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Eagles advance to 6A Subsection final

Ellie Rutten led New York Mills with 20 kills in the semifinal victory over Mahnoment. Robert Williams/FOCUS

HAWLEY — The No. 2 seeded New York Mills Eagles (20-5) defeated No. 3 Mahnomen 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 13-25, 25-15, 15-12) in the Section 6A North Subsection semifinals Tuesday evening.

The Eagles came back from deficits all match down one set to none after a close 25-23 win for the Indians to start the match.

New York Mills tied the match with a 10-point second set win 25-15, only to see the scores reversed in the third set 25-13.

“We bounced right back,” Head Coach Angie Paavola said.

The Eagles had 194 kill attempts in the match using their height advantage at the front line with seniors Tori Kempenich and Taylor Plautz, along with junior Ellie Rutten and freshman Lydia Rutten. The foursome combined for 52 kills led by Ellie Rutten’s 20.

New York Mills evened the match with their second 10-point set win in the fourth 25-15 leading to a race to 15 in the fifth and deciding set.

The Eagles continually built two-point leads from frequent ties in the fifth and won the set by three points 15-12.

The victory is a huge confidence booster for a team on the rise. The Eagles have had enough losing seasons that adapting to winning can be more difficult than winning matches themselves.

New York Mills will face a stiff test in top-seeded Ada-Borup (21-8) Thursday night, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m., in Hawley for the Section 6A North Subsection championship.

The Cougars defeated No. 4 Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 3-0.

"We are always worried about someone’s name," Paavola said. "That's where our non-confidence comes in. We get in that head game that we can’t beat them. We can play with Ada. They have holes just like we do."

Game statistics:

New York Mills 3, Mahnomen 2 (23-25, 25-15, 13-25, 25-15, 15-12)

NYM (kills-blocks-aces): E. Rutten 20-2-2, Kempenich 14-0-1, L. Rutten 15-1-2, Plautz 3-1-1, Moberg 3-1-0, Irons 2-0-1.  

Mahnomen stats unavailable.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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