ST. PETER – What do you say when you beat your biggest rival by coming back from down two sets to one in an elimination game? How do you wrap your head around the Jordan and Belle Plaine volleyball rivalry? Over two hours of volleyball Thursday night finally gave the answer when Jordan beat Belle Plaine 20-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-16, 15-9 in the Section 2AA North Sub-Section Championship.
No better summation of the whole night than Jordan head volleyball coach Jason Geisel said to the team after the victory, “I’m proud of you girls.”
Let’s start at the beginning of this epic. The match would start with runs for both teams, first Jordan out to a 3-0 lead then Belle Plaine responding with a 5-0 run to make the score 5-3 Belle Plaine. While Belle Plaine’s libero Lizzy Eischens did a spectacular job throughout the night on digs and serve receive the Tigers would get out to a 16-11 lead after a 4-0 run. Belle Plaine was able to stay in system and used the outside attack of Kirsten Johnson and Haley Fogarty. Jordan would only get the Belle Plaine lead down to three once at 20-17 and the Tigers would cruise to a 25-20 win in the first set.
The second set would once again see both teams go on runs that would keep set close throughout. Jordan would come out with a strong attack from Kelsey Chambers and Rachel Fruends to get out to a 5-1 lead. Belle Plaine would respond quickly with a 3-0 run on the serve of Haley Fogarty to make the score 5-4, Jordan. The Tigers big run would come in the middle of the set when they went on a 7-1 run thanks tothe attack of Abby Wolpern to make the score 16-13, Belle Plaine. Jordan would get two big runs late with the first one coming from the serve of junior Becca Pauly of 4-0 to take a 21-19 lead. The score would be tied 22-22 before Jordan finished the set on a 3-0 run and a Courtney Smith block at the end to win the second set 25-22.
Belle Plaine would settle down and get back into their offense with the attacks of Wolpern, Fogarty and Johnson and would have two 4-0 runs early in the set to take a 10-5 lead. Jordan would not go away as they would make the score 12-10, Belle Plaine before Kirsten Johnson would serve a 5-0 run to give the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish. The big block in the third set of the Tigers would quell any attack from Jordan thanks to Jordan Going and many others at the net. Belle Plaine would cruise to a 25-18 victory and go up two sets to one.
The fourth set saw Jordan adjust their attack to the top of Belle Plaine’s block and allow Jordan to jump out to a 9-3 lead. Another set that saw Jordan sophomore Rachel Freund go on the attack from the outside and help from the Smith sisters in the middle. Jordan wouldget great back row play from junior libero Hannah Klegstad digging many hard kill attempts from Belle Plaine. Jordan would force the fifth set thanks to a 25-16 win in the fourth set.
The deciding fifth set would start with side out volleyball to start. nThen senior Kelsey Chambers would go to the service line and get a couple of aces and help Jordan to a 5-0 run to take a 9-4 lead. Belle Plaine coach Cassie Wolpern would call a timeout and the Tigers would respond with an immediate 3-0 run to make the score 9-7, Jordan. Then Jordan head coach Jason Geisel would use a timeout and Jordan would finish with a 6-2 run to win the set 15-9.
Belle Plaine finishes the season at 22-8. With the win Jordan imporves to 19-10 and advances to the Section 2AA Championship Saturday night at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and will take on Minnesota River Conference foe LeSueur-Henderson at 7:45pm. That match can be heard on 1350 AM KCHK.
By: Adam Bartels