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Tom Mix, Published June 17 2013

East sweeps West in ND Optimist volleyball

FARGO – West Fargo’s Christina Bruenjes has a future competing in track and field at North Dakota State, but on Monday the former Packers standout showed she can swing with the best of them on the volleyball court.

Bruenjes helped the East defeat the West 25-23, 25-22, 25-16 during the 24th annual North Dakota Optimist and North Dakota High School Coaches Association All-Star match at Fargo Davies High School. A guaranteed fourth match was played, which the East won 25-15.

Bruenjes finished with a match-high 14 kills and four blocks and won most valuable player honors.

“I definitely could tell it had been a month since I played a match,” Bruenjes said. “I ended up playing well and I was happy with the way I played.”

The East dominated with superb hitting. Seven players on the East finished with seven or more kills.

Grand Forks Red River’s duo of Hadley Steffen and Cassidy Bush each finished with nine kills.

“We had so much fun practicing the last few days,” Bush said. “We have bonded really well and we had a lot of fun out there. Everyone was hitting, the sets were on the passes were good. It was a really great night.”

Kindred’s Kellie Schmit and Fargo Davies’ Kali Erickson added 12 and seven kills, respectively.

“The kids came in this week and showed great team chemistry right away,” East coach Carolyn Olson said. “It didn’t matter what combination of six players we put out on the floor. They all played well together.”

“I came out knowing that if I played my best and the whole team came out swinging we would be able to pull out the win,” Bruenjes added.

Match 2 of the series is set for 7 p.m. today at Bismarck High School. The East now holds a 26-19 all-time series lead over the West.

Minot’s Morgan Milbrath led the West with eight kills and three blocks. Siri Jystad of Jamestown added 7 kills and three blocks for the West.

EAST (kills-blocks-aces): Freeberg 0-0-0 (14 assists), Bush 9-4-0, Bruenjes 14-4-0, Steffen 9-0-0, Erickson 7-1-0, Preston 0-0-0, Braaten 3-1-0, Berge 5-0-1, Schmit 12-1-3, Johnson 5-1-0, Schwartz 1-0-0 (23 assists), Casey 0-0-0

WEST: Moody 3-1-1 (13 assists), Bohrer 5-1-0, Sanders 0-0-0, Milbrath 8-3-0, Schroeder 2-2-0, Jystad 7-3-0, Schieno 3-0-0, Koppinger 3-2-0, Heier 4-0-1, Munson 0-0-0 (8 assists), Meyer 0-1-0, Hansana 0-0-2 (5 assists).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562