Pioneers knock off fifth-ranked Cyclones

by Scott DCamp
Sports Editor

It was a three-up, three-down weekend for the Northland volleyball team. The Pioneers knocked off the fifth ranked Cyclones of St. Cloud Technical and Community College in straight sets Friday night to start the weekend homestand, before dominating both matches in the Pioneer Classic Saturday, with straight set wins over Rainy River and Itasca on Saturday.

In the opener, Carly Mekash and Mariah Stueness combined for 25 kills, as the Pioneers won 29-27, 25-21, 28-26 in a straight-set win that saw all three sets go down to the wire, with two of the three sets requiring extra points to be decided. Hannah Dietsch and Molly Hanson combined for 35 assists in the win.

“Coming into St. Cloud match we had a whole new look as we had Brenna Dallager out with an injury,” said Head Coach Co

urtney Nordby. “The team didn’t skip a beat and our middles and right sides really came alive. St. Cloud was a big win for u

s. Last week, we chased Central Lakes who is ranked first and this week was pretty similar with S

t Cloud currently ranked fifth in The NJCAA poll. The girls came out with a ton of fire and pushed through a tough match to get the win.”

Northland carried the momentum over from Friday night’s big win into Saturday. The Pioneers knocked off the Voyageurs of Rainy River 25-16, 25-18, 25-11 in the opener, and capped the triangular meet with a 25-13, 25-19, 25-21 win over Itasca.

“Saturday was a good opportunity to take on our conference opponents,” Nordby said. “Again we were able to run a different line up and Molly Hanson and Hannah Dietsch did an awesome job leading on the floor and running our offense. Brookelynn E

rickson continues to improve every game leading us in kills.”

Setter Hannah Dietsch coordinated the offense with 46 assists over the two matches and Brookelynn Erickson had 17 kills over that same span. Up next for the Pioneers is a two-match road trip. The Pioneers will be in International Falls Friday night to face Rainy River in a 6:30 p.m. start, before traveling to Hibbing to face the Cardinals at noon on Saturday.

Northland 3, St. Cloud Tech 0
Scores – Northland wins 29-27, 25-21, 28-26.
Assists – Hannah Dietsch 23, Molly Hanson 12, Megan Grove 1, Maddie Stewart 1.
Kills – Carly Mekash 13, Mariah Stueness 12, Brookelyn Erickson 8, Ashlyn Henrickson 2, Megan Grove 1, Hannah Dietsch 1.
Service Aces – Hannah Dietsch 2, Brookelyn Erickson 2, Molly Hanson 2, Maddie Stewart 1.
Blocks (solo-assist) – Carly Mekash 1-0, Brookelyn Erickson 1-0, Megan Grove 0-2, Ashlyn Henrickson 0-1.
Digs – Carly Mekash 26, Maddie Stewart 16, Hannah Dietsch 13, Mariah Stueness 11, Molly Hanson 9, Megan Grove 2, Brookelyn Erickson 1.

Northland 3, Rainy River 0
Scores – Northland wins 25-16, 25-18, 25-11.
Assists – Hannah Dietsch 20, Molly Hanson 10, Brooke Brandon 1.Kills – Brookelyn Erickson 9, Carly Mekash 8, Mariah Stueness 8, Ashlyn Henrickson 5, Megan Grove 4, Hannah Dietsch 1, Molly Hanson 1.
Service Aces – Molly Hanson 3, Hannah Dietsch 2. n Blocks (solo-assist) – Megan Grove 1-0.
Digs – Mariah Stueness 9, Carly Mekash 6, Maddie Stewart 6, Ashlyn Henrickson 4, Hannah Dietsch 4, Brooke Brandon 3, Megan Grove 1.

Northland 3, Itasca 0
Scores – Northland wins 25-13, 25-19, 25-21.
Assists – Hannah Dietsch 26, Molly Hanson 12, Maddie Stewart 1, Ashlyn Henrickson 1.
Kills – Megan Grove 9, Ashlyn Henrickson 9, Brookelyn Erickson 8, Carly Mekash 7, Mariah Stueness 7, Hannah Dietsch 3, Maddie Stewart 1, Molly Hanson 1.
Service Aces – Hannah Dietsch 2, Molly Hanson 2, Mariah Stueness 2, Carly Mekash 1.
Blocks (solo-assist) – N/A
– Maddie Stewart 10, Hannah Dietsch 8, Brookelyn Brandon 8, Carly Mekash 6, Mariah Stueness 6, Molly Hanson 4, Ashlyn Henrickson 3, Brookelyn Erickson 2, Megan Grove 1.