FARGO — Langdon-Edmore-Munich is happy to be playing at night again.
After three straight seasons of finishing in third place, the Cardinals are in the championship match of the North Dakota Class B high school state volleyball tournament. Langdon-E-M advanced with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-13 sweep of Minot Our Redeemer’s in the semifinal round Friday, Nov. 22, at the Fargodome.
For the first time since 2015, L-E-M will be playing in the state championship, scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Fargodome.
“It’s nice not to be playing at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on the final day of the tournament for third place,’’ Cardinals head coach Rich Olson said.
Langdon-E-M, seeded third, controlled the scoreboard from start to finish against the No. 2 Knights. For the second straight day, the Cardinals trailed only once, at 1-0 of the opening set.
The Cardinals held a 41-14 advantage in kills with Callie Ronningen getting 15 and Morgan Freije 10 to lead the way.
Four L-E-M players had double-figure points — Ronningen (19 on 15 kills, one block and three service aces), Lexi Olson (12 on six kills, five blocks and one ace), Freije (11 on 10 kills and a block) and Kaylee Lowery (10 on six kills and four blocks).
“We got contributions from everybody,’’ said Rich Olson. “That was a big key.’’
Langdon-E-M led in every category — 37-10 in assists, 6-1 in service aces, 64-51 in digs and 13-6 in blocks.
“We blocked well,’’ Rich Olson said. “We served well. We serve received well. Blocking was a huge key. They have dangerous hitters. You put up good blocks and you can slow them down. We negated what they do well. And we picked up most of their off-speed stuff.’’
The Cardinals pulled away in the first set with a 5-0 run to double their lead at 17-7. Langdon-E-M closed the second set on a 7-1 spurt, with Ronningen getting three kills and an ace for set point in the closing run.
Langdon-E-M jumped to a 14-4 lead in the final set and finished off the win when Freije put away a kill for match point.
Calyn Crockett (30 assists, 16 digs) and Ronningen (16 digs) each had a double-double.
The Cardinals are in the state championship for the first time since losing to LaMoure in 2015. The L-E-M program last won a state title in 2010.
Langdon-Edmore-Munich (kills-blocks-service aces): Cora Badding 2-0-0, Calyn Crockett 2-2-2 (30 assists, 16 digs), Morgan Freije 10-1-0, Kaylee Lowery 6-4-0, Lexi Olson 6-5-1 (10 digs), Callie Ronningen 15-1-3 (16 digs).
Minot Our Redeemer’s: Annie Folden 6-3-0, Tea Boeckel 13 digs, Cheyenne Lang 6-2-1 (11 digs), Olivia Nelson 1-1-0, Eden Olson 10 assists, 14 digs, Macy Lindquist 1-0-0