Vikings succeed on, off court with Dig Pink

The Vikings not only brought down Chisago Lakes, but raised over $3,000 on Dig Pink night. Photos by Victoria Dahlin

The Vikings not only brought down Chisago Lakes, but raised over $3,000 on Dig Pink night. Photos by Victoria Dahlin

Not only did the North Branch volleyball team win both its games as well as the Mora Tournament last week, the girls also raised over $3,000 for Dig Pink.

On Oct. 6, the team took first place in the Mora Tournament by defeating Hinckley-Finlayson 2-0 (25-7, 25-21), Carlton 2-0 (20-25, 25-19, 15-6), Hudson 2-0 (25-12, 25-14 ) and Mora 2-1 (17-25, 27-25, 15-12 ).

The Vikings declawed the Wildcats 3-2 (22-25, 25-11, 25-22, 19-25, 15-8 ) on Dig Pink night.

Dig Pink is The Side-Out Foundation’s trademark name for its fundraising events. All proceeds benefit Side-Out, which in turn awards grants to medical research organizations and groups dedicated to providing compassionate support to breast cancer patients and their families.

Annamarie Zack nailed nine ace serves against visiting Irondale last Thursday.

Annamarie Zack nailed nine ace serves against visiting Irondale last Thursday.

Courtney Selbitschka had 13 kills against Chisago Lakes, while Tayler Fertig recorded 10 and Jessica Merchant, 12.

Emily Trunk had 30 assists on the night.

“Our Dig Pink event was a huge success,” said Coach Hayley Lang. “The athletes raised money through selling T-shirts and getting pledges for a serving contest. We are finally starting to see some strings of post season volleyball come about. We still have to work on a lot of communication, and work on getting our opponents out of systems to be effective.

To top off the week, last Thursday the team hosted and swept Irondale 3-0 (25-7, 25-4, 25-8 ).

“All levels pushed hard to come out with victories,” said Coach Lang. “Selbitschka recorded 12 kills. It is tough sometimes to create a lot of offense against a team who struggled against our tough top spin and float servers. We spent a lot of time learning to read and react to the plays, which were coming off a lot of free balls. Annamarie Zack posted nine ace serves, when she only made it to the serving rotation in two of the three sets. We are excited to see the ranking for our post season play. The kids are ready to go up against tough opponents, and excel in the post season.”

The North Branch volleyball team is tied for second in the North Suburban Conference and has a 7-2 conference and 18-7 overall record. The Vikings will begin Section 7AAA Championship play at the home of the high seed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.

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