Wildcats prepare for state volleyball

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CENTER, N.D. - Center-Stanton is the Region Five Volleyball Champion, which means it's preparing for the state tournament in Minot later this week.

The Wildcats took down the defending Region Five champions from Shiloh Christian in the 2018 rematch. During the tournament, the Wildcats had to come from behind to win multiple sets. Head coach Janet Erhardt says this is one of the most resilient groups she's ever coached.

"They come in to practice and ready to play and they work hard and I tell them you got to come in and be ready to play and a real important thing that I tell them is you got to have fun doing it because when you're having fun things see to go well and they have done that and they get down and there's somebody that helps pick them up there's always somebody else to step forward and be a leader we're very balanced this year and that has been a key for us," said Center-Stanton Head Coach Janet Erhardt.

Senior Captain Morgan Vitek leads the team in digs and she earned the Region Five player of the year for her performance. Vitek says that award is not nearly important as the Region Championship.

"I mean its an honor to have that award and for all my hard work to pay off and stuff but really the main goal was the Championship if we couldn't have won last night that wouldn't have really meant as much," said Vitek.

Vitek and the rest of the seniors were sophomores the last time they made it to the state tournament. The then-overwhelmed sophomores are now polished seniors and they're ready for the big stage.

"Well, we kind of knew what to expect in the regular tournament then we know exactly how loud it would be being there; it kind of helps us have a lot of composure for the ones that have been in that situation, and then going into it, we kind of know what to expect. I think the sophomore year when we went to state, since none of us had been there before, we all were a little bit nervous because we weren't use to playing in that big of an area and stuff we came off really slow to begin with. But, I think this year we'll be more prepared and we'll have a lot of confidence, I'd say," said Vitek.

The Wildcats will have their work cut out for them. They play the two seed, the Thompson Tommies, in the opening round.

Erhardt said : " We need to go in these ready to play be confident and play to the level that they are capable of playing and have fun doing it I mean this is just like the gravy on the season we have the opportunity to play at the state tournament and I said this is going to be fun go out there play your game and have a good time doing it."

The Wildcats and the Tommies play 1:00 p.m., Nov. 15 at the Minot State Dome.