Devils Lake needed four sets but the Firebirds put away Grand Forks Red River 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17.
Chiara Olson and Kyleigh Toso combined for 20 kills, Abby Johnson had 25 digs and the Devils Lake Firebirds gave head coach Carla Freschette a convincing 3-1 volleyball win over Grand Forks Red River Tuesday night that began with a birthday serenade to Freschette from the Sports Center’s student section.
Along with Olson and Toso, Maya Barendt and Mattea Vetsch had nine and eight kills respectively for the Firebirds.
“I think it just means that we’re all contributing,” Freschette said about the balance attack. “When we’re in certain positions, we’re doing our job in that position first because it starts with pass and serve receive.”
The Firebirds (17-11, 12-5 Eastern Dakota Conference) trailed 4-0 in the early stages of the first set before taking the lead at 10-9 after consecutive aces by Olson. They built a five point advantage and despite the RoughRiders getting within two, the Firebirds were able to hold on to win the set 25-22.
Red River (9-20, 6-11) kept the second set close. After Kaylee Lancaster’s attack error gave the Firebirds a 22-21 lead, a kill by Karlie Robson gave the RoughRiders the lead that they held on to to come away with the set victory at 25-23.
Devils Lake dominated the third and fourth sets, winning both by identical 25-17 scores that ended the RoughRiders two-match win streak.
“I think we had a lot of confidence but within that confidence we had some lax moments like our second set. We get frustrated with ourselves and then we come back and play hard in that third and fourth sets,” Freschette said.
Olson also had three aces and 16 digs to go with her 10 kills and Toso had 10 kills, five digs and five blocks. Vetsch added 20 digs, Barendt had two assists and Taylor Windjue had four kills, 10 digs and 42 assists to lead the Firebirds who sits in fifth place in the conference with three matches to go.
“We kind of where we want to be. We learn new things everyday and we’re being a lot more adaptable as the season progress. We’re all figuring out how we click together,” said Freschette.
The Firebirds will be back on the court on Tuesday, Oct. 23, as they travel to West Fargo.
Chris Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ