POWERS - Monday night's Class D district volleyball opener between the North Dickinson Nordics and the North Central Jets was one that had its fair share of errors on both sides of the ball.
The Nordics were just able to use the Jets' errors to their advantage in the long run, taking the match 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-18) and advancing to the next round, hosting Mid Peninsula at Wednesday at 7 p.m. (EDT).
The Jets came out hot, building a 7-3 lead and forcing the Nordics to take a time-out and find their bearings. Unfortunately for North Central, it worked, as the score was suddenly tied 8-8.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
North Central’s Amber Buck hits the ball during their Class D district playoff game against the North Dickinson Nordics Monday. The Nordics won 3-0.
The pendulum was shifting, led by strong play from North Dickinson and an ace from Lexi Steele.
The Nordics were making nice plays, but a majority of their hits ended up just out of bounds. Then, back-to-back scores by Paige Whitens pulled the Jets within 17-16. However, an extended service run by North Dickinson's Miranda Jacobson that included three aces put the game away, 25-17.
The tempo of the second game was set right out of the gate. An ace by Chelsey Stroud of the Nordics kicked things off. She added another before her run was complete, and North Dickinson sprinted to a 9-0 lead.
NORTH DICKINSON - Steele (6 kills, 2 aces, 2 digs, 2 blocks); Cary (5 kills, 3 aces, 1 dig); Jauquet (2 kills, 1 ace, 5 digs); Jacobson (9 kills, 6 aces, 3 digs, 2 blocks); Stroud (7 kills, 5 aces, 1 dig); Rotter (18 assists, 1 dig).
NORTH CENTRAL - Whitens (7 kills, 6 blocks, 7 digs); Wells (2 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks); Buck (4 kills, 5 digs, 5 blocks, 1 ace); Betters (3 digs); Schultz (5 digs).
The first point for the Jets came on an error by the Nordics. But just as it looked like the set was over, North Central found the energy to score five unanswered points led by a service run by Whitens.
They battled back and forth, but a couple of scoring runs by the Nordics put the game out of reach, and they won 25-13.
When the third set began, most of the Jets team was clearly aware of the fact that this may be the final set for their three senior girls. The game was immediately more competitive than the others.
Although the Jets were fighting hard to stave off elimination, the momentum of the first two sets had inevitably carried over. North Dickinson's Steele pulled off a very hard kill to make it 18-10, and the evening appeared to be over.
After Jacobson had added another ace to her total to bring the Nordics within three points of a victory, North Central's Amber Buck told her team, "Side out Jets! It's not over!"
The score was 24-14, and the Jets were in a big hole. But they had one final rally before their season came to an end. North Central went on a run to make it 24-18 before the Nordics added the finishing point for the win.
"I'm not going to say we're going to win, because I never know which team is going to show up," said North Dickinson coach Sandy Haustein. "But if the team that has shown up the past two matches, we have a good chance of coming out with the win. We'll just see what happens, and go from there."
The Jets, whose season came to a close, will bid farewell to their three seniors. But at the very least, their coach was glad to see his team go out fighting.
"It was a tough season, because these girls pushed themselves to another level that this school hasn't seen in a while," said Jets' coach Andy DeBock.
"They played a very, very solid game. There were a few mistakes that decided from point to point, but I'm proud of them with the way they finished the season.
"Amber Buck, one of our seniors, left it all on the floor tonight. It was great to see her end the season with her head held high."