The Husky volleyball team hosted Dakota Valley Thursday, Sept. and came up short – 25-22, 17-25, 12-25, 11-25.

Alyssa Chytka

Alyssa Chytka digs a Dakota Valley kill attempt in the home match Sept. 2.

EPJ put together its most complete game of the season in the first game. DV started out strong and pulled away to a 14-10 lead. The Husky serve receive was struggling and DV’s middles were having a field day. EPJ head coach Erin Ellinger called a time-out and that turned things around for the Huskies. EPJ got a side out; 3 straight kills – Danica Torrez down the line, a tip from Natalie Heuertz and Josie Curry out of the middle, tied the score. The Husky front line started to control the net and even when they didn’t get a stuff block, they slowed it enough to give the defense time for a pass. Ashley Brewer ended up with 15 blocks on the night, and she and Heuertz (13 blocks total) teamed up for a couple in this game. With EPJ leading 20-19, DV’s Jorja VanDenHul went up in the middle looking for 1 of her 13 kills, but Hannah Nearman took the ball off her chest, Giorgio dived to pull it out of the net and Torrez put it down for 1 of her 8 kills. DV had to call a time-out trailing 21-23 and they did get a kill, but Curry returned the favor with a powerful hit to give EPJ game point. Bentlee Kollbaum laid out to dig a DV hit and Giorgio got the set to Curry. She tipped the ball perfectly into the middle of the DV defense.

DV head coach Mary Miller had a talk with her team between games; they came out with way more pressure on offense to start game 2. Their serving picked up and kept EPJ off-balance. Ellinger called a time-out trailing 8-12 after 2 DV aces. EPJ tried to control the game at the net – Brewer had a beautiful stuff block and Heuertz and Kollbaum got kills by swiping the ball off the side of the DV block. On consecutive points, Brewer and Heuertz blocked a hit on the right side, then Brewer and Kollbaum did the same on the left. But, DV kept building its lead and game 2 ended the opposite of game 1, with the DV setter tipping the ball into the middle of the EPJ defense.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.