Volleyball: Friedrich powers Brandon-Evansville past West Central Area
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Senior outside hitter Megan Friedrich got in a groove early on and her Brandon-Evansville teammates kept going to her in a 3-1 win over West Central Area last Thursday night.
The Chargers came out a bit sluggish in the first set before Friedrich began to take over. The Knights had no answer for her throughout much of the night as she finished with a match-high 26 kills to help her team win 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18.
“Megan had a big night for us, not only at the net but in serve receive and on defense,” head coach Kelly Olson said. “We have focused on her staying tall through her swings, making better choices on how she swings, and it all came together for her.”
The Chargers trailed early in the first set but found their rhythm midway through to regain their confidence. They carried that over into the second and kept WCA at an arm’s length before the Knights were able to stretch it to a fourth set with a win in the third. Brandon-Evansville once again fell behind early in the fourth but battled back to make sure it didn’t take a decisive fifth set.
“We did make it a little more interesting than we needed to by allowing them to stay in sets instead of putting them away,” Olson said. “But overall, it was a nice win for us.”
The passing was strong all night as five different Chargers’ players finished with double-digit digs. Megan Kokett led the way from the libero position with 37 of the team’s 117.
“She was running the defense like she should,” Olson said. “She did miss a few balls, but her court awareness is improving every week and her ability to find the ball really showed by gathering 37 digs tonight. Those digs were spot on, which allowed Kinsley Randt the opportunity to set wherever she wanted to.”
Randt took advantage of having the ball where she wanted it all night. She finished with 40 assists and put the ball on the net for Friedrich and the rest of her hitters at almost every chance.
That helped the Chargers move to 5-9 overall and drop West Central Area to 3-8 on the season.
“Overall, we still have to work on improving those little things so we can compete with the teams who are at a high level,” Olson said. “But tonight was a great step in that direction. The girls earned this win tonight, and I am happy for them.”
(25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18)
BRANDON-EVANSVILLE – Randt – 40 assists, 2 aces, 19 digs; Caroline Jansen – 8 kills, 6 digs, 1 block; Mariah Hansen – 2 kills, 3 digs; Alea Alstead – 13 digs; M. Friedrich – 26 kills, 17 digs, 1 block; Emma Friedrich – 4 kills, 1 assist, 3 aces, 3 digs, 2 blocks; Kokett – 5 aces, 37 digs; Anna Lundeen – 5 kills, 3 assists, 2 digs; Carlie Steffenson – 1 assist, 17 digs