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Bismarck loses steam late against New Haven

BISMARCK — Two 6-point leads slipped away in game one, and the Bismarck volleyball team ultimately lost a tipping battle with New Haven at crucial times to complete its season Wednesday night.

Junior outside hitter Darcy Latham split 10 kills evenly over each stanza, but remained on the back row in a 25-22, 25-23 defeat as 3rd-seeded New Haven landed a minor Class 1, District 5 semifinal upset.

Kelsey Picaut spiked seven kills and Taylor Covington totaled six with three blocks for the Shamrocks, who overcame a 22-19 deficit in game two after recovering from a rocky start to the match.

Senior Chandler Politte knocked down two early kills and Latham landed aces on consecutive jump-serves in the early moments. The Lady Indians posted maximum leads of 10-4 and 12-6 on their home court.

Bismarck (19-11-1) yielded the next three points on errors without taking a powerful swing, and New Haven pulled even at 17-17 when Rachel Steinhoff served an ace behind a kill from Katie Peirick.

The Shamrocks won a pivotal defensive battle after Latham terminated at 22-22. Pecaut and Steinhoff made difficult digs and setter Mackenzy Vedder delivered a stuff-block on the next Bismarck attack.

Emily Kallmeyer put the opening game away with two more kills, and New Haven would produce a similar comeback in game two.

Bismarck induced a series of passing and hitting mistakes to establish a 16-11 cushion, but the Shamrocks blocked several attempts to kill from the left side while countering with six straight points.

Heather Prunty helped the Lady Indians restore a 3-point lead with two of her six total kills in rapid succession. But the concession of free balls proved costly down the stretch as New Haven converted its chances to swing.

Covington tapped a go-ahead kill to surprise Bismarck at 24-23, and ended the match with power when a serve by Peirick was overpassed.

Setter Jamey Kelley made 18 assists and libero Kaitlyn Loughary added six digs for the Lady Indians.

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