Volleyball: Brandon-Evansville returns strong nucleus from 14-win team

The Chargers have most of the pieces back from a group that finished second in the Little Eight Conference in 2021 with a 9-1 league record.

Brandon-Evansville’s Gretchen Bredberg goes up for a kill in a match against Underwood on Oct. 7, 2021. Bredberg, a middle blocker for the Chargers, returns as a senior captain this fall to help lead B-E after a 14-11 season last year.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
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BRANDON-EVANSVILLE — The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team had a younger roster going into the 2021 season and came out with a winning record at 14-11 overall and 9-1 in the Little Eight Conference.

That gives the Chargers some confidence heading into this fall where they hope a year of experience can lead to another jump.

“I expect we build on the experience we gained last year and compete every day,” B-E head coach Kelly Olson said. “Our experienced players should help the new girls to the team become familiar with how we do things and expectations. We also get back a player, (Grace Otto), who was injured last year, which adds to our depth. The keys to a successful season will be to pass and serve at a high level. With the players we have coming back and coming onto the team, we will have to limit mental errors and focus on staying in the moment.”

Taylor Yeats, Olivia Otto and Kaytlyn Pattrin are three key seniors lost from 2021, but Brandon-Evansville has eight returning letter winners to lean on.

Seniors Sydney Schaefer (setter), and Gretchen Bredberg (middle blocker) and junior Kylee Dingwall (outside hitter) are the three captains.


EmmaLee Brethorst (middle blocker), Grace Otto (defensive specialist), Kendall Hoidahl (setter/defensive specialist), Taylor Suchy (defensive specialist) and Skylar Bitzan (outside hitter) add experience around them.

Olson listed sophomores Haddy Baune (middle blocker), Taylor Dingwall (outside hitter), Hallie Richter (defensive specialist), Courtney Brethorst (right side) and Claire Boesl (outside hitter) as players who have an opportunity to make an impact on varsity as well.

Underwood edged out B-E for the LEC championship last year by going 10-0 in league play. Olson views the Rockets, along with Parkers Prairie and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, as the top teams in the conference this season.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Henning, Underwood and CGB all have teams that should also be competitive in Section 6A come tournament time.


COACHES - Head coach - Kelly Olson, 11th season; Abecca Erickson (Associate head coach), ASSISTANT COACHES - Kami Dingwall, Pam Schjei, Heidi Elmer


Aug. 29 vs CGB, 7:15 p.m.


Aug. 30 vs KMS, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 8 at Parkers Prairie, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 10 Browerville Tournament, 9 a.m.

Sept. 13 vs Hillcrest, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 15 vs Park Christian, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 17 vs Benson/TBD, 2 p.m.

Spet. 20 vs Henning, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 22 at Battle Lake, 7:15 p.m.


Sept. 26 at New York Mills, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs Rothsay, 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 29 at Underwood, 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Sebeka (UNC) 7 p.m.

Oct. 6 vs Wheaton, 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 7-8 SW MN State Tournament

Oct. 11 vs Ashby, 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 13 at Hancock, 7:15 p.m.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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