West Fargo Sheyenne prevails over Fargo North in EDC volleyball showdown
Reagan Bogenreif and Izzy Albrecht combined for 25 kills to help the Mustangs remain unbeaten
WEST FARGO — Being the two top teams in the Eastern Dakota Conference, Thursday night's volleyball match between No. 3-ranked Fargo North and top-ranked West Fargo Sheyenne was set to be a competitive matchup.
The Spartans put the pressure on early with an opening-set win, but the Mustangs prevailed and took the next three to win the match 3-1 and remain undefeated. Set scores were 26-24, 25-11, 25-21 and 25-19.
Senior outside hitter Reagan Bogenreif and junior middle hitter Izzy Albrecht combined for 25 kills for the Mustangs to improve to 15-0 on the year.
It was one of the rare moments this season where Sheyenne faced any sort of adversity, dropping an opening set for the first time this year.
The Spartans' only lead in the set came at 25-24 on a hit out of bounds before a kill from senior outside hitter Haidyn Tollefson clinched set point for North.
"I think we came out really tight in that first set," Mustangs head coach Leah Newton said. "We were making a lot of errors on our end. So I just talked to the girls about relaxing and playing Mustang volleyball and loosening up a little bit, and I think that really helped us out."
Sheyenne proceeded to dominate Set 2, taking it 25-11, including the final six points. The set ended on a service ace from senior setter Brooke Johnson to draw the match even at one apiece.
North led for much of the third set, but after the Spartans went up 21-19, Sheyenne again rallied for the final six points to steal it, with the set ending on three straight kills from Albrecht, senior middle hitter Khloe Brown and Bogenreif.
The Spartans kept things close in the fourth, but it was Bogenreif calling match point with one final kill to clinch it for Sheyenne.
Newton said the Spartans were one of the biggest tests yet for her squad.
"They're a great team and they did a lot of really good things," she said. "They challenged us in every part of the game and played really well (tonight)."
Newton added that while keeping their unbeaten streak intact is nice, the record doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
"It's nice, but honestly, we're really just focused on improving," Newton said. "We want to be at our best at the end of the season when it really matters. We're proud of (our record), we love it and appreciate it, but it's more about, 'Where are we going to be at the end of the year?'"
The Spartans suffered their second setback of the season, falling to 14-2. North head coach Rachel Hummel, however, said there's a lot to be proud of for her team after the loss.
"I think we put up a great fight overall," Hummel said. "We pushed through some challenges. (Sheyenne) is a great team and they picked up a lot on defense. I think our kids adapted well and pushed through. They had a good fight in them."
Hummel said the energy from her squad was high going into Thursday's tilt.
"(Sheyenne) is one of the best and I think we were excited coming into this," she said. "We were excited to play this top caliber team. I think we showed up and were ready to play. We've got to work on some things but we're excited to hopefully see them again sometime.
"Our offense has been killing it, our defense is there and we can just keep going up from here."
Bogenreif led the Mustangs' attack with 14 kills, four aces and 20 digs. Albrecht finished with 11 kills and three blocks defensively.
Senior setter Kennedy Colter led Sheyenne in assists with 26 while Johnson added 19. Senior right side hitter Lexus Terhark added eight kills and two blocks for the Mustangs while senior outside hitter Kailee Waasdorp led the digs department with 23.
The offense was spread out for North, with Tollefson, senior outside hitter Reagan Carlson, sophomore outside hitter Solei Berg and freshman middle hitter Audrey Rydell recording seven kills each.
Rydell, junior setter Betsy Schiltz and senior outside hitter Grace Holm each tallied three aces, while Schiltz led the Spartans in assists with 24.
Schiltz and Rydell each had 2.5 blocks while junior defensive specialist Evy Berg led North with 27 digs.
Fargo North visits Grand Forks Central (1-14) on Tuesday while West Fargo Sheyenne hosts Shanley (9-5).