Powerful West Fargo sweeps past Firebirds

Ray Maloney, Sports
West Fargo’s Katelynn Holland (4)?dives unsuccessfully to keep the ball in play after Devils Lake’s Taylor Wade (2) slams down on her her three kills on the night during the Firebird’s match on Tuesday at the Devils Lake Sports Center. The Packers swept past Devils Lake in straight sets to post the victory.

West Fargo put all facets of its game together in a big way and that spelled trouble for Devils Lake as the Packers scored a sweep of the Firebirds on Tuesday in high school volleyball action at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

The Packers won 25-12, 25-15, 25-18.

“We had some really aggressive serving,” West Fargo coach Paula Pierson said after watching her team dispatch the Firebirds. “This was the best we’ve played in the last two weeks ... without question.”

Not only did Pierson’s Packers serve the ball well against the Firebirds in a match that saw the visitors tally 17 aces, West Fargo also played well in other areas all night long.

“We had some aggressive play behind the aggressive serving ... and some smart play,” added Pierson, whose team improved to 3-1 in the Eastern Dakota Conference with the win. The Packers are 10-4 on the season.

The dominance of West Fargo was not lost on Devils Lake coach Julie Faul.

“West Fargo is a very good team,” said Faul, whose team fell to 2-6 in the league and 5-7 overall. “They are a much improved team over last year and they have six (players) on the floor who can get to the ball and can do something with the ball once they get it.”

West Fargo took an early lead in the first set, but the Firebirds managed to stay close. For a bit.

The Packers reeled off five points to turn a 4-3 lead into a 9-3 advantage and never looked back on their way to the victory.

“We got frustrated with ourselves,” Devils Lake’s Haley Prozinski said. “We’ve got to turn things around and step it up in practice and put things together ... and work on our defense.”

Prozinksi and the Firebirds get little time to work on those things. Devils Lake returns to action on Thursday at the Sports Center when they take on conference-leading Fargo Shanley.

The Deacons sit atop the EDC?standings with a perfect 7-0 record and have lost just once in 11 outings so far this season.

Thursday’s match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.

West Fargo     25   25   25

Devils Lake    12   15   18

West Fargo Leaders

Kills – Katelynn Holland 10, Carissa Becher 8, Ali Barta 7, Jill Gustafson 5. Blocks – Gustafson 1, Dani Nelson 1. Assists – Gustafson 15, Barta 13. Digs – Holland 8, Gustafson 7, Barta 6, Hannah Schnepf 4. Aces – Barta 4, Schnepf 4, Holland 3, Becher 3, Rachel Hummel 2, Gustafson 1.

Devils Lake Leaders

Kills – Taylor Wade 3, Steph Mertens 3, Chelsea Kurtz 2. Blocks – Wade 5, Haley Prozinski 4, Shelby Turck 4, Kurtz 3. Assists – Autumn Wang 6, Josie Knowski 4. Digs – Wang 5, Mertens 4, Krissy Larson 3. Aces – Wade 2, Larson 1, Josie Knowski 1.