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Volleyball roundup: Brandon-Evansville, Alexandria drop matchups with top teams

West Central Area keeps proving itself in the West Central Conference as the Knights improve to 8-1 overall.

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Brandon-Evansville's Gretchen Bredberg tips a ball against Parkers Prairie on Sept. 8, 2022. The Chargers (4-4) played some close sets with undefeated Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (9-0) on Tuesday night, but fell in a 3-1 final to the Comets.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team (4-4) fell in a 3-1 final to Little Eight Conference rival Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (9-0) on Tuesday night.

“Coming in, we knew they were undefeated and were going to be a good litmus test for us,” B-E head coach Kelly Olson said. “We have been steadily improving and wanted to know how we matched up with them.”

The Chargers pushed the Comets, winning set three 25-23 around 26-24, and 25-18 losses in sets one and two. Hillcrest persevered again to take the fourth set and end the match.

“Set two, we lost focus and dug a big hole,” Olson said. “They again used our block and we didn't get enough good touches to continue rallies. We sent a lot of freeballs over when we could have been a bit more aggressive. In set three, the play was the same in set one, but we held the pressure points and forced them to play on the defensive. We were more efficient in serve receive and in attacking the ball.

The Swanville Bulldogs won sets four and five to defeat the Osakis Silverstreaks 3-2 on Sept. 13, 2022. Osakis head coach Brittney Sadlemyer said there were a couple of small victories for her team on the night and that the team has multiple leaders.

“In the final set, we were leading until we failed to keep the pressure on them. We sent too many free balls and they terminated the rallies. The players played hard, and if we focused a little more the scores for those close sets could have swung our way, but they didn't. So we will come back tomorrow and get better, learning from our mistakes and work on them.”

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Brandon-Evansville hosts Park Christian (6-2) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Willmar wins top-10 matchup with Alexandria

Behind a loud home crowd, the No. 3 Willmar volleyball team defeated No. 7 Alexandria (3-2) in four sets on Tuesday night.

Willmar (8-2) won 25-21, 25-17, 25-27 and 25-19. The team is 1-1 in Class 3A top-10 matchups this season.

“The girls have been working hard and getting after it,” Willmar head coach Leah Brogdon said. “They are on fire right now and we want to keep it going.”

Senior captain/outside hitter Sydney Schnichels paced Willmar to victory.

Schnichels, a Gophers volleyball commit, tallied a season-high 31 kills and team-high 21 digs with four service aces and one set assist.

During the match, Schnichels also recorded her 1,000th career kill in a Willmar uniform.

“She puts a lot of pressure on herself,” Brogdon said. “The girls all knew she was close. It was something they all wanted to do for Sydney. Her teammates have a lot of respect for her and she has a lot of respect for her teammates.”

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Ellery DeBoer, Willmar’s setter and an eighth-grader, had 43 of the team’s 51 set assists, adding six digs and three kills.

Behind Schnichels, sophomore outside Gretchen Volk was the only other Willmar player to record at least 10 kills with 17. She also tallied seven digs, three service aces, two set assists and one block ace.

Willmar recorded 53 digs and 16 service aces.

Alexandria returns home on Thursday night at 7 for a matchup against No. 1-ranked Marshall (9-1).

(Story by Michael Lyne / Forum News Service)

Alexandria (3-2)     21   17   27   19

Willmar (8-2)          25   25   25   25

ALEXANDRIA - Eden Watkins - 1 block, 1 dig; Miah Wessel - 1 dig; Amelia Williams - 1 dig; Kiya Issendorf - 3 aces, 3 kills, 35 assists, 9 digs; Addie Rossum - 2 aces, 9 kills, 4 blocks, 3 assists, 8 digs; Emma Ballou - 3 kills, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 4 digs; Hadley Thul - 12 kills, 1 block, 8 digs; Maddi Buysse - 12 kills, 2 digs; Charlotte Lempka - 6 kills, 2 blocks, 3 assists; Julia Doherty - 3 assists, 10 digs; Eva Eisel - 1 ace, 8 digs

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Willmar

Serving (aces): Sydney Schnichels 4, Brielle Ogdahl 4, Allie Rosendahl 3, Gretchen Volk 3, Hannah Stark 2… Set assists: Ellery DeBoer 43, Ogdahl 3, Volk 2, Rosendahl 2, Schnichels 1 … Hitting (kills): Schnichels 31, Volk 17, DeBoer 3, Ogdahl 2, Lauren Dirkes 2 … Blocking (aces): Volk 1, Ogdahl 1 … Digs (5 or more): Schnichels 21, Rosendahl 8, Volk 7, Stark 6, DeBoer 6

Knights keep rolling

West Central Area improved to 8-1 on Tuesday with a 3-0 sweep of Benson (3-8).

The win improved the Knights to 4-1 in the West Central Conference. It was the first match for the Knights since the WCA community was impacted by the death of 18-year-old senior Tyler Stone in a car accident on Sept. 11.

Tyler Stone was an integral part of the West Central Area-Ashby football team that finished second at the state tournament in 2021. Coaches describe him as a fun-loving personality, and a terrific teammate as friends and family mourn another tragedy in the WCA community after Stone died in a car accident on Sept. 11, 2022.

“After a tough start to the week, the Knights came out to play in honor of their friend, and fellow Knight, Tyler Stone,” WCA head coach Melissa Foslien said. “We had a large group of fans and classmates there to support the team and they brought energy to the team.”

West Central Area won the first set 25-22 and then put the match away with 25-18 and 25-20 victories.

“A great start in the first set with Addy Staples serving and solid defense by Sophie Sanstead and Mya Foslien later into the game gave (us) momentum to defeat the Braves in three sets,” coach Foslien said. “Addison Staples had 13 kills and Mya Foslien had 9. Lexi Hunter came in to play right side and did a nice job chalking up 3 kills.”

WCA 3, BENSON 0

(25-22, 25-18, 25-20)

WCA - Addison Staples - 13-15 serving, 2 aces, 4 digs, 12 kills, 1 block; Mya Foslien - 11-11 serving, 13 digs, 9 kills, 1 block; Macy Grosz - 17-17 serving, 3 aces, 29 assists, 10 digs; Whitney Westrom - 7-8 serving, 4 digs, 4 kills, 1 block; Madelyn Westrom - 9-10 serving, 1 ace, 14 digs; Izzy Puchalski - 12-13 serving, 2 aces, 5 digs, 4 kills, 1 block; Sophie Sanstead - 15 digs; Alaina Sykora - 5 digs; Lexi Hunter - 3 kills

Melrose sweeps Minnewaska

Melrose won a West Central Conference match against Minnewaska by 25-23, 25-15 and 25-19 scores.

Dreya Barsness was the Lakers’ lone player in double figure kills with 12. Haley Shea had 23 assists, and Haillie Schultz had a team-best 14 digs.

MELROSE 3, MINNEWASKA 0

(25-23, 25-15, 25-19)

MINNEWASKA - Brooklyn Meyer - 1 ace, 7 digs; Dacia Fleury - 5 kills, 6 digs, 1 block; Dreya Barsness - 12 kills, 2 assists, 7 digs; Emma Poegal - 1 dig; Grace Zenk - 1 kill, 2 aces, 9 digs; Haillie Schultz - 2 kills, 4 assists, 14 digs, 1 block; Haley Shea - 3 kills, 23 assists, 10 digs; Miaya Guggisberg - 7 kills, 2 digs, 1 block

Volleyball scores from Sept. 12

(Stats not yet available)

Rothsay (2-0) 3, Ashby (1-7) 0

Parkers Prairie (3-1) 3, Battle Lake (2-7) 1

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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