The Our Redeemer's Christian School volleyball team capitalized on a number of Glenburn communication mishaps during a 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-15) victory in a District 12 match at ORCS on Thursday.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Koppinger had a match-high 14 kills and senior middle blocker Emily VanLith contributed 11 kills for the Knights. Eighth-grade setter Morgan Olson did a bit of everything with a match-high 19 assists, three aces and seven digs.
"(Glenburn) played a good round, but we have a lot of stamina on our team and good hitting," Olson said.
Tim Chapman/MDN • Our Redeemer’s Christian School senior middle blocker Emily VanLith attempts a kill against Glenburn senior middle blocker Natalie Stivers (10) and sophomore setter Katie Dufner during Thursday’s match at ORCS.
ORCS started the match slowly and fell behind 3-0 in the opening game. But senior outside hitter Billie Bangen sparked the team with a kill and consecutive aces leading to a 15-5 run to give the Knight a 19-8 lead. The Panthers didn't have an answer for Koppinger, Bangen or VanLith, as the three seniors combined for 15 of the team's points in the first game.
"We came out strong in the first game and the second game was a little slower, but we picked it up in the end and got the win," VanLith said.
Glenburn jumped out to another early lead in the second game, only to have ORCS fight its way back, taking its first lead of the frame at 8-7 on sophomore setter Gabi Boeckel's first kill of the match.
The Knights (13-2 overall, 1-0 district) had help from the Panthers throughout the match. Glenburn made a series of errors due to a lack of communication on the court. When Glenburn attempted to make a run, silence amongst the Panthers led to weak shots over the net and easy points for the Knights. The Panthers struggled getting the ball to junior Lindsay Schneibel and sophomore Katie Dufner - both setter - for the second touch, which limited scoring opportunities.
"We're a young team and we're definitely growing," Glenburn coach Lyndsi Engstrom said. "There's going to be some growing pains early in the season. We talked about the things we need to do in practice and the things we need to improve on."
ORCS won the second game on VanLith's 10th kill of the match.
"They had more fire than they've had in a long time and that was nice to see," ORCS coach Sherry Carlson said. "It was nice to see that the enthusiasm was there tonight. That helps."
The Knights and Panthers exchanged points early in the third game before ORCS went ahead 18-8 after an 11-1 run. The final point of the match epitomized the Panthers' frustration. Junior outside hitter Payton Schumann served the ball into the net.
Shumann provided most of Glenburn's scoring with a team-high 10 kills.
The Knights play at Des Lacs-Burlington and Glenburn hosts Surrey. Both games are at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.