PREP VOLLEYBALL: Blackjacks dominate Panthers
By Jenny Kirk
DAWSON – From the time the first serve was put into play, the Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks were in control of the Camden Conference matchup against Class A No. 10 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Tuesday in Dawson.
While the two teams came in with very different records, the Panthers at 8-2 overall, 4-0 in the conference and the Blackjacks at 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the Camden, it was the home team that came away with the sweep (25-18, 26-24, 27-25).
“We had a rough week last week,” D-B head coach Ashley Dahl said. “We beat ourselves. So coming in and playing at our own level felt good. We played our own game. We set the tempo instead of letting the other team set the tempo and I think that’s when we do well, when we go after it and play to win.”
The Blackjacks took a 4-0 lead in the opening set via two TMB errors and a kill from Nicole Jurgenson and Katarina Kuhlmann. The team pushed its lead to 7-2 as the Panther’s errors continued to pile up. Kills from TMB’s Kassidy Przymus and Sammie Gervais gave the Panthers a short burst of momentum, but D-B wouldn’t back down and worked its way to a 16-7 advantage.
“I think we all played well (Tuesday),” Dahl said. “I said going in, ‘let’s limit our errors and serve aggressively and get them out of system.’ I think we did well being aggressive and going after it.”
TMB battled back, earning five straight points to cut the Blackjack lead down to five, but that was as close as they would get. The Panthers committed a total of 12 errors and lost the first set 25-18.
“I thought they controlled the tempo,” TMB head coach Katie Gervais said. “When we get a team that blocks well, we really struggle. We didn’t block well and they were hitting the ball decent. I thought they passed well. I didn’t think we served terrible. We just didn’t get the offense we’re used to out of our serving.”
The Panthers earned just four ace serves during the match, with Przymus serving 20-for-20 with three aces and Gabbie Gervais going 9-for-10 with one ace.
In the second set, D-B built a 4-1 lead behind a kill and an ace serve from Justine Flattum, who finished the night with six kills, four ace serves and 16 set assists. A tip gave the Blackjacks an 11-6 edge, forcing a TMB time out. Kills from Przymus and Gabbie Gervais, along with a D-B hitting error, put the Panthers back to within three points.
After a kill from Kelly Husby gave the Blackjacks a 15-10 lead, TMB came clawing its way back to get to within one point. But again, errors piled up up on the Panthers, giving D-B a 22-18 edge.
“I knew that they would be a decent team,” Katie Gervais said. “All of the teams, whether it be Central Minnesota Christian School or Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, I think we’re all about the same, so if we don’t come ready to play and we’re just not mentally ready, we’ll struggle.”
The Panthers refused to give up and knotted the score at 24-all on an ace block by Gabbie Gervais. But a kill from Justine Lee and an ace serve from Alyssa Strand sealed the second set victory for the Blackjacks. Lee recorded seven kills in the match, while Kuhlman led D-B with eight kills. Husby tallied a match-high four ace blocks, while Kylie Schuelke contributed 21 digs.
“We made adjustments too late,” Katie Gervais said. “We were blocking a little early. We finally made adjustments in the third game, but it was just too late.”
Both teams traded points for most of the third set, until a Sammie Gervais kill, a Gabbie Gervais ace serve and a Sydney Lanoue kill gave TMB a 19-17 lead, forcing a Blackjack timeout. After the timeout, Sammie Gervais picked up another kill before D-B battled back to tie the score at 20-all.
After exchanging points back and forth again, the Blackjacks eventually put together two straight points to get the 27-25 win.
“I thought we did a little better in the third game,” Katie Gervais said. “We got our middles involved a little more so they didn’t have a double block and that helped our outsides. They do a great job of blocking.”
Lanoue led the Panther offense with nine kills, while Sammie Gervais had eight and Przymus seven. Jessie Nelson and Sara Stoneberg each chipped in with two blocks apiece. Anna Peterson came up with 23 digs for TMB, while Przymus had 12. Gabbie Gervais added 11 digs and 28 set assists.
“Not that I think losing is a good thing, but I think it will be valuable to us to know what we need to work on,” Katie Gervais said. “Unfortunately, we only have a short practice to get ready for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Both teams continue action on Thursday, with TMB (8-3, 4-1 Camden) hosting Canby and D-B (5-3, 2-3 Camden) traveling to take on Lakeview, before competing in the Burnsville Showcase on Friday and Saturday.
“If we can just play like we did (Tuesday), play at our level, expect to earn the points instead of just expecting the points and just go after them right from the start, I think we’ll do well,” Dahl said. “(Lakeview head coach) Hayley Fruin is my first cousin and we played volleyball together in high school, so we’re like best friends and sisters, so it’ll be really fun to see her on the other side on Thursday.”
TMB 18 24 25
DB 25 26 27
Serving (att-good-aces): TMB-Kassidy Przymus 20-20-3, Gabbie Gervais 9-10-1, Sammie Gervais 12-12-0, Anna Peterson 8-9-0; DB-Justine Flattum four aces, Justine Lee 2 aces.
Kills: TMB-Sydney Lanoue 9, S. Gervais 8, Przymus 7; DB-Katarina Kuhlmann 8, Justine Lee 7, Flattum 6.
Digs: TMB-Peterson 23, Przymus 12, G. Gervais 11; DB-Kylie Schuelke 21, Kuhlmann 11.
Set Assists: TMB-G. Gervais 28; DB-Flattum 16, Andrea Lee 12.
Blocks: TMB-Jessie Nelson 2, Sara Stoneberg 2, S. Gervais 1, G.Gervais 1, Przymus 1, Lanoue 1; DB-Kelly Husby 4, Kuhlmann 1, J. Lee 1.