Volleyball: Steady Polars power past Titans

Tartan junior Kayla Morris (6) spikes the ball over the net as North High’s Holly Ellwanger (2) goes up to block. The Polars won 25-14, 25-20, 25-16 at home Oct. 9. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

North High junior Nevena Vukomanovich (10) sends the ball over the net during home action against Tartan. The Polars won 25-14, 25-20, 25-16 Oct. 9. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

North 3 - Tartan 0

The Tartan Titans found it difficult to put together a concerted effort on the volleyball floor two nights in a row.

The day before the Titans nearly knocked off highly touted, league-leading Hill-Murray from the unbeaten ranks. 

The next night, Oct. 9, the Titans traveled to Hal Norgard Gymnasium to play archrival North High.

Maybe it was that Tartan found itself unable to maintain its intensity two days in a row, or maybe it was the consistent, relentless play of the Polars that spelled the difference. Or perhaps it was a combination of both.

Regardless, the Polars put together an attack that the Titans couldn’t overcome. As a result, North garnered a three-game win over the Titans.

“We just couldn’t make it up for two nights in a row,” said Tartan head coach Josh Mattison. “We couldn’t get anything going.

“Nothing we tried seemed to work against them.  Tonight we just got outplayed by North.”

North coach Steve Anderson agreed, “We really did play very consistent tonight. We knew what they did last night against Hill-Murray. We talked about it, and the girls didn’t want that to happen tonight.

“We did not take this game lightly. We played with a varied attack. We were consistent and our defense played a solid match.

“Tonight we played as a group. We were jelling well together, and it was an overall good effort,” Anderson said.

The scores of the three games left little doubt among the fans on either side of the gymnasium as to who was in charge of the match.

Game one was tied at 2-2. When Abby Rieser moved to the service line. North jumped to a 7-2 lead and never looked back.

Tartan came back but soon the score moved to 12-6 and then 17-9. In the end, North closed the door on the Titans with a score of 25-16.

In game two the Titans put up more of a battle. They led 6-4 margin and then fell behind. But they rallied and the score was tied on eight occasions, until the Polars moved from a 13-13 tie and slowly increased their leeway over the determined Titans. The Polars won game two by 25-19.

In game three the Titans came out of the blocks running. Tartan moved to a 9-3 margin before the Polars found the consistency of the first two games and mounted a comeback.

The Polars began to score points in spurts and slowly overtook a determined Tartan team.

North broke from an 8-11 deficit and put Clara Krenz on the service line. With sets by Holly Ellwanger and kills by Nevena Vukomanovich, Ellie Prax and two by Talia Jaskulske - the Polars had a 6-0 run and took the lead at 15-12.

Tartan picked up a point before North went on a 10-4 run and earned a game three win of 25-16 and a 3-0 triumph in the match. 

For Tartan, Tia Elbert had five kills and Anna Hanson had four. Miller ended with 17 set assists and Paige Loibl had nine digs.

For North, Jaskulske had 16 kills and Vukomanovich had 12. Ellwanger had 31 set assists, while Krenz finished with 17 digs.

The teams concluded the regular season on Oct. 15. The Section 4AAA playoffs begin for both Tartan and North Oct. 22. First round playoff games will be played at the school with the highest seed.

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