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End of the road for C-N

Wolves fall to Rudyard in state quarterfinals

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Carney-Nadeau’s Liana Blahnik (9) spikes the ball past Rudyard’s Tristin Smith (6) and Nina Alpers (right) during a Division 4 State quarterfinal Tuesday at Manistique.

MANISTIQUE — Carney-Nadeau’s postseason journey came to an end here Tuesday night as the Wolves fell to Rudyard 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-11) in a Division 4 state quarterfinal volleyball match.

Rudyard makes its first semifinal appearance Thursday at 2 p.m. in Battle Creek, where it will face Leland.

Junior Sara Beelen started the fourth set with a seven-point service run before the Bulldogs committed a defensive error.

Rudyard then got a sideout for an 8-1 lead before the Wolves moved within 8-4 on three straight hitting miscues.

The Bulldogs responded with another seven-point run, gaining an insurmountable 15-4 advantage on a C-N hitting error.

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Carney-Nadeau’s Taylor Kedsch spikes the ball against Rudyard during a Division 4 State quarterfinal Tuesday at Manistique.

“It was just one of those nights,” said C-N coach Steve Kedsch. “We had little bit of an off night, although Rudyard has a good team. We just couldn’t overcome the slow start in the fourth set. We played hard, only we didn’t get the passes we wanted. We also struggled with our serving, which was a surprise.”

The Wolves were within 21-20 in the third set, but were foiled by a pair of two-hit violations and a hitting and a passing error.

“We didn’t want to go to a fifth set for sure,” said Ellen Perry, who’s nearing the end of her 27th season as Rudyard’s coach. “In the first three sets, we started in a hole. We wanted to get a lead in the fourth set. It feels great to be going to Battle Creek and have a chance to give it our best shot. We’re pretty excited to be going down there.”

The Wolves led 17-13 in the third set following a Bulldogs’ hitting miscue.

C-N still led 18-16 after a block by junior Liana Blahnik before the Bulldogs got within a point on a kill by sophomore Brooklyn Besteman.

Three kills by Beelen and a passing error by the Wolves then sent the Bulldogs ahead for good.

“We definitely gained momentum after winning the third set,” said Rudyard senior middle hitter Nina Alpers. “I think we just wanted to win and get it done quick. Sara has a wicked serve and her kills were the difference in the third set. It feels great to win tonight. We’ve never been this far.”

The Wolves, behind a six-point service run by Blahnik, gained a 10-3 lead in the second set.

After a sideout, Rudyard added five points to climb within 10-9.

C-N went up by two points on a Bulldogs’ service error before a block and a kill by Besteman tied the score at 11.

The Wolves trailed 18-15 after a service error prior to using a 9-2 run to take a 24-20 advantage.

A two-hit violation trimmed the Wolves’ lead to 24-21.

A kill by Beelen brought the Bulldogs within 24-22 before they added another point.

That set then ended on a two-hit violation by the Bulldogs.

C-N also led early in the opener, but was unable to maintain the upper hand.

“Right now this is a little bitter to swallow,” said Kedsch. “Otherwise, we had a great season. I’m sure a lot of teams would have liked to have been in the situation we were tonight.”

Junior Taylor Kedsch led the Wolves with 22 service points, 20 kills and 11 digs. Blahnik added 14 points, five kills and seven blocks. Senior Sandra Boulton finished with eight kills and 18 digs. Junior setter Haley Ernest recorded 25 assists and 17 digs and senior Zoey Poupore had 21 digs.

Carney-Nadeau — Blahnik (three aces, five kills, seven blocks, four digs); Kedsch (two aces, 20 kills, 11 digs); Boulton (one ace, eight kills, 18 digs); Krischner (two kills); Ernest (one kill, one block, 25 assists, 17 digs); Thoune (six assists, five digs); Poupore (21 digs).

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