Bruins spoil coronation night with sweep of Firebirds

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Fargo South's Maya Krause goes up for the ball against the defense of Devils Lake Rachel Dahlen (white) in a NDHSAA volleyball match, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Devils Lake.

There were two truths about Thursday's, Sept. 19, Eastern Dakota Conference volleyball match against Fargo South and Devils Lake.

1) Someone’s streak was going to continue. The Bruins came into the Sports Center on a three match losing streak. The Firebirds had won their two previous matches in four and three sets respectively.

2) Or someone’s streak was going to end. Refer to No. 1.

After a tightly contested first set that saw the Bruins needing 26 points to win, Fargo South took control of the second and third sets to sweep the Firebirds on Homecoming coronation night.

“I think we started strong with a great first set, fundamentally sound that first set,” said Firebirds head coach Courtney Carlson. “That second set, we tried to make defensive changes that didn’t need to be changed.”

When asked if it was a coaching decision as to the defensive change, Carlson simply replied, “no.”

The Bruins (5-7, 2-3 EDC) led throughout much of the first set until a kill by Autumn Thompson, who was later announced as the 2019 Homecoming queen, tied the match at 16-all forcing a Bruin timeout. The Firebirds (4-8, 3-3) went up by two but a service error by Maya Barendt allowed the Bruins to tie the set at 19. Once Fargo South got the lead on the next serve, it was able to hold onto the advantage the rest of the set, despite the Firebirds tying the game at 23-all, the Bruins won the set 26-24.

There wasn’t any dramatics in sets two and three, as the Bruins took the second set 25-13 and after Devils Lake went up 11-8 in the third set, the Bruins went on a 5-0 run that gave them the lead that they would never relinquish in winning the match clinching set 25-17.

Thursday’s match was the first for the Firebirds since their sweep of Wahpeton on Saturday, Sept. 14.

“We haven’t had a game all week and I think that was a big difference changer. Not having a match all week and coming into a tough EDC match, that’s tough. It’s tough to be intense when you have so many days off,” Carlson said.

Rachel Dahlen had four kills and three blocks, Barendt had three kills, three blocks and two aces, Jes Mertens had 17 digs and Olivia Elfman had 13 digs and 13 assists for the Firebirds who will be on the road Tuesday, Sept. 24 against West Fargo Sheyenne.

Maya Krouse had 14 kills, Madison Jackson had five digs and 15 assists and Parker Seelig had 19 digs for the Bruins.

Chris Harris can be reached at or on Twitter at ChrisHarris_DLJ