The West Fargo Sheyenne volleyball team showed why it’s the top team in the Eastern Dakota Conference on Tuesday against Devils Lake.
The Mustangs (11-3, 6-0) took care of the Firebirds (5-8, 2-4) in three sets (15-25, 10-25, 18-25).
“We do what we’ve been doing and turned it on in the third set,” DL head coach Carla Freschette said. “I’ve been trying to say we need to play our third set first to get the momentum swinging. We didn’t do that today. They’re a good team. I don’t know if we were intimidated by them, but we need to put on a brave face, have no fear and just go out there. We didn’t do that the first two sets.”
Sheyenne’s hitting attack overwhelmed the Firebirds from the start, jumping out to a quick 6-1 lead in the first set. The Mustangs never really slowed down until the third set.
“We needed to play a little different kind of defense,” Freschette said. “They’re a hard-hitting team. We needed to play more of a perimeter defense on them because of the way they cut the ball. We tried to do that, but when you’re practicing one thing and all of a sudden you switch it, it’s a little confusing.”
After taking the first set 25-15, the Mustangs rolled through the second set for a 25-10 win.
“One of the biggest things is for awhile there we didn’t have a block up,” Freschette said. “We could not put a block up and that hurt us a lot. It gives your back row defense nothing really to go on and they could put it anywhere.”
The Firebirds responded well in the third set with a quick start. Kyleigh Toso had a kill and then a block-kill as DL took a 3-1 lead. The lead extended to 9-5 after a Mattie Barendt kill.
Sheyenne had an answer and went ahead 11-10. But DL kept battling, retaking the lead at 15-13 after an Averi Ziegler ace.
Once again, the Mustangs started to take back control of the set. Six straight points late in the set gave them a 24-17 lead and the eventual match sweep.
“We had a lot of serve-receive errors,” Freschette said. “That put us over the top. They had two servers who went on a run in that set and that hurt us. We eventually picked it up a little bit at the end, but we need to start that right away in the first set.”
The Firebirds host Fargo Davies on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Eagles are 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the EDC.

Statistical leaders
Kills
Kyleigh Toso 5
Mattie Barendt 5
Olivia Light 3
Averi Ziegler 3
Aces
Mattie Barendt 1
Kyleigh Toso 1
Averi Ziegler 1
Assists
Jenna Windjue 11
Digs
Jacinda Schell 10
Alex Palmer 5
Olivia Light 4
Blocks
Kyleigh Toso 3