Firebirds beat Bravettes in straight sets in Carlson’s home coaching debut

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Devils Lake’s Maya Barendt goes up for an attack against Turtle Mountain Community High School during the first set of a NDHSAA volleyball match Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 from Devils Lake.

First year Devils Lake head volleyball coach Courtney Carlson admitted that she didn’t know what expect coaching in the Sports Center for the first time in front of the Firebirds faithful.

“I didn’t really know what to expect coming this being my first match on our home court but I thought we had a pretty good turnout and our student section was really loud and awesome,” she said.

It also helped that her team gave the fans something to get loud about.

The Firebirds, coming off five losses in the Bismarck Invitational over the weekend, swept Turtle Mountain Community High School 3-0 Tuesday, Sept. 3.

“I told them that we needed to be fundamentally sound and worry about what’s on our side of the court and that we needed to make less errors than we did this weekend and I think that we did that tonight,” Carlson said.

The Firebirds (2-5) were never threatened in the first set. After the Bravettes got a point to make the set 2-1, the Firebirds outscored TMCHS 10-1 in a stretch that ended with an attack error by Rachel Dahlen (five kills). Devils Lake ended the game on a 13-3 run to win the first set 25-6.

The Firebirds opened set No. 2 scoring six straight points and despite TMCHS cutting the lead to three at 15-12 after the Firebirds committed a block error, the game never got any closer than six as Devils Lake won the second set 25-19.

In the 25-16 third set win, the Bravettes (0-1) had their best game of the night, at one point outscoring the Firebirds 7-0 that was culminated by consecutive aces by Sunni Parisien. The 14 point hole was too much for TMCHS to dig out of.

“I think that our first game jitters are out and we know what intensity level we can play at now so we can continue that into Thursday (home against Grand Forks Red River),” said Carlson.

Maya Barendt had 12 kills, Hope Schumacker had nine kills and eight digs, Abby Johnson had 18 digs and Olivia Elfman had 10 aces and seven digs to pace the Firebirds.

Chris Harris can be reached at and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ