After last weekend's three-win performance at the Crosby-Ironton tournament, the Brainerd Warriors volleyball team brought a little momentum into Tuesday night's clash with the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles.
They didn't need it.
Brainerd setter Lauren Kirkpatrick spread the wealth around to her hitters as the Warriors employed an attacking offense that pummeled Apollo in three games 15-3, 15-8 and 15-8.
"We were mixing it up pretty well on offense," Brainerd coach Lori Dean said. "We had a pretty nice, even attack from all of our hitters and that kept Apollo guessing. To have a balanced attack from all of our hitters really makes our offense much more threatening."
Senior outside hitter Brooke Rollins and junior middle hitter Megan Arns benefited the most from the even attack as they both registered 10 kills. Nikki Dehen and Haley Bower collected seven kills each.
Dehen and Arns stonewalled the Eagles attack at the net combining for seven blocks.
Brainerd shot out to early leads in all three games and were led by Rollins' eight kills in the first two games.
Arns' game also came to life in the second game. Whether it was a kill, tip or block, everytime Arns touched the ball she found the holes in the Apollo defense.
"Everything was just kind of on," said Rollins. "Our passing went really well and that made our sets and hits good too."
Dean said: "Brooke had a fantastic night. She was really swinging it. We've been working on her approach and I felt that she had a really hot night."
In the third game, the Warriors shot out to a 9-2 lead. This time it was the presence of Dehen at the net that did in the Eagles. Dehen nailed five of her seven kills in the third game with most of them coming on quick sets from Kirkpatrick.
"Nikki has been getting tough and aggressive for us," said Dean. "She's been working on the quick shots and she was making them which was pumping us up. Her blocking was also really good."
With a tough Willmar team coming up on Thursday, Dean and the Warriors are more than happy to be bringing some momentum to the court with them.
"In volleyball, momentum is everything," said Dean. "In the first two games we took off with a lead and I just thought we needed to keep marching to the end and not stall out. I wanted to keep that same intensity that we started with and end with it."
Lauren Kirkpatrick 1 ace serve, 8 digs
Megan Arns 1 ace serve, 10 digs, 10 kills, 3 blocks
Brooke Rollins 12 digs, 10 kills
Haley Bower 8 digs, 7 kills
Nikki Dehen 7 kills, 4 blocks
Megan Eastman 9 digs
Ashley Widmark 1 dig, 2 kills
Maria Swanson 1 dig
Leigha Walters 2 digs, 1 kill
Jessie Radtke 5 digs, 3 kills
Brigitte Budahn 1 dig
Joanna 5 digs
Conference -- B 4-3. Overall -- B 7-4. Next game -- Brainerd at Willmar 6 p.m. Thursday.
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