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home : sports : sports May 28, 2016

9/6/2012 10:11:00 AM
Vikes struggling to find traction early on
North Branch’s Emily Trunk runs down an errant pass against Andover last week.
North Branch’s Emily Trunk runs down an errant pass against Andover last week.

Cambridge-Isanti 3, North Branch 2 In the season opener against the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets, the North Branch volleyball team dug themselves too big of a hole early on and never fully climbed out of it. The Vikings dropped their first two sets of the season, 25-17, 25-20 to the Jackets. “We just couldn’t pass and our serve receive was struggling a bit,” second year Head Coach Hayley Lang said after the match. But, that didn’t stop North Branch from battling back. They began to hit the mark with their passes and that made life easier for setter Emily Trunk, who was able to set up big hitters Taylor Fertig, Courtney Selbitschka and Jessica Merchant. They staved off defeat and won the third set 25-18. They continued to roll through the fourth set, winning 25-19 to send the match to a decisive fifth set. In it, the Bluejackets regained some of their composure and in the short set, any early run can make a huge difference and it did, as the Vikes fell 15-11 in the fifth set, moving to 0-1 on the year. Andover 3, North Branch 1 The Vikings took on another Section 7AAA opponent in Andover. The Huskies, who have been to five straight state tournaments, always provide a formidable test for the Vikings, and early on North Branch looked like they may be able to pass that test for the first time in a while. The first set was full of runs by each team. The Vikings went up early, enjoying a 13-7 lead at one point, but Andover stormed back to tie the match by point 17. Then, as soon as it looked like Andover was gaining control, North Branch went on a mini run and went up 23-19. The Vikings ended up winning the opening set 25-20. Andover, however, came out on a mean streak in the second set. The Huskies went up by nine points before North Branch could even score a single point, and battling back from a 9-0 lead in rally volleyball is a tall task. The Vikings ended up losing the second set 25-17 and hoped they could reverse their fortunes in the following sets. The third set was another back and forth affair between the two teams. North Branch had an early lead, but Andover snatched it right back. The teams traded barbs all the way until the end of the set, when Andover pulled it out with an extra point 26-24. In the fourth set, Andover established themselves as the better team and finished the Vikings off, winning 25-19.

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