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Tom Mix, Published August 31 2012

Sophomore Fraase leads way as Fargo Shanley sweeps West Fargo

WEST FARGO – West Fargo and Fargo Shanley players stepped onto the volleyball court Thursday night not knowing much about each other.

The match was the Eastern Dakota Conference opener for both the Packers and Deacons.

When the match concluded this much was known: Shanley has balanced offensive attack and a tenacious defense.

The Deacons cruised to a 3-0 road victory over the Packers by scores of 25-18, 25-16, 25-22.

“I was very proud of the girls,” Shanley head coach Curt Johnson said. “Our goal (Thursday) was just to play our level of volleyball and get into our rhythm and play our points. … We just need to capitalize and get on runs and we got on a few runs. That was the difference.”

Shanley sophomore Alivia Fraase is the primary offensive player opponents zero in on, but the Deacons proved they had more players that can slam home points.

Fraase finished with nine kills and four blocks, but it was senior middle hitter Carly Mickelson that caught the Packers a bit off guard.

“We work on defense mostly, but it is so nice to have a lot of pressure off me,” Fraase said. “Everybody else has stepped up and adapted to the speed of the game.

Johnson has noticed the increased attention being given to the 6-foot middle hitter.

“Teams are starting to stick on Alivia more, but she is hitting around them,” Johnson said. “Carly (Mickelson) came up big to get the kills when they were off of her.”

Mickelson posted 10 kills for the Deacons (4-3, 1-0 EDC).

“They definitely showed us they have more than two players on their team,” West Fargo head coach Paula Pierson said.

Unforced errors slowed the Packers’ offense, and the Deacons’ defense stymied many West Fargo kill attempts.

“I thought our defense won it really,” Johnson said. “We frustrated them a little bit on balls we were able to get up. If we can play great defense first, we’ll be a team other teams won’t enjoy playing very much.”

Shelby Gustafson paced West Fargo with seven kills. Christina Bruenjes, Amanda Levin, and Courtney Suppa each added five kills for the Packers (4-3, 0-1).

“We had too many unforced errors,” Pierson said. “We need to come out and play the game we are capable of playing, and we just didn’t do that from the very first serve of the game.”

SHANLEY (kills-blocks-aces): Allex 0-0-2, Fraase 9-4-1, Brenner 1-1-2, Freeberg 1-0-2 (18 assists), Little 2-0-0, Anderson 6-3-0, Mickelson 10-0-0.

WEST FARGO: Klug 0-0-0 (18 assists), Bruenjes 5-5-1, Suppa 5-0-0, Levin 5-3-0, Sand 2-1-0, Gustafson 7-1-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562