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Mustangs look sharp in volleyball sweep of Packers

West Fargo Sheyenne's Jaydn Feist and Ellie Such defend a shot by West Fargo's Maddie McKinnon last week in the Packers gym.David Samson / The Forum

Seven days removed from a gut-wrenching loss to unbeaten Fargo Davies, the West Fargo Sheyenne volleyball team doesn't seem to be experiencing any type of hangover.

Olivia Dobrinz, Jadyn Feist and McKenzie Newton combined for 30 kills and the Mustangs snapped a four-game losing streak against arch rival West Fargo with a 25-17, 25-16, 25-21 sweep Thursday night.

Feist opened the first set with back-to-back kills, and also played a key role in an early 8-2 run that put the Mustangs ahead 10-6.

The Packers rallied to tie the set on two occasions but never took the lead back, and Sheyenne eventually pulled away, thanks largely to a 6-0 run, which was highlighted by two Nadia Kranz aces.

The Mustangs were in control throughout the second set and looked to be on their way to dominating the third, jumping out to an early 10-2 lead, before the Packers came all the way back to take a 20-19 lead.

But strong net play once again proved to be the difference down the stretch, as Dobrinz and Feist kills accounted for five of the Mustangs' final six points in the decisive set.

Dobrinz finished with 11 kills, while Feist added nine. Newton recorded nine kills to go along with 20 assists and 17 digs.

Having narrowly missed a shot to take the lead in the Eastern Dakota Conference against Davies, the Mustangs responded with a dominant week, earning their second consecutive sweep on Thursday.

"We're a really good team," Dobrinz said. "We want to show everybody in the conference how good we are. We just want to come out with a loose attitude and just be confident."

In addition to rebounding from last week's loss, Mustang Coach Leah Newton also praised her team for playing with poise in a difficult environment.

"I'm so proud of the girls," Newton said. "(West Fargo) is a good team and it's a tough environment to come play in with the rivalry. I thought our girls did a great job of staying the course and sticking with the game plan. Our goal is to get better with every game and we're doing that."

The Mustangs are 10-5 overall, 7-2 in the EDC.

A young Packer team had seemingly found its stride in recent weeks, winning six straight, including a 3-0 Tuesday win over a Devils Lake team that currently sits at 8-2 in conference play.

Though pleased with the progress of recent weeks, Packer Coach Kelsey Gibbons said her team didn't put its best foot forward Thursday night.

"We're a really young team, and ever single set, every single match, we've just got to keep learning," she said. "Unfortunately we made too many mistakes tonight. I think our kids have it in them. I don't think they gave it their all tonight."

Lucie Holaday had eight kills and Halle Erickson added 19 assists for the Packers, who fell to 9-6 overall and 6-3 in the EDC.