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North Branch knocks off No. 1 Kasson-Mantorville

By HEATHER RULE, Special to the Star Tribune, 11/09/18, 10:00PM CST


The five-set victory puts the Vikings back in the Class 2A championship match.

North Branch's Reagan Irons (27) and Cianna Selbitschka (11) celebrate a point against Kasson-Mantorville. Photo: DAVID JOLES • david.joles@startribune.com

This time, North Branch didn’t have to dig out of a 0-2 hole. But it still needed five sets to get the victory. Oh, and the Vikings also upset the No. 1 seed.

“We came in and… my first words were: ‘We’re not supposed to win this,’” North Branch coach Mike Selbitschka said. “And that really got them going. From then on, when they began that match, they felt that they can do this.”

No. 4 seed North Branch (28-4) pulled off the upset of Kasson-Mantorville with a 20-25, 25-20, 25-11, 17-25, 15-13 semifinal victory. The Vikings took a 2-1 lead during a match they knew would be tough, according to their coach, who added that his team dug in, served tough and put its opponent out of system.

The effort was once again led by junior Cianna Selbitschka, with 30 kills and 24 digs. She has 64 kills in the tournament. The Vikings finished the third set with a 9-2 run, and three of those points came on Selbitschka kills.

First report

North Branch didn’t have to dig itself out of a hole this time, but the Vikings still needed five sets to get the victory.

No. 4 seed North Branch (28-4) pulled off an upset of top-seeded Kasson-Mantorville with a 20-25, 25-20, 25-11, 17-25, 15-13 victory in the Class 2A semifinals Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

The KoMets forced a fifth set with a dominating finish in the fourth, including a 7-1 run.

The Vikings cruised to a win in the third set, starting with a 6-0 lead right off the bat, then finished the set with a 9-2 run. Five of those nine points were won with kills from Cianna Selbitschka.

It was just the third loss of the season for the KoMets (31-3). 

Check back later for more on the match.

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