The Brandon-Evansville Chargers hosted Park Christian School on Friday night in their final volleyball match of the season. The Falcons posted a 3-2 (23-25, 31-29, 25-19, 14-25, 17-15) victory in a marathon five-set battle, however, Korrie Randt recorded her 1,000th career set assists in the match.
“Our last match for the season, and the careers of four senior players, was played on Friday night in the Evansville gym,” said Head Coach Kelly Olson. “Unlike many teams in the area we got to have a last practice and have a last match. Although no one wanted the season to end like it did with Governor Walz "pausing" the season, at least both teams last night got to end the season on their terms, with their play deciding the outcome, and got to walk away with something special to remember about this weird and crazy time. We talked before the match about how not many teams get to know when their season would end. If they played in a state final, 3rd place, or consolation final they would know, but this is as close to that as they would get. We also knew that Park Christian was a very good team and we would have our work cut out for us.”
The Chargers were led by Randt (55 set assists, 7 digs, 25/26 serving, 1 ace), Bailey Schaeffer (34 kills, 2 blocks, 24 digs, 20/24 serving, 1 ace), Mikenna Pattrin (15 kills, 8 blocks, 4 digs, 13/14 serving), Kylee Dingwall (7 kills, 3 blocks, 26 digs, 1 ace), Taylor Yeats (18 digs, 18/19 serving, 1 ace), Grace Otto (22 digs) and Gretchen Bredberg (17/17 serving, 5 digs, 3 kills, 2 blocks).
“The entire match was a back and forth battle,” reported Coach Olson. “The first set we were down by 7 or 8 points and with Bailey moving back to the serving line we were in trouble. She served extremely tough and brought us back into the set. We had some huge blocks by Gretchen Bredberg, and we somehow fought out a first set victory. We started set two really strong and it seemed like we would get up by 3 or 4 points and PC would come back. Both coaches were out of timeouts by the time we hit 26-26. No one wanted to give in. PC found a way to finish us off at 29-31. As we moved into the third set we had lost the momentum and struggled to find a consistent pass. Although we were within striking distance PC kept the pressure on us and our block was not as effective. Defensively we were doing all that we could, but they definitely out played us the entire set. We ended up losing 19-25, and we needed to regroup. We talked about taking each point one at a time. Focus on the moment and ignore the scoreboard. The biggest difference in set 4 was we were able to side PC out much more consistently. Their Number 9 was killing us from the serving line. We discussed focusing on that rotation and it really helped get us back into the match. We won 25-14 and we were rolling. The kids were tired and sore. We only had to get 15 more points. We were up 9-5 in the third set. It seemed like the entire match was full of huge rallies. Five or six times the ball switched sides and there were digs and blocks and covers and attacks from both sides. Park started to chip away at the 4 point lead. Park sided us out at 10-13 to make it 11-13. We sided them out on a kill to put us up 12-14. We had our best front row in with Korrie back to serve. She almost got an ace but Park somehow popped it back over. Our dig was up but we had to push the ball over. They killed the ball to make it 13-14. They had a tough serve dribble over the net and we got it up, over and they sent another push back. A small miscommunication saw that ball fall making it 14-14. Those last points taking it to the final score of 15-17 were some of the best volleyball of the night. We came up short on the score, and I am not one for moral victories, but not one kid, or coach, or fan walked out of this match disappointed.”
Korrie Randt, a two year captain who earned her 1000th kill of her career Friday night said this, "Ending the season playing Park Christian the way we did was the best way to go out. That was one of the most fun games I have ever played over the years of being on the Charger Volleyball Team. This season we got a lot thrown at us, but there wasn't a better group of girls to make the best of it."
Korrie Randt with Coach Kelly Olson.
Bailey Schaefer, a two year captain made this statement, "Although it wasn't the senior season we had hoped for, I am happy we got a season. A couple of months ago we didn't think we would get to play, so I am thankful for the time we did get. Last night it was all about mental toughness. We were all in the same boat. This was the end for both teams. We just had to stay focused and play point by point. It was a fun, intense match and Park Christian is a really good team. I've enjoyed my time as a Charger Volleyball player and I will miss it all."