Paige Oswald and Paige Ziegler led a strong offensive attack for the No. 6-seeded Frazee Hornets in a 3-0 sweep of No. 11 Lake Park-Audubon to advance to the second round of the Section 6A playoffs at Frazee high school Monday night.
The Hornets had defeated LP-A in the regular season 3-1 and played like favorites dominating the first two sets.
“We talked about that,” Hornets head coach Tavia Bachmann said. “They’re the underdogs and there are no expectations. For us, there is an expectation and you need to come out and play to that level of that expectation, instead of playing not fluid and not consistent and not the way we should play. That was good to see that we stepped up and did what we were supposed to do tonight.”
Frazee doubled up the Raiders 12-6 early in the first set and held that advantage to an Oswald kill to get to set point. The Hornets took the first 25-14 on a Raider net violation on the ensuing point.
Oswald had a game-high 15 kills to go with five assists and five digs to lead the Hornets.
“She picks up the team and gives direction, as well,” said Bachmann.
Set two was much of the same. Frazee got momentum going early with back-to-back blocks and led 10-4 on an Oswald ace serve - one of her team-high three in the game.
Frazee led 14-7 on a strong kill by Ziegler off a quick set in the middle and Jaryn Johannsen served out the set for a 25-11 win and 2-0 lead in the match.
The Raiders mounted a comeback in the third set sticking tight with Frazee but LP-A was unable to string points together to grab the lead on crucial points.
Raider senior Rachel Grande tied the set 12-12 with a kill but a service error gave the lead right back. The Raiders got to within one point at 14-13 and 15-14 but errors got in the way more than Hornet attacks to keep the home team in the lead.
Bachmann used a timeout to rotate her lineup and get some fresh faces on the floor and gave some bench players important minutes in a playoff game. She also got all five of her seniors on the floor at one point.
“We gave some of our kids the opportunity to play together in the last home match and the last time for those five girls on the floor,” she said. “It was fun to get them in and good to see other girls step up and finish the game.”
The match was the last home game for seniors: Cassidy Nelson, Natalie Nudell, Payton Lange, Ainan Olson and Bailey Aho.
The teams traded the next dozen points with Frazee clinging to a 22-20 lead before reeling off the final three points to ice the match. Lange had a kill for point 23 and Oswald finished off the final two herself for a 25-20 match clincher.
Ziegler had nine kills and controlled Frazee’s tempo with 17 assists and added one block.
Johannsen led the front defenders with two blocks and had an ace, an assist and two kills.
Grace Bowers had a strong night in the back row for the Raiders.
The Hornets advance to face No. 3 Barnesville. Frazee dropped five sets in two matches to the Trojans, two in tournament play and three in a conference loss. Frazee played at Barnesville without two players, including Oswald.
While Bachmann had the Hornets playing the favorites Monday night. She will be working from the other side of the net on Thursday.
“We’ll be the underdog there and hopefully, we’ll have that piece because I think we can do it,” she said. “We played well against them in certain sets in the tournament, not a whole match. We’re going to give them a run for their money, that’s for sure.”
The game will be held at Barnesville high school Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. The Trojans are 19-7 this season.
In the three other games in the north subsection: No. 7 Menahga defeated No. 10 Rothsay 3-1 and will face No. 2 Pelican Rapids. No. 5 Sebeka shutout No. 12 Hillcrest 3-0 to move on to play No. 4 New York Mills. No. 9 Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal won a deciding fifth set 15-8 to upset No. 8 Park Christian in Moorhead. With the victory, the Titans get a tall task at No. 1 Wadena-Deer Creek (21-6) in the next round.