Braham reached the Section 5A semifinals for the second-straight season after defeating Sebeka 26-24, 25-16, 25-19 in the Oct. 29 quarterfinals at Crosby.
“The girls played well and were able to keep their energy levels up. We were all pumped up for the match, and it seemed like we were just getting started when Sebeka was running out of energy,” described Coach Britne Engelking. “The girls have put in time doing extra conditioning, and I think it has helped them keep their form in their play where other teams struggle because of fatigue.”
Braham (22-5) next takes on Nevis at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Pierz. This is a rematch of last year’s semis won by the Tigers. Nevis (20-9) swept Onamia 3-0 in their Oct. 29 quarterfinal match. Playing in the 8 p.m. semis will be Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (3-0 over Bertha-Hewitt Oct. 29) and Royalton (3-2 upset over Browerville).
The Section 5A championship will be 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 back at Pierz. The winner earns a berth in the Nov. 7-9 Class A State Tourney at the Xcel.
Stats against Sebeka: Angela Bendickson– 11 kills, 5 digs, 1 block; Carley Lynch- 3 ace serves, 5 kills, 22 assists, 5 digs; Kayla Nickles– 9 kills, 4 ace serves, 12 digs; Kaylie Paitl– 1 ace serve, 9 kills, 1 block; Stormy Husnick– 2 ace serves, 2 digs; Lizzie Altendorf– 3 kills.
• Braham opened the playoffs with a 25-7, 25-22, 25-14 sweep of Hinckley-Finlayson at home Oct. 25. Nickles had three quick aces as she served the Bombers out to a 5-0 lead in Game 1. Paitl added two more ace serves as the lead grew to 10-2. Lynch later had two blocks for points, and Nickles served out the final four points needed.
Game 2 began with Lynch jump-serving for two aces to create a 5-3 edge, but the Jaguars began battling harder to tie the game at 9-9. A Nickles’ kill and two missed hits by H-F got Braham back out to a 12-9 lead, and the team kept rolling to take the next two games.
“This was our fourth match up against Hinckley-Finlayson this season, and playing up to our potential proved to be challenge for us against the Jaguars. We were not our scrappy selves,” said Coach Engelking.
Stats against H-F: Nickles– 7 kills, 6 digs, 6 ace serves; Lynch– 18 assists, 4 digs, 6 kills, 2 ace serves; Paitl– 10 kills, 2 blocks, 2 ace serves; Bendickson– 6 kills, 1 block, 3 digs; Amelia Fiedler– 3 ace serves, 7 digs.