Volleyball: “We had to win this for Jon,” Chargers say about memorial game victory against Panthers
The Evansville gymnasium was packed with people all wearing pink as the Chargers took home a three set victory over Little Eight Conference rival Parkers Prairie on Thursday night.
The Chargers took an early lead in the first set but the Panthers (11-5, 3-2 LEC) tied it up at five points and pushed ahead. The Panthers led 12-8 when B-E coach Kelly Olson called a timeout.
“He told us to make the next play better,” senior Emily Bukkila said. “It’s what he always says. Forget about the last play and make the next one better.”
The Chargers came back on the court and battled with the Panthers neck-and-neck until a Panthers' spike went wide, giving B-E the winning point, 30-28.
“We had a lot of momentum and energy right away,” freshman outside hitter Bailey Schaefer said.
Schaefer had 17 kills for the Chargers.
“I thought we came out with really good focus,” Olson said. “From the first to the second set even after that break in the third, we came out with really good focus all night long. We’ve talked about that for the last couple of weeks so it’s nice to see it show up.”
The Chargers took the second set, 25-17. Senior Allie Satterlie served an ace for the winning point. Satterlie led the B-E offense with 19 total kills in the game. A Satterlie kill was the winning point for the Chargers in the third set as well, 25-21.
“Their record is better than our’s is. They’ve beat some tough teams,” Olson said. “We didn’t really talk too much about Parkers. We just talked about what we wanted to do. It worked out tonight.”
This victory improves the Chargers’ overall record to 9-8 and their conference record to 4-2.
“We were playing for more than just our team. We were playing for the Dingwalls,” Bukkila said. “We were playing for each other. We’ve been playing selfishly recently and I feel like we’ve really come together as a team.”
T-shirts saying, “JonStrong” were sold at the entrance along with memorial bracelets for Jon Dingwall, a nine-year-old member of the Brandon-Evansville community that was killed while operating a utility vehicle in August.
The seniors of the B-E team came together after Jon’s death and began planning the event, Bukkila said.
“Payton Schaefer our captain. She’s the one who really put a lot of time and energy into it,” Olson said. “She should be commended for that. She did a great job.”
“They’re really good close family friends,” P. Schaefer said. “ Jon was such a good kid. I coached him in summer rec and he was the best kid ever. He was always happy. He gave me a lot of inspiration - his spirit and his positivity and his winning attitude. We had to win this for Jon.”
T-shirts sold out and there was a serve-a-thon event between the second and third sets with all proceeds going to the Dingwall family.
“We came together as a community. That’s the biggest thing,” P. Schaefer said.
The Chargers head to Rothsay (5-8) on Monday, Oct. 2 to play the Tigers at 7:15 p.m.BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 3, PARKERS PRAIRIE 0(30-28, 25-17, 25-21)BRANDON-EVANSVILLE TOTALS - Emily Bukkila - 12 digs; Bailey Schaefer - 1 ace, 17 kills, 1 block, 2 digs; Allie Satterlie - 2 aces, 19 kills, 7 digs; Allison Sturges - 2 digs; Sara Jacobson - 2 digs; Payton Schaefer - 1 ace, 1 assist, 4 digs; Haddey Zastrow - 2 kills; Madison Quinn - 3 aces, 1 block, 35 assists, 5 digs; Mikenna Pattrin - 3 kills, 1 dig