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Volleyball splits during week; Packers top Spartans, fall to Deacons

West Fargo volleyball coach Paula Pierson talks with her players during a game against Fargo Shanley on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Tyler Shoberg/West Fargo Pioneer

West Fargo's volleyball team came out ready to defend its home court Tuesday, Sept. 29, but couldn't hold off powerhouse Fargo Shanley.

The Packers were swept by the East-Region leading Deacons 23-25, 14-25, 22-25.

Sophomore Jill Gustafson started West Fargo's march during the first game, racking up several kills and a service ace. With multiple kills from sophomore Allison Barta and senior Jenna Green, West Fargo (10-9 overall, 3-3 Eastern Dakota Conference) led for most of the first contest. Fargo Shanley (15-3, 6-1) battled back, however, and sealed the rally with a kill by senior Sammi Post.

The Packers found themselves playing catch-up the remainder of the night.

Shanley went on a 7-0 roll to start the second game, feeding off aces by Post, sophomore Bethany Sandy and junior Hillary Rotunda.

"We need to be more consistent in our play," said Paula Pierson, West Fargo head coach. "That's one thing we've been trying to focus on is bringing consistency to the floor."

Toward the end of the third game, Fargo Shanley reached match point at 24-20 and Deacon fans began filing out.

But the exodus was premature. The Packers appeared to be making a comeback after racking up two more points before a kill by Shanley sealed the win.

The Packers were lead by Gustafson's six kills and two service aces. Green added seven kills and an ace while Barta contributed 24 assists.

Post lead Fargo Shanley with 11 kills while Sandy added 15 digs and senior Madalyn Laske put up 30 assists.

A loss of key players from last year's EDC championship team has added to some of West Fargo's struggles this season.

"We've known that we're a younger, inexperienced team after graduating seven seniors" Pierson said. "We just have to figure out our strengths and be confident enough to just go out and play that way."

Packers beat Fargo North

After dropping the first game to Fargo North 18-25 on Thursday, Oct. 1, West Fargo recovered to finish the night 25-12, 25-16, 25-15 and seal the win.

Packers junior Katelyn Holland had the Spartans in her crosshairs, racking up 14 kills and two aces to prove it. West Fargo also saw solid outings by Gustafson (seven kills, 22 assists), Green (eight kills, one ace) and senior Courtney Voeller (six kills, three aces and 15 digs).

Angie Waller had 13 kills, five blocks and four aces to pace Fargo North (15-7, 4-3 EDC).