Ryan volleyball pushes past Nedrose in four sets

Alex Eisen/MDN Bishop Ryan junior Sylvie Kramer (12) goes up to attack the ball while Nedrose junior Noelle Overton (20) sets up a block attempt Tuesday evening during a Class B volleyball game at Bishop Ryan.

Sophomore Sydney Upton was a force in the middle, and junior Sylvie Kramer provided the power from the outside.

The two heavy hitters for the Bishop Ryan volleyball team combined for 26 kills in a four-set victory over Nedrose (25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18) Tuesday night at Bishop Ryan.

After the Region 6 cross-district clash, Ryan moved to 5-3 overall while handing Nedrose its first loss of the season (2-1).

“We were a little more error-prone than we were hoping to be,” Ryan head coach Nick Theis said. “We are learning how to pull ourselves out of that to come back and put a great swing on the next ball. Sometimes we get a little frustrated when the other team gets a kill… But, I’m glad how they pulled through at the end.”

Tied at 8-8, the Lions used a 7-1 run in the middle of the first set to pull away. Back-to-back kills by Upton — an uncontested, powerful strike down and a tap that glanced off the top of the net — gave Ryan a 19-11 lead.

The Cardinals got back into their rhythm near the end of the first set, but couldn’t close the gap and fell 25-18.

That momentum gained, however, carried over into the second set where Nedrose started the frame with a 9-4 advantage before the Lions called a timeout to regroup.

Ryan honed in and was back even at 14-14, then scored six out of the next seven points to take a 20-15 lead.

Nedrose responded with four straight points, including a couple of timely kills from junior Noelle Overton.

Following three straight spike kills at the net because Nedrose struggled to produce a clean dig, senior Grace Candrian dropped in an ace to claim the second set for the Lions, 25-20.

“We did well at the beginning, but then we kind of got into our own heads,” said Sylvie Kramer, who finished with 10 kills. “We started playing more for ourselves instead of the betterment of the team.”

Behind the high-velocity serving of senior Rieley Staggs, Nedrose opened an 8-4 lead to start the third frame. Junior Nora Kramer answered back for Ryan, serving up six straight points.

That was followed by an 8-1 spurt for Nedrose.

With a sidearm return dig/kill by Nora Kramer and a kill by Upton from right down the middle, Ryan got within two points at 24-22. But, Nedrose kept the match alive with a kill from Madison Hayes that snuck in just in front of the Ryan student section, 25-22.

Hayes, a sophomore, was playing in place of senior Hailee Miller, who missed a practice and didn’t play.

“(Hayes) came in and had some strong serves, some nice kills and really did a nice job all the way around,” said Nedrose head coach Raquel Maldonado.

Ryan didn’t take losing the third set lightly. The Lions pounced early to grab a 7-2 lead in the fourth frame.

A twisting kill by Upton put the score at 13-7 for Ryan. She finished with a match-high 16 kills and three blocks.

Out of a timeout, Nedrose put together a 6-1 to draw within a point. That’s as close as the Cardinals would get.

Candrian notched her game-high fifth ace at 24-18, and the Cardinals ended up in the net on match point.

“Last year, this is a team we lost to in five (sets),” Theis said. “I think that memory came back like, ‘What if we lose again?’ We struggle when the energy and speed feels low. Learning how to dig in and find that energy is what we are working on.”

Kali Koetter led the Cardinals with 11 kills, followed by Overton with nine. Setter RaeAnn Humphreys finished with a double-double (21 assists and 11 digs).

“We had some really nice moments, and we had some moments that we need to work on,” Maldonado said. “We have to get our passes up. When we had our passes up, we had some nice kills.”

Both teams are on the road Thursday. Ryan travels to Bottineau, and Nedrose heads to Towner to face TGU. Both varsity contests are set to start at 7 p.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.