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Chris Murphy, Published October 24 2013

D-G-F volleyball moves on to the section quarterfinals with a win over East Grand Forks

GLYNDON, Minn. – Having lost six of its final nine matches of the regular season, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s volleyball team worked on finishing sets. The Rebels picked a good time to master it, knocking out East Grand Forks 28-26, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20 in the first round of the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 playoffs Thursday.

“Coming in, we knew it was going to be a close match because every single game we played with them, it was back and forth and tonight was nothing different,” D-G-F coach Tessa Tysver said. “We really had a tough time with finishing games. This young group of girls has really improved and we’ve been finishing matches. At the end of games, they’ve found a way to pull through.”

Three times in Set 1, D-G-F was staring down a loss, as East Grand Forks (18-10) was one point away from taking it. Each time, the Rebels (14-13) answered and after Faith Anderson laced one of her 11 kills to give the Rebels a 27-26 lead, Maggie Stickney picked a good time to get her only ace of the match to give the set to the Rebels.

“We’d get runs and then we’d lose the runs and then we’d catch back up,” Anderson said. “We just had to keep fighting and we had to come together as a team and finish.”

The finish line proved too difficult in Set 2, as D-G-F’s first lead of the set came at 22-21, after trailing 21-17, only to see East Grand Forks’ Karly Nelson slam two of her match-high 21 kills and Ellen Potter close it out with one of her 13 kills.

“We haven’t been able to finish all the time, but now it’s time to step it up and finish,” Anderson said. “Our coach just said you got to keep pushing.”

D-G-F pushed in Set 3, but East Grand Forks pushed right back. Once again, the Rebels found themselves down 21-17, but they closed the set on a 9-3 run, capped off by three of Caitlin Ash’s team-high 18 kills to finish the job.

“We just never gave up and we just wanted it so bad,” Ash said. “We just had to forget about the second set and start new. We beat them twice before (in the regular season), so we knew we could do it.”

In Set 4, D-G-F opened with a 6-1 run and never trailed. Although the Rebels saw a 20-16 lead shrink to 20-19, they got to the finish line with a win.

“The girls have confidence,” Tysver said. “We fought in a lot of really close games and close matches this year. I know they can play with anyone. We just have to be consistent.”

D-G-F will take that confidence to Thief River Falls today, where the Rebels will take on the top-seeded Prowlers (24-4-2) at 7 p.m. in the section quarterfinals.

“It will be a tough match for us, but we can compete with them,” Tysver said. “We know we can compete with them.”

The confidence is contagious for D-G-F, even going against a team the Rebels lost to during the season.

“They’re going to be a big battle, but we can win,” Anderson said. “I know we can.”

E (kills-blocks-aces): Nelson 21-2-1 (32 digs), Potter 13-2-0, Upham 0-0-3, Vonasek 7-1-2, Schlenk 5-0-1 (45 assists), Westrem 2-2-0, Gregerson 5-0-1.

D: Ash 18-1-0, Driscoll 0-0-2 (26 digs), Stickney 10-1-1, Anderson 11-1-0, Mercil 7-1-0, Frink 0-0-1, Smith 1-2-5, Reno 3-1-0 (45 assists).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548