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Stewartville in a thriller

By BRYCE EVANS, Star Tribune, 11/11/11, 11:00PM CST


The win over Jordan took a deciding fifth set that featured three consecutive match points.

Stewartville players celebrated after scoring a point during Friday's five-set match against Jordan at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness.

Jordan's Emilee Gutzmer celebrated with her team after scoring a point during a close 5-set defeat by Stewartville Friday. Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness.

Stewartville head coach John Dzubay chugged a cup of water and held out his hand, which was still shaking a few minutes after his team closed out its 3-2 semifinal victory over Jordan on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

That’s what facing and winning three consecutive match points will do to you.

“I don’t know how we pulled it out at the end there,” Dzubay said. “I don’t even remember those last few points. It’s all a blur.”

The Tigers pulled out a series of spectular points, culminating in junior Hannah Tapp’s smash into the center of the Jordan defense, closing out the final set 18-16.

“We just kept making plays,” Dzubay said.

Most came from the towering Tapp twins, Hannah and Paige. They accounted for 40 of Stewartville’s 52 kills in the match, and their defense at the net gave Jordan fits.

Jordan, playing its second grueling five-setter in as may days, took 1-0 and 2-1 leads but committed 38 errors to Stewartville’s 20.

Senior Kelsey Chambers had 33 kills for Jordan, and fellow senior Emilee Gutzmer had 62 assists. 

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