HARRIS - In Wednesday's Class D district semifinal between the Carney-Nadeau Wolves and the Bark River-Harris Broncos, it was clear right from the first few points that both teams realized what was at stake.
In perhaps the hardest-fought match by either one of these teams this season, the Broncos pulled off the victory, winning 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12).
With the win, the Broncos will host the North Dickinson Nordics in the Class D championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Nordics swept Mid Peninsula 3-0 Wednesday to advance.
Justin?Marietti |?Daily Press
Broncos’ Kylie VanBrocklin drives home the winning kill in the fifth set against Carney-Nadeau Wednesday at Harris.
BR-H rallied to an 18-13 lead in the first set after battling with the Wolves early on. But, the Wolves came back to tie the game at 20. Neither team could gain the edge until back-to-back aces by the Broncos' Sarah Madalinski put the set out of reach.
BR-H galloped off to a running start in the second set, which started off with a service run by Savanna Stenberg to put them up 5-0. The will of the Wolves was not diminished, however, as they managed to get it together and tie the game 8-8.
After marching off to a run of their own that featured aces from Autam Wery, Morgan Eichhorn, and Izabella Tancredi, Carney found themselves up 19-11. The Broncos resisted, but after two straight aces by the Wolves' Andrea Dani, there was just too much distance in scoring and Carney won the set 25-18.
CARNEY-NADEAU - A. Dani (24 assists, 10 digs, 3 aces); Wery (8 kills, 19 digs, 2 aces); Tancredi (6 kills, 2 digs, 5 aces); Parrett (2 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces); J. Dani (10 kills, 18 digs, 2 aces).
BARK RIVER-HARRIS - VanBrocklin (1 ace, 3 assists, 3 kills, 2 blocks); A. Madalinski (1 ace, 2 assists, 1 kill, 2 blocks); St. John (1 ace, 6 assists, 9 kills); Derusha (1 kill, 1 assist); Draze (1 ace, 1 kill); S. Madalinski (8 aces, 4 assists, 3 kills).
Set three was a good illustrator of how much of a battle the entire evening was on both sides of the net. There were 13 ties from start to finish, as well as a handful of aces from both squads. When BR-H held a 24-22 lead, the final volley seemed to last forever before it ultimately fell the way of the Broncos, putting them ahead 2-1.
Both teams seemed to like a certain side of the net, as the fourth set greatly resembled the second set. Carney started off with a 4-0 lead, and they controlled the pace for the majority of the set. The Broncos were able to make it close near the end, but once again, the Wolves had put up too many early points for BR-H to get back into the set, and Carney took it 25-21.
After a night like this, the only proper end to this game was to have a fifth and final set to decide the winner. The Broncos clearly wanted it, as they stormed out to a blistering 9-1 lead. This game looked like it was over, but the Wolves knew their season was hanging in the balance. To the surprise of nearly everyone in the crowd, Carney turned the tide and all of a sudden the score was only 12-9 in favor of BR-H.
Fans started to get a little nervous, as moments prior, the fifth set looked out of reach but the home team's lead had disappeared as quickly as it was built.
The Broncos knew that the Wolves wanted to advance as badly as they did, and they had to kick it up a notch if they were going to finish this game. Some key plays from BR-H's Kylie VanBrocklin led her team to victory, including a block to keep the play alive and a kill to score the game's final point.
"It feels great," said Broncos coach John Jorasz. "We need to play harder to keep this momentum going, and the girls are capable of doing it."
Carney coach Steve Kedsch said his team was able to play pretty even with BR-H, who had a better record during the season than they did.
"We played well," he said. "We were a little tentative at times, but defensively we played well. I thought we were going to come back in that last match after scoring some points, but we just fell a little short. I'm happy we ended up where we did, as far as improvement."