Firebirds end skid, sweep Central in three

Ray Maloney, Sports
Firebirds end skid, sweep Central in three

DEVILS LAKE — A quick start was the perfect remedy as Devils Lake ended its five match conference losing streak by defeating Grand Forks Central Thursday at the Sports Center.

The Firebirds won 25-17, 25-17, 28-26.

“I don’t feel like we have been losing,” said coach Julie Faul, whose team improved to 2-5 in the Eastern Dakota Conference with the sweep of the Knights, the same team the Firebirds defeated in the league opener earlier this season. “We have played some great volleyball against some very good teams.”

Kasi Eisenzimmer got Devils Lake rolling in the first game. The senior served up four straight points for the Firebirds, who never looked back in taking the first game and not allowing the Knights to seriously challenge.

“When you start out playing well, it leads to a good day,” said Eisenzimmer, “and when that happens, a lot of energy is created.”

Whatever energy created by Eisenzimmer, who finished with a match-high 28 assists on the night, and her teammates was enough to carry the Firebirds to wins in the first two games. Central never did enjoy a lead in either game.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said Central coach Missy Miedema. “We ended our own runs with mistakes.”

Devils Lake had its hands full with Central in the third game. The Firebirds went on a 7-3 run early in the game to pull away from a 1-1 tie and led 8-4. But the Knights hung tough. Central came back to tie the game again at 15-15 and led several times until Devils Lake was able to put the game away.

“There’s always a point when things self-destruct,” Faul said. “But, those times are becoming fewer and fewer for us.

“A win is a win,” Faul added, “I don’t care how we get it ... I’ll take it.”

Ashley Sebelius led the Firebirds with seven kills on the night, while Maren Rygh and Kenzie Wade each had four.  Taylor Wade added three kills.

GF Central       17       17       26

Devils Lake       25       25       28

Match Statistics

Kills: GF Central — Shanyce Zerr 3, Courtney Hammer 2; Devils Lake — Ashley Sebelius 7, Maren Rygh 4, Kenzie Wade 4, Taylor Wade 3. Blocks: GF Central — Kaylyn Selle 2, Zerr 1; Devils Lake — Krista Brustad 1. Assists: GF Central — Hammer 5; Devils Lake — Kasi Eisenzimmer 28. Digs: GF Central — Gabbi Barrows 11; Devils Lake — N/A. Aces: GF Central — Brittany Norton 3, Melissa Ege 1, Selle 1; Devils Lake — Eisenzimmer 3, T. Wade 1, Rygh 1, Amanda McMullen 1.

Records: Devils Lake 2-5 EDC; 4-10 overall; GF Central 0-6 EDC; 1-17 overall.