Devils Lake beats Grand Forks Central in straight sets to take the season series from the Knights.
Back on August 30, Devils Lake traveled to Grand Forks to take on Central to open Eastern Dakota Conference volleyball play. It was a 3-0 Firebirds victory.
Fast forward a just over a month later. Different location; same result.
“I think we’re growing and developing every game,” said Firebirds head coach Carla Freschette after Devils Lake defeated the Knights 3-0 again Monday night from the Sports Center. “We saw a lot of fire tonight that I don’t think we’ve seen in awhile.”
The win completed the season sweep of Central — in the truest form of the word as the Firebirds won all six sets against the Knights.
“It looked like they were having fun playing volleyball,” Freschette said.
The Firebirds (12-6, 9-4 EDC), despite playing without senior middle Kyleigh Toso, dominated the match throughout despite a close opening set. After a Jess Mertens kill that gave the Firebirds the 3-2 lead, the Knights went on scoring spurt, beginning with a kill by Jaylin Perrault that gave Central the 4-3 advantage. The Knights pushed their lead to four, and was leading 11-10 when a kill by Chiara Olson tied the score. Consecutive kills by Abby Johnson and Averi Ziegler respectively gave the Firebirds a two point lead.
Central (1-17, 0-14) led again late in the set at 18-17 but the Firebirds eventually came away with the 25-21 set No. 1 win.
The Firebirds won the second and third sets 25-17 and 25-21.
Devils Lake came into Monday’s meeting with Central 2-2 over its previous four matches. The Firebirds will participate in a tournament in Fargo this upcoming weekend but will end the season going through the EDC gauntlet once again, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 9 at EDC leader and undefeated Fargo Davies followed by a home match with West Fargo Sheyenne, who is currently second in the conference, on Thursday, Oct. 11.
The Firebirds will play four of their final six matches inside the Sports Center.
“Those are huge games for us,” Freschette said about the week ahead. “We’re hoping that we can be successful.”
Mertens finished with seven kills, five aces, four digs and two blocks, Ziegler had seven kills and two digs, Johnson had two kills, two aces and 19 digs and Olson had five kills and 13 digs to pace the Firebirds.
The Firebirds were also led by Mattea Vetsch’s six kills and 10 digs and Taylor Windjue’s 31 assists and nine digs and two blocks.
Chris Harris can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ