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Hot streak continues

By Staff | Oct 10, 2014

Lori Gronvold/PCT Rugby High School freshman Sara Stier (left) and junior Ashley Schmaltz (13) block a shot from Westhope-Newburg senior Lauren Mach on Oct. 2. Also pictured is RHS?senior Alyssa Mattern (back).

The early season success for the Rugby High School volleyball team was no fluke. The Panthers entered Thursday’s regular season District 11 finale with a 5-0 record.

A win at Bottineau would secure a first-round bye in the district tournament beginning Oct. 30. (Thursday’s game was played after Tribune deadline).

“Tonight is going to be a huge game for us,” RHS coach Jessica Fritz said Thursday. “Bottineau and Sawyer are tied for No. 2 in district. If we win tonight, we’ll secure that top spot in the district.”

RHS kept its hot streak going with a 3-1 win (25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23) over Westhope-Newburg on Oct. 2. Velva suffered worse Tuesday in a 3-0 RHS road win (25-18, 25-13, 25-20).

“We’ve all been playing consistently well, which has been a key to our wins so far. Everybody’s been picking up in different areas and doing what they need to do to win games,” Fritz said.

Senior hitter Emily Stier has led the Panthers in kills for nearly every match this season and connected on a team-high six against the Aggies. Classmate Darby Deckert had eight kills against W-N followed by Stier’s seven. RHS gave struggling Velva little hope with three Panthers recording double-digit digs.

“They knew we needed the district points, so they went in with a we-can’t-afford-to-lose attitude and got the job done,” Fritz said.

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