Bryan gave Evergreen all they wanted on the opening night of the NWOAL volleyball season last Tuesday before the Vikings registered a 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 sweep of the Golden Bears.
“(Bryan) beat us a couple weeks ago in the scrimmage,” said Viking coach Kelsey Wulf. “So we prepared, we knew what to expect but they are a far better team than what they have been. You want to beat good teams throughout the year and Bryan is definitely a good team.”
That analogy was apparent right away when after Hannah Herr’s match opening ace, the Golden Bears rebounded to take an 11-7 lead as Kaitlynn Antigo scored three points, including two on solo blocks, and Laney Zuver nailed two kills from the right side.
However, the Vikings stopped that run and began a 9-0 rally of their own on Lindsay Carr’s punch and Lexie Shipman’s two hand stuff block.
Herr back set Jamie VanLoocke for a cross court kill from the right side, Carr painted the left sideline then delivered a laser like facial to a Bryan back row player, and finally a cross from the left to make it 16-11.
Zuver brought the Bears back to within 22-21 with a pair of stuffs at the net and shots from the middle and left side, but Shipman put the Vikes back up 23-21 before two straight Bryan attack errors ended the set.
“After coming off her ACL tear and being off for a year, Lindsay is doing a real good job being a leader,” explained Wulf. “Her energy is contagious and she’s been really consistent and very reliable when we’ve needed her.”
Carr’s pair of left side kills, along with one from Kori Kreuz helped the Vikings to a 6-3 lead in the second set but Zuver and Whitney Whetro keyed a 5-1 run that put Bryan on top 8-7.
A net serve and Bailie Sutter’s solo block started an 8-1 Viking run that included a Courtney Krieger ace, a Megan Floyd shot that split the Bear back row and two more kills from the reliable Carr.
Antigo scored twice and the Vikings had five attacks go out before Zuver pounded an ear splitting slam to get Bryan back to 22-20.
Again it was Carr coming through with a flat-footed spot shot and again two Bryan shots went out to give the second set to Evergreen.
Carr and Floyd punched and counter punched with Zuver and Whetro during the third set as the teams battled to a deadlock at 17-17.
Floyd’s swing from the left side untied the game and Lexie Truckor followed a duo of aces around Kreuz’ slam from the middle to give Evergreen control at 22-17.
For the third set in a row two Bryan attack attempts went out, this time ending the match.
“Our defense did a really good job against them for the most part,” said Wulf. “Lauren (Overfield) and Cece (Silvestri) were able to read what they were trying to do and go line and we made adjustments when they did. But our defense was really scrappy tonight even at the net. We had a lot of times we got a hand on the ball and kept it in play and winning the long volleys which changed the momentum in the game.”
Evergreen suffered its first loss of the season Thursday when they fell in straight sets on the road at Tinora. Game scores were 25-23, 25-12, 28-25.
Reach Joe Blystone at [email protected]