in playoffs we need to keep a good energy and not get down on ourselves,” said Redetzke.

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Menahga statistics
Serving: Lake 19 for 19 (2 aces), Peterson 15 for 19 (1 ace), Pfeifer 18 for 18 (1 ace), J. Tormanen 18 for 18 (2 aces), E. Tormanen 16 for 18 (4 aces), Pinoniemi 14 for 14 (1 ace).
Attacks: Peterson 47 (13 kills), J. Tormanen 45 (16 kills), E. Tormanen 41 (10 kills), Pinoniemi 32 (5 kills), Skoog 21 (3 kills), Holtz 16 (3 kills), Lake 7 (1 kill), Besonen 6.
Sets: Lake 104 (26 assists), Pinoniemi 81 (15 assists), Besonen 11 (4 assists), E. Tormanen 6 (1 assist), Pfeifer 6 (1 assist), Peterson 6, Skoog 4 (1 assist), J. Tormanen 4, Holtz 3.
Digs: Pfeifer 45, Peterson 21, E. Tormanen 20, Pinoniemi 14, Lake 14, J. Tormanen 9, Skoog 1.
Blocks (solo-assists): J. Tormanen 4-1, Pinoniemi 0-3, E. Tormanen 0-2, Peterson 0-1, Besonen 0-1, Skoog 0-1.
Serve receive: Peterson 39 for 41, E. Tormanen 30 for 30, Pfeifer 15 for 15, Pinoniemi 8 for 8, Besonen 8 for 8, Holtz 3 for 3, J. Tormanen 1 for 1, Skoog 1 for 1.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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