North Branch knew it came into the Class 2A semifinal against powerhouse Marshall with its six state titles. The Vikings also came in as prepared, coach Mike Selbitschka said.
It showed. The Vikings (29-3) defeated No. 2 seed Marshall 25-16, 25-10, 25-21 on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.
“Our attack was on,” Selbitschka aid. “We just kept the pressure on them.”
Sophomore Cianna Selbitschka showed she can end points from all over the court. She tallied three of her 27 kills in a 9-1 run that her team used to start the second set. She also sealed the trip to the championship match on Saturday with a powerful kill on match point. She has 53 kills for the tournament.
“I’m always told to always attack,” Selbitschka said.
Coach Selbitschka, Cianna’s father, acknowledged her as a leader but also said it takes the entire team to make them roll. Sophomore Haley Hadrava had two kills and 10 digs, while senior Katelyn Berg led with 12 digs and added three kills.
Marshall coach Dan Westby said because of what Cianna Selbitschka does, the rest of her teammates become like sharks smelling blood in the water.
“I was really impressed with how hard they attacked,” Westby said.
The Tigers (27-8) couldn’t get anything going, Westby said. They finished with 20 errors and 21 kills.