FRIEND – The Huskies of Heartland swept both of their foes in Saturday's volleyball triangular at Friend.
Coach Brenda Glunz and her troupe manhandled the host Bulldogs, 25-13, 25-12, in their first outing, then grabbed a couple gulps of water and a few breaths before upending Bruning-Davenport-Shickley, 25-23, 28-26.
The Eagles of BDS clearly gave the Huskies the most trouble of the day's two competitors.
In game one the Eagles led early until Heartland forged ahead, 10-9, on a kill from Mikaelyn Dick. She got the help of teammate Maelyn Huebert on a block, but BDS came back and it took a kill by Dick off a short set to tie it at 12-all.
The team fell into a pattern of exchanging side-outs in which neither team could score on its own serve.
Heartland got a coffin corner kill from Sara Brune and then a second-hit kill from Ashley Bittinger to tie at 15-all.
BDS staged a run and it took a kill from Ashton Kroeker to bring Heartland to within two at 19-17 BDS.
Ashley Quiring got a kill, only to have the ensuing Huskie serve fly into the net. A back row kill from Brune and a BDS error tied it at 21s.
Glunz and her Huskies got it to set point on a kill from Dick, but suffered a mis-hit that cut their lead to one, 24-23. BDS ended it with an attack into the net after a high-velocity shot from Brune, had the Eagles out of system and scrambling on the pivotal point.
That was a lot of tension, but the teams ratcheted up the drama even more in game two, which began with two thundering kills from Brune in her team's first three points.
The Huskies went up 7-5 on an electric point that ended on another Brune kill, but not before a circus save each from her and Quiring.
Quiring scored on a tip kill, but a couple unforced errors by Heartland let the Eagles into a tie at 8-all.
Dick made it 10-8 with a kill off the block that sent the ball careening into the cheap seats. Two in a row from Brune, the second a sharp-angled, cross-court bullet, then another from Dick and one more from Brune had Heartland up 14-11.
It went to 18-14 on successive kills from Quiring and Brune, and the Huskies went up 20-15, forcing a timeout after Quiring's short-serve fell for an ace.
The Eagles weren't quite ready to land yet and rallied to a 22-all tie. BDS went up and it took a Brune kill to tie at 24 each. Heartland scored on the serve of Brune, 25-24, and the set came down to a 26-25 Heartland lead after a four-hits whistle on BDS.
The Huskies hit wide on the serve of Haley Hubert, 26-26, but regained a one-point cushion on a corner kill by Dick.
What turned out to be match point came when Dick terminated on Huebert's serve with a driving, cross-court shot that glanced off the fingers of two desperately diving Eagles and soared out of bounds.
Individual stats for Heartland start with 12 and eight kills from Brune and Dick. Hubert had a pair of aces and Quiring had one according to Heartland's preliminary stats. Ashley Bittinger and Huebert checked in with 11 set assists each. Huebert had one block and shared another with Kroeker. Dick had a block as well.
The digs chart showed Jordan Bittinger with 10 and Dick with seven. Brune also had seven with Hubert at six.
The opener against the host Bulldogs saw the Huskies race to leads of 19-7 and 22-10 in game one.
A big run on the serve of Hubert forced a Friend timeout, but it made no difference as Hubert held her serving rotation after the stoppage and Dick stuffed a Bulldog overpass, 14-6.
Point 23 came on a Brune kill … with ballistic emphasis, and point 24 was delivered when Quiring won a joust over the net. Quiring then ended with a 25th-point kill.
Game two was more of the same. The Huskies rolled, doubling up the Bulldogs early when Glunz showed five fingers telling server Dick where she wanted the ball delivered. The coach's strategy proved sound when Dick nodded her head and fired. The resulting ace made it 8-4.
The Huskies had some ragged passing that let the Bulldogs stage a min-run from 16-4 to 16-10 Heartland. The Huskies regained their pace and Quiring came up with the kill for point 23. The Bulldogs attacked long to put things at match point and Dick clubbed a kill on the serve of Leah Friesen to end it.
Dick had four aces and nine kills, both team-highs. Quiring had five kills and Brune four. Huebert and Ashley Bittinger were credited with nine set assists each. Hubert and Friesen had four and two digs.