Ryan ends two-match skid, beats Glenburn

Bishop Ryan needed a win badly.

After flying out of the gates with a 16-1-1 start, the Lions began to sputter.

First was a loss to crosstown rival Our Redeemer’s Christian School last Tuesday. Then came a lackluster showing over the weekend at the Laker Invite that ended with Ryan’s first consecutive losses this year.

First-year coach Kaycee Grochow hopes the Lions’ 25-16, 25-7, 19-25, 25-13 victory over District 12 foe Glenburn on Tuesday at Bishop Ryan High School ends their recent skid.

“It was a good comeback after a tournament that was kind of a mix of emotions,” Grochow said.

Glenburn (10-9-1 overall, 1-4 district) battled early jitters. The Panthers tallied five service errors in the opening set, including four errant serves on their first five attempts.

“I wish I knew (what caused the mistakes),” Glenburn coach Lyndsi Engstrom said. “I think it’s just a matter of being mentally ready to play when we step on the court.”

Ryan (20-5-1, 4-1) punished the Panthers for their early miscues, scoring a combined nine points directly after their service mistakes.

The Lions reeled off the final four points of the set, with the last point coming on a stuff block by junior middle blocker Gabbie Bohl.

The second frame started quickly, but ended quicker.

Ryan opened a 4-0 lead on two kills by senior Anika Rovig, an ace by classmate Macy Christianson and an attack error from Glenburn outside hitter Payton Schumann.

After Glenburn closed within two points at 6-4, Ryan took 19 of the final 22 points for a 2-0 lead.

“They are well-rounded,” Engstrom said. “They’ve got it all: Front-row attack, they’ve got a nice big block and they’ve got defense in the back row, too.”

In the third set, Glenburn displayed an inspired attack in generating 10-5 and 18-12 leads, which induced a pair of Ryan timeouts. Bohl landed a pair of kills to trim the Lions’ deficit to four points before the Panthers closed out the set with ease.

“The girls finally looked at the scoreboard and it was just too late,” Grochow said. “(Not falling far behind) is something that we have been stressing.”

Schumann had five of her team-high eight kills in the third set, including two big swings from the back row.

Ryan shook off its humdrum third set and dominated play in the fourth game. The Lions claimed 13 of 15 points midway through the frame – including eight straight at one point – to take an 18-8 lead. Junior middle blocker Hannah Stewart recorded three kills in Ryan’s final six points to secure the Lions’ 20th win of the year.

Bohl had six of her match-best 14 kills in the final set, much to the delight of her coach.

“That’s what we need from her every day,” Grochow said. “We need that from all of our front-row players and I seen that tonight.”

Rovig neared a triple-double with 12 assists, 12 digs and eight kills. Seniors Maddie Lipp and Maddie Wald posted match highs with 13 assists and 21 digs, respectively.

Schumann and juniors Parker Bush and Sam Beauregard each had 10 digs for Glenburn, while senior setter Lindsay Schneibel racked up 11 assists.

The Panthers host Des Lacs-Burlington on Thursday, while Ryan travels for a road match against Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood.

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