Article by Ian Grande
Kenmare – The Stanley Blue Jays picked an excellent time to play their best volleyball of the season.
The semifinal match between the Kenmare Honkers pitted the district’s top offensive team (Kenmare) against the district’s top blocking team (Stanley).
Kenmare had the upper hand early on, they were routinely teeing off with little resistance from the Blue Jays, the Honkers took the first set 25-18.
The tide shifted midway through the second set when the trio of Jossi Meyer, Alyssa Ruden, and Raygen Lee took over the net for the Blue Jays. Their height would cause fits for the Honkers the rest of the way. The trio combined for 13 blocks in the match.
Another positive for the Blue Jays was the outstanding back-row play of Daphne Enander. The junior turned in by far the best game of her career, coming up with multiple point saving digs when the Blue Jays needed it the most. She became a fan favorite by the end of the night.
A majority of the second set was a back and forth affair. The Blue Jays would pull ahead 23-21 late, setting the stage for junior Hayley Schmidt to close out the set with a couple of her patented devastating kills.
The Blue Jays carried that momentum into the third set, where the block fest continued for the Blue Jays. The Honkers never wavered though, and the set remained tied at 16-16 before Meyer took over with a pair of blocks and a pair of kills to power the Blue Jays to a 25-20 victory.
The fourth set was the best set the Blue Jays have had all year. Meyer, Ruden, and Lee controlled the net, Schmidt was hammering away, Enander was excellent in the back-row, Iverson earned the respect of everyone in attendance by turning in a gutty performance on one leg. Leevi Meyer, Taylor Dean, and Jasmyne Giese all played lights out as well.
Stanley maintained a 4-5 point lead for most of the fourth set and fittingly enough Jossi Meyer capped an incredible effort with a block and a kill for the last two points to give the Blue Jays a 25-18 win.
Photo Gallery: Stanley Blue Jay Volleyball Photo Gallery (vs. Kenmare)
“They are finally starting to believe that they are good enough to win,” said Head Coach Bobbi Johnson.
The Blue Jays will face the winner of Powers Lake and Divide County.
Kills: Schmidt 11, Meyer 9, Lee 5, Enander 5, Ruden 4, L. Meyer 1
Assists: Dean 14, Giese 14, Schmidt 1
Aces: Enander 6, Schmidt 2, Iverson 1, Giese 1
Blocks: J. Meyer 5, Lee 4, Ruden 4, Giese 1, Meyer 1
Digs: Enander 26, Schmidt 21, Iverson 14, Giese 7, Ruden 5, Dean 2, Lee 2