Braham volleyball pulled together for a high-stakes victory at Aitkin Oct. 10, holding off the Gobblers 25-16, 18-25, 25-17, 25-14. Combined with the win over Pine City Oct. 15, the Bombers won their third-straight Great River championship, going 24-0 over conference matches the past two seasons.
“Aitkin was tough, but our girls played very well all night. They didn’t let anything hit the floor,” described Bomber Coach Britne Engelking. “Amelia Fiedler was very ‘on’ in the back row, and everything she passed went right to target. In the fourth set, Aitkin was leading until we tied it up 14-14. Fiedler was up serving and went on a run. Aitkin used both time outs to try getting the side-out during her serve. When they finally got the side-out, the score was 23-14. It helped that both Kayla Nickles and Kaylie Paitl were in the front row racking up some big kills.”
Nickles and Paitl both finished with 15 kills against the Gobblers, while Carley Lynch set up 36 assists and added 6 ace serves. Fiedler led with 27 serve-receives to target to go with 15 digs and a 23-for-23 serving night. Aiding in the victory were Angela Bendickson (7 kills, 9 digs), Stormy Husnick (5 digs) and Grace Zierden (4 blocks).
• The Oct. 15 Pine City match was also the Bombers’ “Dig Pink” fundraiser night and “Senior Night” where the crowd saw the team finish the GRC season perfectly with a 25-15, 25-14, 25-9 win. Nickles struck 16 kills and 6 ace serves against the Dragons, and Lynch delivered 23 assists. Bendickson also ripped 7 ace serves to go with 7 kills and 7 digs.
“The girls have all improved so much throughout the course of the season, and they are playing so well together,” said Coach Engelking. “I hope they can keep up this intense level of play as we head into the post-season.”
Braham has one more regular-season match at Pierz Oct. 21 before the Section 5A tournament begins Oct. 24.
Great River Volleyball: Braham 12-0, 20-5; Aitkin 9-2, 15-5; Onamia 9-2, 14-7; Rush City 8-4, 13-9; Hinckley-Fin. 4-8, 5-16; Ogilvie 3-8, 6-19; East Central 3-9, 3-12; Isle 2-9, 3-16; Pine City 2-10, 3-19.