Wildfire upset Hettinger/Scranton, will face Trinity in third place game

The Wildfire lost to the Hettinger/Scranton Night Hawks twice in the regular season, but they weren’t going to get a third victory slip them by.

The WIldfire celebrate after sweeping Hettinger/Scranton. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)
The WIldfire celebrate after sweeping Hettinger/Scranton. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

The Wildfire lost to the Hettinger/Scranton Night Hawks twice in the regular season, but they weren’t going to get a third victory slip them by.

Setting the tone early with a 25-8 victory in the opening set, Mott-Regent swept the second-seeded Night Hawks in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Volleyball Tournament in Dickinson.The Lady Wilfire—fresh off a three game sweep of Bowman County in the opening round of the tournament—painted the corners of the court all night and consistently had the second-seeded Night Hawks off balance and miss judging balls inside the line en route to the win.

Mott-Regent came out and played communicative volleyball, and the Night Hawks couldn’t seem to find a hole anywhere on Mott-Regent’s side of the court. It was a trend that lasted the entire game.

The Night Hawks finally took their first lead when they were ahead 6-5 in the second set.

It was short-lived, though, as Hettinger/Scranton gave way to Mott-Regent again, putting the score at 13-12. They wouldn’t relinquish the lead, and took the second game 25-22.

Early in game three, the Wildfire started to slip with some sloppy play. They were hitting out-of-bounds and put a few serves right into the net, and the Night Hawks took advantage and went at 8-7. But after an early timeout, Mott-Regent cleaned up their act.

Hettinger/Scranton, already facing a 4-point deficit but playing competitively, gave a point away midway through that final set, and got penalized for an illegal substitution, extending the Widlfire’s lead 16-11. What ever momentum the Lady Hawks had seemed to dissipate after the penalty.

The Night Hawks took one last time out with the score 22-18, but the break wasn’t enough to regroup, and gave up three more points, losing 25-18.

Hettinger/Scranton had to deal with the tall Maddison Johnson all evening. But they couldn’t find an answer, and she had two key blocks for the winning points in both games two and three.

With the win, Mott-Regent moved on to the semifinals against Hazen.

Kills: Andrea Klein (10), MaLynn Kautzman (7), Messmer (6). Blocks: Johnson (4), Kautzman (1). Aces: Kautzman (6), Kienzle (5). Digs: Kautzman (6), Messmer (5), Manolovits (5). Assists: Kienzle (20), Bree Friert (2).

•Mott-Regent fall to Hazen in semifinals

The Wildfire looked like they were well on their way to victory when they won the opening set of the game against the Hazen Bison, their seventh straight win since beginning the tournament. Hazen cut it close, and got a generous in-bounds call that would have been the deciding point for the Wildfire.

Down by one at 26-25, Maddison Johnson got a kill to tie it up. Hazen hit the net on the next volley and a deciding point was gained by the Wildfire to win 28-26.

The Wildfire were down midway through game two, and with a eight point deficit, head coach Aryn Hansen took a timeout. Mott-Regent cut the lead to five points at 22-17, and then to just three points at 24-21. Hazen put them away, and won 25-21.

The final two sets went to Hazen, and with larger margins. In game three they won by six points (25-19) and won game four by eight (25-17) in the final, and deciding set.

MaLynn Kautzman lead the team in kills with 12. Andrea Klein followed up with nine. Ellie Messmer led the team in blocks with seven.

Kills: Kautzman (12), Klein (9), Johnson (7). Blocks: Messmer (7), Johnson (2). Aces: Klein (7). Digs: Kautzman (8), Messmer (7).

The Wildfire will play the Dickinson Trinity Titans tonight at 5 p.m.

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