Lions employ balanced attack, sweep Aggies

Velva discovered it could hang with Bishop Ryan’s veteran volleyball team in spurts Tuesday night.

But each time the Aggies (0-4) let up even the slightest bit, the host Lions rattled off a flurry of points and put the set out of reach as they swept Velva 25-17, 25-12, 25-18.

Velva coach Molly Terveen said Ryan (3-0) displayed the experience her team seeks.

“They have that chemistry where they know where their players are, they know where their good hitters are,” she said. “They just play really well together. Our varsity team this year is a lot of new players, so we’re still working on that.”

Although juniors Gabbie Bohl and Hannah Stewart led Ryan with eight and seven kills, respectively, coach Kaycee Grochow shined a light on the Lions’ balanced attack.

“For us, anybody can be on any day,” Grochow said. “Tonight Brieann Backes (three kills) was on. That helped us a lot.”

The Lions’ aggressive serving resulted in considerable leads the first two sets, easing the pressure off of Bohl and Stewart.

Senior Anika Rovig served nine straight points in the opening set to spot Ryan a 13-4 lead.

In the ensuing set, the Lions tallied the first eight points on Maddie Lipp’s serve, including three consecutive aces by the senior setter. Lipp had four aces in the match.

“(Aces) just keep the momentum with us,” Grochow said. “It doesn’t shift back and forth as much.”

Velva held mostly even with Ryan in the final set until the Lions claimed nine of the last 11 points. Bohl closed out the match with one last ace.

“Throw a jump serve into Class B volleyball and everybody starts shaking in their boots,” Terveen joked, referring to Bohl’s massive delivery.

Velva senior Cass Peterson and Morgan Bright recorded match bests with 18 digs and 13 assists, respectively.

Bohl also led the Lions with four blocks, while Stewart added two.

Grochow said the Lions have plenty to work on, but overall she was pleased with the outcome.

“We did really well serving and covering and never giving up on anything,” she said. “Every ball that was tipped they went and got it. That’s always positive.”

On Thursday, Ryan travels to Berthold for a road match and Velva hosts Sawyer.

Ryan Holmgren covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.