ORCS Knights win thrilling Region 6 volleyball title, head to state
MINOT, N.D. – The 2020 Our Redeemer’s volleyball team faced a handful of obstacles, from curtailed summer workouts due to COVID-19, to injuries to Cheyenne Lang and Macy Lindquist.
“I’m extremely proud of us all. We had a lot to deal with. We had new players to coach up into varsity level. We worked as hard as we could,” said Olivia Nelson, senior middle hitter.
The Knights still made it to the Region 6 Championship, where they faced a Des Lacs-Burlington team that beat them in the regular season before ORCS claimed the District 12 title over the Lakers.
“DLB has some very strong swings, but we just knew that as long as we got a touch on it, that would help. Even if we didn’t get to it, it was okay. We just had to come out, shake it off and keep going,” said Sydney Poppinga, junior outside hitter.
ORCS was on the ropes, down two sets to one and 11-1 in the fourth.
“We never wanted to give up, no matter how far down we were,” said Poppinga.
“All we really need to do is keep talking it out through the whole thing, don’t lose communication, and keep your positive attitudes up,” said Nelson.
The Knights rebounded to force a deciding fifth set, where their dominant defense took over.
“Our front row block did a tremendous job setting up a wall that really allowed our defenders in the back row to read and play those that we weren’t able to stop right at the line. Tonight is just a testament to how hard they worked to win,” said Kara Nunziato, head coach.
ORCS took the fifth set 15-7, and with it, their seventh-straight trip to state out of Region 6 in perhaps one of their toughest tests.
“It was the most fun game that I’ve probably ever played in. It was very fun for us, and I’m very happy with how we did in the end,” said Poppinga.
The Knights will face the top-seeded Linton-HMB Lions in the opening round of the tournament Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Fargodome.
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