Arlington, Warner march to Class B title matchThe Arlington volleyball team will be playing for the Class B state championship today. The Cardinals advanced after defeating top-seeded Parker 3-2 in a thrilling five-set match by set scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-12, 20-25, 15-9.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
The Arlington volleyball team will be playing for the Class B state championship today. The Cardinals advanced after defeating top-seeded Parker 3-2 in a thrilling five-set match by set scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-12, 20-25, 15-9.
Arlington will match up against unbeaten Warner at 8 p.m. today at the Corn Palace for the championship.
“What a hard-fought battle,” Arlington head coach Anita Boeck said after the semifinal win. “The girls on both sides just played their hearts out and you hate to see someone lose that one, but it was exciting and I am glad the girls were able to pull it off.”
Arlington jumped out to an early lead behind strong team defense that recorded 103 total digs in the game. The Cardinals were led by Brooke Hennrich, who finished the night with 29 digs.
“Excitement and nervousness can be the same thing,” Arlington setter Brett Heuer said. “Once in and a while, our legs were shaking, but I think it was because of excitement. We played the best defense that I think we have ever played and our front row was phenomenal again this game.”
Heuer tallied 57 assists in the match.
The Cardinal offense, which recorded 66 total kills, also played a major factor in their upset of previously unbeaten Parker. Middle hitter Samantha Boeck slammed home a remarkable 35 kills. Hennrich and Kimberly Van Bockern each added 10.
“We came up with some big hits,” said Boeck.
Arlington, which is the No. 5 seed in the tournament, faces another undefeated squad in No. 2 seed Warner today in the state championship final.
“We knew if we came here and played hard, we could get to the state championship,” Heuer said.
Parker faces James Valley Christian in the third-place game today.
Warner keeps cruising
The Warner volleyball team has not dropped a set all season. Friday night was no different as the Monarchs bested James Valley Christian (21-6) in three sets, 25-4, 25-14, 25-9.
The 33-0 Monarchs continued their dominant run to the state championship with great defense and offense, which twice held the lady Vikings to single-digit points.
“We just hit well, stayed aggressive on our serving and did a good job getting some aces,” said Warner head coach Kari Jung.
The Warner offense was driven by its dominating group of hitters none bigger than Rachel Rogers who finished with 17 kills.
Rogers, listed at 6-foot-2, is one of the tallest players on the team and no doubt one of the most imposing.
“We just came out and played how we knew we could, kept our focus and took it one step at a time,” Rogers said.
The senior and her teammates are looking to finish the season with a state championship and the chance to say they went through an entire volleyball season unscathed on the scoreboard.
“That would be a huge deal,” Rogers said. “I don’t know if it’s ever been done, but that’s what we want to accomplish.”
While focused on first winning the state title, Jung also admitted that she has never seen a team at Warner be this dominant.
“The kids are just focused and they come to play,” she said. “We are not looking to not drop a set. We are just trying to win the matches and it just happens to turn out in our favor.”
JVC was led by Ariana Zuccaro who finished the game with two kills, two assist and 11 digs.