VELVA - The Velva high school volleyball team wasn't used to seeing its score listed under "guest" when playing in its own gym.
But that's what occurred when the No. 2-seeded Aggies faced off against No. 1-seeded Bottineau in the District 11 championship Monday at Velva Public High School.
Whether they were the home team or the road team on the scoreboard, the only thing that mattered was avenging a regular-season loss to the Stars. And that's what Velva did, beating Bottineau 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-23) to claim the top district seed heading into the Region 6 tournament.
Bottineau junior Morgan Bright goes up for a spike as Velva seniors Jami Feist (4) and Jaylen Newman defend during Monday’s District 11 championship match at Velva Public School.
"It's always good to avenge a loss," Velva coach Molly Terveen said. "We made the corrections we needed to make and we got them."
A kill by senior outside hitter Katelyn Sandy gave the Aggies their first match point and junior middle hitter Madison Letvin followed with an ace to punctuate the championship victory.
"I can't believe we did it because it's been a huge goal of ours to be district champions and move on to regionals," Letvin said. "It's a great feeling."
After waiting more than an hour past the match's approximated time due to the first two matches of the day going five sets, Bottineau jumped out to a 9-4 lead. Junior middle hitter Katryna Hahn and junior outside hitter Danielle McDonald paced the Stars' offense and helped Bottineau run away with the first set.
As easy it Bottineau made it look in the opening set, the Aggies returned the favor by taking a 16-5 lead in the second set. The Stars answered with a run of their own to cut Velva's lead to 18-14, but the Aggies closed out the set on a 7-2 run.
"There were some good moments and some bad moments," Bottineau coach Steve Dunrud said. "Our serving was poor. We really should have won that third set."
From there the Velva crowd came to life and the Aggies fed off the home court advantage.
Velva rallied from a 19-15 deficit in the third set to tie the game at 23. Senior outside hitter Jaylen Newman put the Aggies in front and senior middle hitter Jami Feist closed the set with a block.
"It's unbelievable," Terveen said. "These girls worked so hard and they really deserve it."
Letvin said the team will enjoy the victory until tomorrow, when they begin practicing for the region tournament.
The Aggies will face the No. 4 team from District 12 and the Stars will face the No. 3 team. Both games are scheduled for Monday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
TGU 3, Drake-Anamoose 2
With a Region 6 tournament berth on the line, TGU senior Amanda Pratt delivered back-to-back aces in the fifth set to lead the Titans past Drake-Anamoose 3-2 Monday in a District 11 region qualifier at Velva Public School. Pratt also added 11 kills for the fifth-seeded Titans in the win (26-24, 12-25, 25-17, 20-25, 17-15).
The third-seeded Raiders forced the decisive fifth set with strong play by junior middle hitter Kristin Reinowski and senior outside hitter Angel Kaisler. Reinowski had a match-high 13 kills and 16 blocks, while Kaisler had 11 kills and 26 digs for Drake-Anamoose.
TGU sophomore McKayla Thompson finished with a match-high 30 assists for the Titans.
Rugby 3, Sawyer 2
Senior middle hitter Aubrey Hovland's 12th kill of the match sealed a berth in the Region 6 tournament for the Rugby volleyball team, as the Panthers defeated Sawyer 3-2 Monday at Velva Public School.
After Sawyer forced the tournament's second fifth-set match of the day, the fourth-seeded Panthers jumped out to a large lead in the final set and held on to earn the victory over the sixth-seeded Flashes (25-13, 20-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-11).
Hovland also led the team in digs with 13.
The difference in the match came down to serving, as Rugby had 19 aces between junior setter Allison Volk (10) and sophomore outside hitter Helen Johnson (9).
Sisters Kyler and Mara Roteliuk had strong performances for Sawyer, as the two led the team in kills, blocks and digs.