The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team started the season exactly how it wanted to by picking up two wins over rival schools. After a season-opening win over Underwood last Thursday, the Chargers swept the Parkers Prairie Panthers on Monday night.

One of the keys to victory in B-E’s first win was getting out to a lead at the start of the set. Against Parkers Prairie, the Chargers picked up right where they left off. B-E held an 8-3 lead, which forced a Panther timeout.

A regroup was what the Panthers needed as they cut the deficit to two midway through the first set. Both teams traded points before senior Faith Alberts cut B-E’s lead to three late in the set. When the Panthers needed a point, they called on their leader.

The Panthers celebrate a second-set point in a 3-0 loss to Brandon-Evansville on the road Monday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
The Panthers celebrate a second-set point in a 3-0 loss to Brandon-Evansville on the road Monday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

“Faith is a senior that’s been around since ninth grade,” Parkers Prairie head coach Amy Revering said. “She’s one of our go-to players. We have a lot more offense than her, and I felt like we weren’t utilizing them. But when the game is on the line, and we need a big point, we’re going to go to Faith, Jayda (Lego) and Kieda (Wagner).”

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B-E went on to win the first set 25-22 after two hitting errors by the Panthers. The Chargers carried the momentum into the next set when they took an 11-4 lead. After a Panther timeout, B-E saw its two stars come up big.

“Balance is a great thing to have in volleyball,” B-E head coach Kelly Olson said. “We talk a lot about being ready for the ball and not getting caught standing up. We’re not all the way there yet, but the girls are doing a good job of paying attention and seeing what’s happening on the other side of the court. That allows us to get the ball to Bailey (Schaefer) and Mikkena (Pattrin) for those big kills.”

Bailey Schaefer goes up for a kill in the second set during Brandon-Evansville's win over Parkers Prairie on Monday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
Bailey Schaefer goes up for a kill in the second set during Brandon-Evansville's win over Parkers Prairie on Monday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

The Chargers held a steady lead throughout the second set. Schaefer and Pattrin accounted for seven of the last 10 points as B-E won the set 25-16.

“Bailey was a big problem for us tonight,” Revering said. “She has a lot of hang time, and she can hit the ball hard. I think we saw some of the nerves from our younger players show tonight in those moments. We started getting out of position and making too many mistakes. This just isn’t the team to do that against.”

B-E kept rolling through the third set as another 25-16 win completed the first sweep of the season. Schaefer led the Chargers with 16 kills.

The difference for B-E in its second game of the season was the ability to limit unforced errors. The Chargers allowed Underwood to creep back into sets last Thursday. This time around, B-E didn’t let Parkers Prairie shift the momentum for more than a few points.

Megan Blake looks up to set the ball for a teammate on Monday night during Parkers Prairie's 3-0 loss to Brandon-Evansville. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
Megan Blake looks up to set the ball for a teammate on Monday night during Parkers Prairie's 3-0 loss to Brandon-Evansville. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

“I think getting the experience really helped some of these girls tonight,” Schaefer said. “We have three or four girls playing in their first varsity games. Getting a win last week helped calm the nerves and allowed us to be more consistent.”

Through the first two games, the Chargers didn’t show the rust Parkers Prairie or Underwood had. The combination of veteran leadership and a head start in the gym allows B-E to play in mid-season form.

“When we found out there wasn’t going to be a season, we still took it upon ourselves to keep practicing individually,” Schaefer said. “We didn’t think they were going to bring the season back because they didn’t last spring, but we knew there was going to be a chance for us to play volleyball this year. We were going to be ready whenever the time came.”

EmmaLee Brethorst leaps to hit the ball on Monday night during Brandon-Evansville's 3-0 win over Parkers Prairie. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
EmmaLee Brethorst leaps to hit the ball on Monday night during Brandon-Evansville's 3-0 win over Parkers Prairie. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

PARKERS PRAIRIE 22 16 16 - 0

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 25 25 25 - 3

B-E KILLS- Bailey Schaefer 16, Kaylee Dingwall 2, Mikenna Pattrin 6, EmmaLee Brethorst 1, Gretchen Bredberg 3, Olivia Otto 3