First win over DLB preserves Royals perfect volleyball season
DES LACS – For the first time in school history, the South Prairie-Max Royals volleyball team defeated the Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers to remain unbeaten on the year. They needed every last point to make it happen, as the match went to extra points in the fifth set Thursday night. The final score was 14-25, 25-17, 25-22, 23-25, 17-15.
“To see them beat a team like Des Lacs, who we’ve never beaten before, it’s just awesome,” said Royals head coach Keturah Schwarzock. “The hustle they should tonight, the decisions that they made on the court, this is what they worked so hard for and to see it is just phenomenal.”
Each team was forced to battle through strong defensive play from the other side in order to get their offense going. There were five players who had over 20 digs on the night, paced by Des Lacs-Burlington’s Shay Holen who finished with 27. Lakers’ libero Cambrey Benno had 23 and Kaylee Werner had 21. The Royals were led by their own libero Amy Mikkelson’s 25. Brenna Eberle and Delaney Hankel had 20 and 19 respectively.
Up front, South Prairie-Max’s Azijah Trader led both teams with 7 blocks. Paige Berard had two blocks for the Lakers, while teammate Logen Ystaas added one.
Offensively, Trader made her presence felt with a game-high 21 kills, set up by Eberle’s 39 assists. Skotti Beck added ten kills and Taya Bearman had nine.
Des Lacs-Burlington boasted a more balanced attack as three Lakers finished in double figures for kills, while another had nine. Holen led the way with 11 while Berard and Ystaas had ten apiece. Ava Brown had nine.
Werner paced the Lakers with 22 assists. Berard had 12.
Des Lacs-Burlington maintained a slight edge in the service game, recording five aces to South Prairie-Max’s three. Berard and Werner split the duties, with the former finishing with three and Werner two. Bearman finished three for the Royals.
“This win, it feels amazing,” said Bearman. “We can’t focus on any of the errors. We just need to keep our energy up and focus on the next play. We’re going to continue to play as hard as we can and get as far as we can go.”
The win extends the Royals season-opening winning streak to ten matches, and they will look to improve to 11-0 when they host District 12 rival Bishop Ryan on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m.
Des Lacs-Burlington falls to 8-2 on the year. The Lakers will need to dig deep to return to the winner’s column when they travel to Our Redeemer’s Christian School on Tuesday night. The match also starts at 7 p.m.