BURLINGTON - The Bishop Ryan High School volleyball team had to work a little harder than expected in the final two games to close out a straight-game victory (25-6, 25-20, 25-13) at District 12 opponent Des Lacs-Burlington on Thursday.
Senior middle hitter Quinn Harmon led the Lions with six kills and sophomore libero Maddie Wald and sophomore outside hitter Hannah Stewart each had six digs as Ryan earned its first district victory of the season.
Ryan (10-8 overall, 1-2 district) jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the opening game before DLB scored its first point. The Lions scored seven unanswered points to increase the lead to 15-1 and closed out the game taking 10 of the next 15 points.
"We worked on our outside block tonight," Ryan coach Patty Luetzen said. "We also did a really nice job of playing defense on angles. It was a good game for us."
DLB coach Kayla Andersen encouraged her team before the start of the second game to keep their heads up.
"I told them they need to play with confidence and that they need to start working harder and go after every ball," Andersen said.
Her words got through as the Lakers fought back in the second game and held a 15-14 advantage before Ryan took three of the next four points to take the lead. Kills by Harmon, sophomore outside hitter Gabbie Bohl and junior setter Anika Rovig sealed the second-game victory for the Lions.
"You have to give (DLB) credit for coming back," Rovig said. "They played hard that second game and it was close the whole way through."
Rovig led Ryan with 14 assists.
DLB senior outside hitter Shauna Benzmiller gave the Lakers (1-11, 0-5) an early lead in the third game with a kill and an ace. The Lakers led 10-9 before back-to-back kills by Bohl gave the Lions a lead they didn't relinquish. Leading 11-10, Ryan closed the match on a 14-3 run that ended with a block by Stewart.
"We let our own momentum go down and usually when that happens we're about a second behind the ball and give the other team points," Luetzen said.
Ryan plays at Our Redeemer's Christian School (16-3-1, 6-0) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.