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SSC thwarts upset bid

LUVERNE -- Southwest Star Concept and Fulda advanced to the finals of the Section 3A South volleyball tournament with semifinal victories at the Luverne Elementary Gymnasium Tuesday night.

Top-seeded SSC defeated No. 4 Southwest Christian (15-10-2) in a five-game classic to open the night, while No. 3 Fulda topped second-seeded Edgerton (20-7-1) in a three-game sweep in the nightcap.

The Quasars (23-5) and Raiders (19-8-1) will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in Luverne, with the winner advancing to Saturday's Section 3A title game against the North champion.

SSC 3, SWC 2

After each team defeated the other by 12 points in the first two games, it was the Quasars that pulled out close victories in Games 3 and 5 to prevail over the Eagles.

Game scores were 13-25, 25-13, 25-19, 20-25, 15-10.

"I thought we did a nice job of coming back and playing very well after we lost Game 1," SSC head coach Rick Haberman said following the match. "It really was a match of spurts, and we were able to make a few more plays in Game 5 to win it."

SWC blitzed the Quasars to begin Game 1, as Kelsey Van Dyke (22 digs, 19 kills, seven blocks) knocked down a kill and an ace block to spark the Eagles to a quick 6-0 lead.

SSC came back with a pair of ace serves from Sydney Place, but SWC continued to play well to maintain about a five-point edge through most of the game.

Leading 19-11 after an ace serve from Kristin Broekhuis, the Eagles -- fueled by two kills apiece from Van Dyke and Amanda Talsma -- closed the game on a 6-2 run to win 25-13.

It was SSC gaining the early advantage in Game 2, as Adri Rasche (six kills, two ace blocks) charted a kill and an ace block before Place scored on two ace serves to produce a 4-0 lead.

SWC fought back to tie the game at 4-all, but SSC went on an 11-2 run to take a 15-6 lead. Kills from Shannon Hussong (21 digs, six kills) and Chelsey Knutson, a pair of ace blocks by Michelle Olsem (five kills, three ace blocks) and an ace serve by Chelsey Crantson (26 set assists and 14-for-15 serving with 10 points and two aces) helped engineer the Quasars to their bulge.

Broekhuis later had an ace block and a kill, and Van Dyke recorded three points on plays at the net for the Eagles, but the Quasars closed out the 25-13 victory with the help of a kill from Rasche and another ace serve from Place (23 digs, seven kills, 19-for-21 serving with 12 points and two aces)

Game 3 was tight early on, but SSC put together a 9-3 surge to take a 15-9 lead. Erika Post (13-for-13 serving, eight points, three aces) had a pair of ace serves, and Knutson (20 digs, seven kills, two ace blocks) had two kills to ignite the Quasars during that stretch.

SSC later led 19-11, but SWC climbed back to within three (22-19) on the heels of two kills and an ace serve by Van Dyke, an ace serve by Erin Mouw (32 set assists) and a kill by Broekhuis.

However, SSC -- aided by an ace serve from Katherine Kazemba -- closed out the 25-19 victory.

SSC bounced out to leads of 9-2 and 12-6 in Game 4, but the Eagles received an ace serve from Leah Hanenburg to cap an 8-1 burst, taking a 14-13 lead.

Van Dyke then pounded five kills to spark the Eagles down the stretch, as they won 25-20 to force a Game 5.

Tied at 9-all in Game 5, SSC scored six of the final seven points to win 15-10, as kills from Olsem, Hussong and Place, coupled with an ace serve by Knutson, and an ace block by Hussong on game point, sealed the thrilling victory for SSC.

Kristin Beyer had 19 digs for the Quasars.

Chelsea Christians had 17 digs, and Amber Buys had 19 service points for the Eagles.

Fulda 3, Edgerton 0

Putting together impressive surges to break open close scores in each game, the Raiders swept through the Flying Dutchmen to avenge a pair of losses from earlier in the season.

Game scores were 25-22, 25-18, 25-17.

"We did a good job of staying aggressive and keeping our composure throughout the match," Fulda head coach Jessica Hogan said afterwards. "We wanted to own the net, and I think we accomplished that."

Game 1 was a seesaw affair early on, as Alyson Drooger (10 points with three aces, four kills) charted two ace serves, and Amy Kallemeyn (seven kills) and Karli Decker (seven digs, six kills) each knocked down a pair of kills to pace Edgerton.

Fulda countered with three kills by Laura Kramer (15 kills, four blocks), and an ace serve each from Tammy Peterson (17-for-17 with 11 points and three aces) and Brittany Freese (11-for-11 with six points and two aces, 10 digs, four blocks) as the teams played to a 13-all tie.

Susan Fenske (13-for-15 with nine points and two aces) then scored on an ace serve to spark the Raiders to an 8-3 run and a 21-16 lead.

Edgerton climbed to within one (23-22), but Freese helped the Raiders seal the 25-22 victory with an ace block on game point.

Fulda earned a lead of 10-6 to start Game 2, as Kaitlyn Kramer (15 kills) had two kills and an ace block to fuel the Raiders.

Kaitlyn Kramer added two more kills, and Laura Kramer threw in two kills herself, while Sam Raddle (32 set assists, eight digs) scored on a dump kill, and Mandy Gunderman (nine digs) scored on an ace block to help generate a 19-12 Fulda lead.

Decker had a couple of kills to help Edgerton come back, but Kaitlyn Kramer's two points at the net aided the Raiders in wrapping up the 25-18 victory.

Edgerton came out firing in Game 3, as Kallemeyn had two kills, and Heather Van Kley had two ace blocks to help the Flying Dutchmen keep pace with Fulda at 9-all.

Maricia Pick had two kills to spark Edgerton on a 5-0 run, but Kaitlyn Kramer took over with five kills and ace block to key Fulda on a 14-3 run to end the 25-17 victory for the Raiders.

Alexa Vanden Bosch had 23 set assists for Edgerton.

Section 3A North

Red Rock Central saw its season come to an end against No. 1 Minneota. The Vikings swept the Falcons, 25-12, 25-14, 25-7.