Posted 11/10/15 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
With a championship on the line on the home floor, the Ray volleyball team had five double-double performances amid another solid defensive effort in defeating the Kenmare Honkers 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 24-26, 25-18) Thursday evening in Ray to win the District 16 tournament.
“I think we just saw a lot of even play from the whole team,” head coach Michelle Dolan said. “Some very good teamwork.”
Ray is also hosting the Region 8 tournament this week and swept Trinity Christian 25-7, 25-11, 25-11 Monday to advance.
Against Kenmare, three Jays finished with double-figure kills, earning 49 as a group. Marissa Veach earned a double-double with 17 kills while adding 10 digs, two aces and a block.
Hayden Slikker and Maari Dolan respectively finished with 11 and 10 kills, completing their double-double evenings with 20 digs for Slikker and 18 for Dolan. Slikker had two blocks in the victory. Britne Viall had six kills while also adding 15 digs.
Allison Ziebarth served up 25 of Ray’s 44 assists on the day and added two kills, six aces and 20 digs, while Kelsey Perdue was the last player to earn double-digit digs for the Jays with 17, as well as 18 assists.
McKayla Neubauer led Kenmare with 14 kills, while Sierra Overton led the Honkers with 20 assists. Halley Bartlett led the team with 23 digs, and Haley Kohler earned two blocks.
After Kenmare earned the first three points of the first set, Ray took the next four to pull ahead 4-3, at which point the Honkers scored four of the next five to go up 7-5. The teams alternated points until Kenmare took two to lead 12-9, but the next four Ray servers combined for a 14-5 run and a 23-17 lead that became a 25-20 win.
Neither team led by more than two in the second set until the Jays went up 16-12 after a 6-0 run with help from two of Ziebarth’s aces. After Kenmare pulled within two at 18-16, Ray pulled away with seven of the final nine points to take the set 25-18 and go up 2-0.
The Jays were once again first to get hot in the third set, earning 13 of the first 19 points, including five in a row once. The Honkers were able to manufacture a handful of points but soon fell back down by seven as the Jays led 18-11.
However, Kenmare blasted back to life in a colossal way, pulling ahead on an 8-0 run to put the pressure back on Ray before a Veach kill ended the Honkers’ rally and made it 19-19. An attack error by Neubauer and a kill by Viall brought it to 21-19, and Ray got to match point leading 24-22, but Kenmare staved off elimination twice to tie the set at 24. After a hit by Slikker in the subsequent rally failed to clear, Bartlett sealed the set with a kill to stave off the loss, 26-24.
With Kenmare back alive, the fourth set was a tight affair early. Tied 4-4, the Jays went on a four-point swing to go up 8-4, then made it 10-5 on Viall’s ace after a Kenmare service error. Ray slowly pulled away, recovered from a 6-0 Kenmare run that narrowed the margin to 20-17 and prevailed with some dominant kills in the long final rallies to take the championship with a 25-18 fourth-set win.
“It surprised me that they bounced back as good as they did,” Dolan said of her team in the fourth set, “but then, I should know better, because they like to do that.”
The Jays had advanced to the championship by defeating Stanley 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-11) in the semifinals Nov. 3, while Tioga’s season ended with a 3-0 loss to Burke County in the loser-out match.
Ray 3, Trinity Christian 0
1st 2nd 3rd
Trinity Christian 7 11 11
Ray 25 25 25
Aces: Hayden Slikker 6, Marissa Veach 3, Maari Dolan 2.
Kills: Slikker 11, Dolan 7, Britne Viall 7.
Assists: Kelsey Perdue 17, Allison Ziebarth 11, Madison Daniel 3.
Blocks: Slikker 1, Veach 1.
Digs: Ziebarth 10, Slikker 9.
Ray 3, Kenmare 1
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Kenmare 20 18 26 18
Ray 25 25 24 25
Aces: Allison Ziebarth 6, Marissa Veach 2.
Kills: Veach 17, Hayden Slikker 11, Maari Dolan 10.
Assists: Ziebarth 25, Kelsey Perdue 18.
Blocks: Slikker 2, Veach 1.
Digs: Slikker 20, Ziebarth 20, Dolan 18.
Ray 3, Stanley 0
1st 2nd 3rd
Stanley 19 12 11
Ray 25 25 25
Aces: Allison Ziebarth 3.
Kills: Marissa Veach 13, Britne Viall 10.
Assists: Ziebarth 23, Kelsey Perdue 13, Maari Dolan 2.
Blocks: Veach 1.
Digs: Dolan 23, Perdue 13, Viall 11.
District 16 tournament
(7) Burke County 3, (6) Tioga 0
(1) Ray 3, (4) Stanley 0
(3) Kenmare 3, (2) Powers Lake 1
(4) Stanley 3, (7) Burke County 0
(2) Powers Lake 3, (5) Divide County 0
(1) Ray 3, (3) Kenmare 1
District 16 Awards
Regular-season champion: Ray
Coach of the year: Mona Christenson, Powers Lake
Senior athlete of the year: Kinzi Grubb, Powers Lake
Spirit Award: Powers Lake
Region 8 tournament
G1: Watford City def. Stanley 25-18, 25-16, 30-32, 25-19
G2: Kenmare def. Parshall 25-16, 25-20, 25-15
G3: Ray def. Trinity Christian 25-7, 25-11, 25-11
G4: Powers Lake def. Trenton 25-12, 25-14, 16-25, 25-19
G5: Watford City vs. Kenmare, 6
G6: Ray vs. Powers Lake, 7:30
Third-place: G5 loser vs. G6 loser, 6
Championship: G5 winner vs. G6 winner, 7:30