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Early lead disappears for Chargers

Junior Emma Friedrich goes high for a kill during Brandon-Evansville’s match against Battle Lake on October 10. Friedrich finished with 13 kills and nine digs in the Chargers’ opening match of the 6A-South tournament on Friday night against fourth-seeded Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

The emotions for the Brandon-Evansville volleyball team went from high to low in the opening set of the Section 6A-South tournament last Friday night.

The Chargers (17-11-2) had everything going as they jumped out to a 16-3 lead over fourth-seeded Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley. The Wolverines (17-7) never quit though, and were rewarded with a 25-23 win in that set that set the tone for a sweep that ended the Chargers’ season.

“We started off the night extremely well, being up 16-3, but that is where it ended for us,” head coach Kelly Olson said. “We just couldn’t side out well enough tonight, and it started there. CGB did a nice job of staying with it during that start we had. Discussing the match with the girls, they felt they stopped playing. I think they felt they could coast it out. We lost the intensity and struggled from then on to get it back. Losing that set took the wind out of our sails.”

The Wolverines did what good teams do in putting the Chargers away after an emotional comeback. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley went on to take the second set 25-17 before wrapping things up 25-23 in the third.

“Set two was even until that 16 or 17 point mark,” Olson said. “And we failed to side them out. In set three, it was back and forth, and we missed a serve late that gave them the window of opportunity they needed. We scrambled too much tonight. We didn’t cover well, and we didn’t take advantage of situations presented to us.”

Senior Caroline Jansen led the way at the net for the Chargers with 14 kills. Junior Emma Friedrich added 13 kills, while fellow junior Diane Campbell had seven. Kinsley Randt had a team-leading 29 assists and 18 digs in her final match in a Brandon-Evansville uniform.

It wasn’t the way the Chargers wanted the season to end, but it’s a group that improved from eight wins in the regular season in 2012 to 17 this fall. Included in that was a Little Eight Conference title this season.

“Bad time to come up short,” Olson said. “It was a good season, though. After being an eight-win team last year, this team did well for themselves. They have nothing to hang their heads about. Kinsley Randt, Caroline Jansen, Megan Kokett and Kristine Bettermann will be missed next year. Each of them left their mark.”


CGB 3, Brandon-Evansville 0

(25-23, 25-17, 25-23)

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE – Mariah Hansen – 4 kills, 2 aces, 13 digs, 1 block; Randt – 29 assists, 18 digs; Jansen – 14 kills, 3 digs; Friedrich – 13 kills, 1 ace, 9 digs; Kylee Hansen – 2 assists, 5 digs; Campbell – 7 kills, 7 digs, 1 block; Megan Kokett – 17 digs; Toni Wright – 1 kill, 4 assists, 1 dig

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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