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Bearcats up season to 15-7 with week of wins

By Coach Tina Turn
To kick off three straight days of volleyball matches, the Bearcats hosted the Red Lake Falls Eagles at home in Lancaster on Thursday, Sept. 23. Fans and players were asked to wear yellow to show support for eradicating childhood cancer, and the team did a fundraiser for RLF head coach, Nikki Gullingsrud, whose 9-year-old son is battling osteosarcoma.
Off the court, both teams worked together for a great cause, but on the court, they put their battle shoes on and went to work. In set one, Kira Whitlock was the star server who helped her team to a run of points, and Cheyanne Scalese led the offense with 4 kills in a 25-18 win.
Set two played out in a similar fashion, but this time it was Berlyn Strege’s and Emma Sjostrand’s serving runs that allowed the Bearcats to stretch out their lead. Once again, Scalese had 4 kills in the set, which went to KCC 25-17.
Consistent play all the way around made set three a well-executed set for the Bearcats. Kira Whitlock headed up the swings in set three with 6. She also recorded the only block of the night in the final set that ended in favor of the Cats 25-12.
The Bearcats had strong serving for the second match in a row. Nine aces plus 93 percent serving really helped to keep the Eagles out of system. Red Lake Falls got their hands on a lot more blocks than we did, so it remains an area we want to improve in. Our backcourt was very active and three players logged double-digit digs to really frustrate the Eagle offense. It was a nice win to head into a tough weekend of competition at the Burnsville tournament.
KCC at Northern Freeze
To kick off homecoming week action, the Bearcats traveled to Karlstad to take on the Northern Freeze on Tuesday, Sept. 28. It was a packed gym, which provided energy and a fun environment for the teams to play in.
The first set was a solid set for the Bearcats. Four service errors and four hitting errors constituted the blunders in the action, but KCC made up for it with 6 aces and 7 kills in a 25-19 win.
In set two, the Bearcats almost handed the game to the Freeze with their 5 errors at the serving line. It was a come-from-behind win 25-23 for KCC, who renewed their focus late in the set to intentionally change their passes and run a faster offense. It paid off as Cheyanne Scalese pounded in 5 kills, one of which was the set-ending smash.
Senior Kira Whitlock opened set three with 8 serves and forced a Freeze timeout when they were down 0-5. Senior libero Emma Sjostrand added to the scoring streak with another string of 5 serves to force a second Freeze timeout with a score of 11-1. Perfect serving in the set coupled with 6 Scalese kills and a Scalese and Steen block led to a solid 25-8 victory.
Senior Jenna Davis sat out the match with an ankle injury. The team missed her presence on the court, but they did a nice job adjusting to a new lineup and rotation. We’ve had a few matches lately of serving below our goal, so it will be an area we work on tidying up as we head into the latter part of the season. Aces, however, were high with 14 against the Freeze. We were glad to get the Conference win which moves our season record to 14-7.
KCC vs Roseau
Kittson County Central was celebrating homecoming the week of Sept. 27 when they invited the Roseau Ram volleyball team to Hallock to take on the Bearcats on Thursday, Sept. 30. This annual match-up between the two teams always proves to be competitive and fast-paced, and this night was no different.
The night started off with many long rallies. Both teams are defensive-minded and kept the ball alive to provide the fans with some exciting action. Senior Cheyanne Scalese paced the offensive efforts of the Bearcats with 5 kills. Fellow seniors Kira Whitlock and Jenna Davis each added 3. Senior libero Emma Sjostrand did a fine job reading the Roseau offense as she recorded 9 digs in set one alone. Davis finished off the first set with a tip kill to win 25-17.
In set two, Scalese led in stats at the net with 5 kills and 2 blocks while senior Megan Larson found her groove to add in 4 kills. Combined with Whitlock’s 3 kills, the Bearcat offense moved the ball around and kept the Ram defense hopping. Whitlock went to the line at point 24 and helped her team capture the win on an ace for a final 25-21 set two score.
The Bearcats gave the Rams a few free points off 4 missed serves in set three, but KCC also earned 20 of their points off an incredibly balanced offense with Larson for 5 kills, Scalese and Davis for 4 each, Whitlock for three, Morgan Turn for 2, and Elsa Steen for 1. It was one of Davis’ kills that put a final W on the board 25-19.
The Bearcats were a super fun team to watch tonight. The energy was high and communication was top-notch. With four players recording 8 or more kills, the balanced offense was key to the win, but even more important were the efforts of the defense who kept the team alive in a lot of long rallies. Senior Jenna Davis was back on the court after suffering an ankle sprain last week. It was good to have her feeling mobile again. Overall, the Bearcats played a pretty seamless game, and other than needing to improve their blocking, they just did a really fine job playing as an aggressive team. This parents night win moves the season record to 15-7.


VB Stats RLF Freeze

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