Pioneers win again, Central Lakes rematch tonight

by Scott DCamp
Sports Editor

Northland Community & Technical College has won eight consecutive volleyball matches after sweeping Vermilion and Mesabi Range in a weekend homestand Sept. 28-29.

“We did a nice job of being aggressive offensively and defensively,” said Head Coach Courtney Nordby. “Middles Brookelynn and Megan, as well as other blockers were gtting more touches slowing the ball down at the net.

Northland claimed the Friday night opener in dominant fashion over Vermilion, winning in straight sets with set scores of 25-13, 25-20 and 25-12. Brookelynn Erickson and Brenna Dallager were Northland’s offensive leaders, with 11 kills and 10 assists, respectively.

Mesabi Range brought a solid 9-4 overall record to the Northland gym for Saturday’s matinee, but the Norse were unable to slow down the Pioneers’ attack as Northland claimed the match in three sets 25-17, 25-13, 25-17.

Erickson reached double digits in kills for the second consecutive match, with a 12 kills and seven total blocks. Hannah Dietsch, 17, and Dallager, 10, both reached double figures in assists. Maddie Stewart led the defensive effort with 10 digs.

Northland has now won eight consecutive matches and 24 consecutive sets since it lost to Central Lakes in four sets on Sept. 5 in Thief River Falls. The teams meet again tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 3) at 6:30 p.m. in Brainerd, and with a win, the Pioneers could move into a first place tie in the MCAC Northern Division.

“Central Lakes will be a fun, fast-paced game,” Nordby said. “Defensively, we will need to communicate their faster offense, get some touches with our block and transition that ball into an attack.”

Northland 3, Vermilion 0
Scores – NCTC wins 25-13, 25-20, 25-12
Assists – Brenna Dallager 10, Hannah Dietsch 9, Molly Hanson 8.
Kills – Brookelynn Erickson 11, Brenna Dallager 6, Megan Grove 5, Maddie Stewart 4, Ashlyn Henrickson 3, Mariah Stueness 2, Molly Hanson 2. Service Aces – Maddie Stewart 2, Brenna Dallager 1, Mariah Stueness 1, Brooke Brandon 1.
Blocks (solo-assist) – Megan Grove 1-0, Carly Mekash 1-0, Brenna Dallager 0-2, Brookelynn Erickson 0-2.
Digs – Brooke Brandon 8, Mariah Stueness 5, Carly Mekash 4, Brenna Dalalger 3, Brookelynn Erickson 3, Hannah Dietsch 1, Maddie Stewart 1, Molly Hanson 1.

Northland 3, Mesabi Range 0
Scores – NCTC wins 25-17, 25-13, 25-17.
Assists – Hannah Dietsch 17, Brenna Dallager 10, Molly Hanson 4.
Kills – Brookelynn Erickson 12, Mariah Stueness 8, Carly Mekash 6, Brenna Dallager 6, Megan Grove 6. n Service Aces – Brookelynn Erickson 4, Carly Mekash 1, Hannah Dietsch 1, Mariah Stueness 1.
Blocks (solo-assist) – Megan Grove 4-2, Brookelynn Erickson 2-5, Carly Mekash 0-3, Hannah Dietsch 0-1, Ashlyn Henrickson 0-1, Mariah Stueness 0-1.
Digs – Maddie Stewart 10, Carly Mekash 7, Mariah Stueness 4, Brenna Dallager 3, Brookelynn Erickson 3, Hannah Dietsch 2, Molly Hanson 1.