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Jason Miller / sports@forumcomm.com, Published September 06 2012

Rebels topple Barnesville in volleyball

GLYNDON, Minn. – Missing Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s first high school volleyball match of this season drove senior setter Mandy Mercil nuts.

“It was hard,” said Mercil of her team’s season-opening match against Detroit Lakes. “I was freaking out on the bench.”

On Thursday night, normalcy returned for Mercil and the Rebels. The three-year starter was back on the court and she didn’t miss a beat, helping lead

D-G-F to a 25-20, 25-13, 25-16 Heart O’ Lakes Conference victory over Barnesville.

Mercil sprained her ankle in the first practice of the season during conditioning drills. The injury happened before her team even picked up a volleyball, she said. On Thursday night, while wearing a large ankle brace, Mercil provided steady passing and timely big plays for the Rebels.

“I think she was moving pretty well,” D-G-F coach Tessa Tysver said. “She ran our offense smoothly.”

Mercil, who missed about three weeks of action with the bad ankle, finished with three kills, three aces and 29 assists. Senior Hannah Young led the Rebels with 15 kills.

The first game was tightly contested as Barnesville

(2-1, 0-1 HOL) pulled within 22-20 after falling behind by nine points early. D-G-F scored the next three points, ending the game on an ace from Mercil. After that, the Rebels rolled to the sweep.

“The first game was kind of close,” Mercil said. “Our passing got a lot better throughout the three games.”

The Rebels (2-0, 1-0 HOL) have won HOL volleyball titles in each of the past three seasons. This year, the team that returns four starters from last season has bigger things in mind.

“We are hoping to make it to state,” Mercil said. “That’s the big goal.”

Junior Holly Vancura finished with 10 kills for Barnesville.

“Holly’s a big hitter for us,” Trojans coach Megan Askegaard said.

But this was D-G-F’s night.

“They’re just big girls, big blockers and strong hitters,” Askegaard said.

DGF (kills-blocks-aces): Mercil 3-0-3 (29 assists), Geiser 0-0-1, Dean 0-1-0, Young 15-0-1, Highness 9-3-2, Bjerke 0-0-1, Bentow 5-0-1, Senske 2-1-0, Bergee 0-0-0, Molstre 1-1-1, Fuchs 0-0-1.

BARNESVILLE: Halverson 0-0-2, Gunderson 0-0-0, Anderson 0-0-0, Aakre 2-0-0, Peterson 2-0-0, Lentz 2-0-1, Vancura 10-0-1, Boom 2-0-1, Ackerson 1-0-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Jason Miller at (701) 241-5549