BISMARCK — Salt Fork senior Emilie McFadden has started every varsity match during her volleyball career, but there was one thing she had never accomplished.
On Thursday night in the championship match of the IHSA Class 2A Bismarck-Henning Regional, McFadden and her Storm teammates did something that's never been done in Salt Fork history.
The top-seeded Storm rallied to beat the Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils, 21-25, 25-20, 25-16 to claim a regional championship plaque. Salt Fork also set a school record for wins (26) in the contest.
"Who would have thought this was possible a year and a half ago, when we started the year 1-7,'' Salt Fork coach Brent Bowman said. "I'm especially happy for senior Emile McFadden. She's done something, by starting every match in four years, that not many athletes can say.''
Bowman admitted that winning the first-ever regional title and setting a school-record for wins was the main goals entering this season.
"I was a believer,'' McFadden said. "I knew this team could do it.''
But, why? A year ago, the Salt Fork Storm lost to the Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils in the regional championship match.
"We had something this year that other teams haven't had,'' said McFadden, who had a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs. "We were hard working and confident in ourselves.
"A year ago, we were working hard, but we didn't have all the fundamentals down. Things just came together for us over the summer and during this season. This is a feeling that I'm never going to forget.''
Senior setter Allie Trosper, who had a match-high 31 assists, admitted the Storm had revenge on their minds.
"We wanted to show them what we were made of this year,'' she said. "Every game this season, we kept getting better and we kept getting closer together as a team.''