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Volleyball: Chargers persevere through sweep of Hillcrest in home opener (w/video)

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Brandon-Evansville's Haddey Zastrow (left) and Bailey Schaefer throw up a block at the net as Hillcrest Lutheran Academy's Alida Viksoy attempts a kill during Tuesday's Little Eight Conference match. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)2 / 6
Brandon-Evansville sophomore Bailey Schaefer puts down one of her team-high 10 kills during Tuesday's win over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)3 / 6
Brandon-Evansville sophomore Mikenna Pattrin gets her hands on a block during Tuesday's win over Hillcrest as teammate Brittany Korkowski is there to help her out at the net. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)4 / 6
Brandon-Evansville senior Madison Quinn tips a shot over the net during Tuesday's home opener in Evansville. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)5 / 6
Brandon-Evansville sophomore Korrie Randt sets the ball as Haddey Zastrow charges the net against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Tuesday. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)6 / 6

The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team opened up its conference season on Tuesday night and made quick work of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in a 3-0 sweep.

It was the home opener and Parents Night for the Chargers (2-1, 1-0 Little Eight Conference), and things got off to a bit of a sluggish start. A few unforced errors led to an early deficit in the first set, but B-E rallied with a 25-20 win.

That was a sign of things to come as the Chargers held off the Comets every time Hillcrest tried to fight back, winning 25-22 and 25-17 to finish things off.

“We really focused on our hitting this game, and I feel like we did a lot better at our hitting and our offensive game,” senior setter Madison Quinn said. “That was good. Defensively, we got caught out of position a little bit, but we had good hustle.”

The Comets are a team that struggled mightily a year ago after going 0-27 where all of those losses came in straight sets, according to Minnesota-scores.net records from last season. Brandon-Evansville head coach Kelly Olson still wants to see more consistency in a lot of areas from his team as the Chargers try to keep improving as the season goes on.

“We did enough things to win,” Olson said. “That’s probably the most important thing.”

Olson pointed to the Chargers’ serving on Tuesday as one example where they are looking for improvement.

“We served (85) percent,” he said. “You can’t do that.”

There were some unforced errors on both sides of the ball, but Brandon-Evansville easily came out with the win. They trailed 13-10 at one point in the second set but rattled off 11 straight points to take command. Sophomore Korrie Randt came off the bench at setter during part of that run and the Chargers didn’t skip a beat as she helped distribute the ball around the net.

“She gave us a good spark,” Olson said. “She did that when we put her in against Henning, too.”

Quinn (21 assists) and Randt (3 assists) distributed the ball to a few different hitters. Sophomore Bailey Schaefer is growing into her role as a go-to player up front for the Chargers after being named second-team All-Little Eight Conference as a freshman.

Schaefer led B-E against the Comets with 10 kills. One of those finished off the win in the second set before junior Haddey Zastrow’s kill ended the third set to secure the sweep. Zastrow had seven kills and sophomore Mikenna Pattrin added six.

“It’s a different game when you can spread it out offensively,” Quinn said. “I have to thank my passers because without passing, we wouldn’t be able to spread it out offensively. It’s fun because we get to run different things and mix it up. If someone is having a bad night, we have other hitters that can do stuff.”

The Chargers did enough to get out of the home opener with a win and complete the sweep of the Comets in the C-team, junior varsity and varsity matches. Now B-E will focus on taking another step forward when Park Christian comes to Evansville on Thursday night.

“Hillcrest played hard and never quit,” Olson said. “Right now, we are going to focus on getting a little bit better in what we do and see if we can get the win against Park Christian at home on Thursday.”

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 3, HILLCREST LUTHERAN ACADEMY 0

(25-20, 25-22, 25-17)

B-E - Sara Jacobson - 1 assist, 5 digs; Kailee Klimek - 3 kills, 8 digs; Bailey Schaefer - 2 aces, 10 kills, 8 digs; Brittany Korkowski - 3 aces, 3 kills, 1 assist, 7 digs; Mikenna Pattrin - 6 kills, 1 block; Korrie Randt - 1 ace, 3 assists, 1 dig; Haddey Zastrow - 7 kills; Madison Quinn - 3 aces, 1 kill, 21 assists

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.

(320) 763-1229