October 12, 2022 at 4:46 p.m.

Contending Streeters show no quit

Contending Streeters show no quit
Contending Streeters show no quit

By Evan Michealson- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Volleyball defeats BOLD, wins Perham Tournament

At some point in every set, the Sauk Centre Streeters volleyball team trailed the BOLD Warriors by at least three points.

In set one, it was a 7-4 deficit. Set two, a 13-10 deficit. And finally, the most daunting deficit of all, Sauk Centre trailed their West Central Conference rival by as many as eight points, staring down a 17-9 hole.

Each time, the Streeters composed themselves and played well as a unit, defeating Class A’s No. 10-ranked team in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-21) triumph Oct. 11 at Sauk Centre High School in Sauk Centre. 

“It’s not just one girl, it’s the whole team,” said Jim Klaphake, head coach. “They refuse to let the ball fall on the floor on our side and quite frankly I’m very proud of the way we keep swinging.”

The match contained a great deal of conference stakes; with BOLD sitting at 9-2 in West Central play and the Streeters at 11-0, a Warriors win would close the gap in the conference race substantially. Sauk Centre never let BOLD’s strong outside hitting lead to massive scoring runs, instead using their versatility to find different ways to win. Cierra Kortan piled up nine kills, nine digs and two service aces; Heidi Lieser compiled three kills, nine set assists, three blocks and 11 serve attempts and Maddy Schuster contributed two kills, seven digs and a perfect 9-for-9 serving day. 

“We’re dealing with young 16, 17, 18-year-old girls,” Coach Klaphake said. “Whether they want to admit it or not, they’re going to have an off night. We have a lot of girls who are set in their roles, but it also is very nice to have some depth and girls that can do a little bit of everything.”

The third and final set was determined by Sauk Centre’s net presence, with Jenna Gapinski-Vogt collecting several kills in the Streeters’ impassioned comeback. After a Perham Tournament that saw the senior lead the Streeters in kills and ace blocks, Gapinski-Vogt continues to grow as a player.

“I think she’s playing both sides of the ball now and I think she’s playing as good as she’s ever played,” Coach Klaphake said.

Raya Sebek was once again dominant defensively, going 21-for-21 as a server with a team-high 11 digs, while April Klaphake and Lieser set the offense up for success with 13 and nine set assists, respectively.

The win vaulted Sauk Centre to a 23-2 record overall, including a 12-0 mark within the conference. The Streeters will play Minnewaska Area at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at Sauk Centre High School in Sauk Centre. 

“The last thing you want is a loss this time of year,” Coach Klaphake said. “We want to keep getting better. We’ve got a couple of weeks before playoffs, and they will be a big couple of weeks.”

Serving: Sebek 21/21, Kortan 13/14 and Lieser 8/11. Kills: Kortan 9 and Gapinski-Vogt 6. Digs: Sebek 11, Kortan 9, Kate McKeown 8 and Schuster 7. Blocks: Gapinski-Vogt 4. Set assists: April Klaphake 13 and Lieser 9. 

Perham Tournament

Along the way at different intervals throughout the fall season, the Streeters participate in highly-competitive tournaments to face wide-ranging competition and provide important tests for the ever-growing team. 

And once again, Sauk Centre has a lot to be excited about following their appearance in the Perham Tournament, taking home their second consecutive tournament championship Oct. 8 at Perham High School in Perham.

“It was absolutely awesome,” Coach Klaphake said. “It was a team effort to win it.”

The Streeters faced little resistance in the opening round, outmatching the Frazee Hornets by a score of 2-0 (25-19, 25-9). However, the reigning state champions faced a daunting second-round test in the form of the Fosston Greyhounds, who stole the first set 18-25 off the back of three straight Streeter errors to end the contest. 

This was not the first time Sauk Centre received a gut punch, and like they have all season, the team responded by relying on its impressive serving to execute a scoring run. By the time Fosston had called both of their timeouts in the second set, the Streeters led 10-3, and the West Central Conference giants used a pair of ace serves from Maddy Schuster to finish off Fosston 25-11. The third set was not any easier for the Greyhounds, with Sauk Centre firing off a 7-0 run to begin the game in a 15-4 romp. 

“They’re top 12 in the QRF (rankings) in Class A,” Coach Klaphake said. “That was a nice match and a good match-up.”

The tournament semifinals saw the Streeters battle the Underwood Rockets, their second Class A opponent of the bracket. Gapinski-Vogt and Kortan took over to help Sauk Centre advance, securing kill after kill, with the Streeters firing off an 18-5 run in the second set to win 2-0 (25-21, 25-12).

“They beat us during the summer, so we knew they were going to be fairly tough,” Coach Klaphake said.

I always say we have to keep improving, and it shows how much we’ve improved since the summertime.”

Gapinski-Vogt paced Sauk Centre with 31 kills and 10 blocks on the day, while Kortan contributed 26 kills, 29 digs and four service aces on 41 serving attempts. 

Sauk Centre’s hopes of repeating as Perham Tournament champions was tested by the Henning Hornets, who the Streeters defeated in the semifinals of the 2021 Perham Tournament. The Streeters struggled out of the gate, with Henning jumping out to an 11-6 lead, before getting their middle game involved, with Gapinski-Vogt scoring the final two points of set one in a 25-23 Sauk Centre. 

The second set was a thriller, with the teams trading points and sitting tied at 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 points. The Streeters finally emerged victorious when Henning drilled consecutive hits into the net. 

“They’re (Henning) scrappy and short and played great defense and made us work for every point,” Coach Klaphake said. “Jenna and Tory (Jennissen) really carried us in the middle. We were able to get them going.”

Winning the Perham Tournament yet again took stout defense and serving, as the Streeters piled up 30 blocks and 20 service aces as a squad. Sebek continued her starring role as a defensive specialist, logging 32 digs and going a perfect 39-of-39 from the end line. 

Serving: April Klaphake 40/41, Kortan 37/41, Sebek 39/39, Lieser 29/33, McKeown 27/29 and Schuster 17/22. Kills: Gapinski-Vogt 31, Kortan 26, Jennissen 23, Lieser 17, Schuster 9 and Kolbo 9. Digs: Sebek 32, Schuster 32, Kortan 29, McKeown 22, Lieser 16 and April Klaphake 9. Blocks: Gapinski-Vogt 10, Jennissen 7, Kolbo 5 and Lieser 5. Set assists: April Klaphake 54, Lieser 29 and Sara Kittelson 15. 

Sauk Centre 3, Melrose 0

The Melrose Lady Dutchmen served as a potential “trap game” for Sauk Centre, a streaky-but-talented team capable of competing from an athleticism standpoint.

However, the Streeters punished Melrose’s mistakes time and time again, sweeping the Lady Dutchmen 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-9) Oct. 6 at Melrose Area High School in Melrose.

Serving: Sebek 13/14, Lieser 12/14, Kortan 12/13 and McKeown 11/12. Kills: Gapinski-Vogt 11, Kortan 8 and Jennissen 6. Digs: Kortan 11, Sebek 11 and McKeown 7. Blocks: Gapinski-Vogt 5, Kolbo 4 and Jennissen 4. Set assists: Lieser 13 and April Klaphake 13.  



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