Dernbach’s big night leads Almond-Bancroft to win versus Wild Rose
By Jacob Heid
ALMOND — Almond-Bancroft finished its tough non-conference schedule without a win but picked up the pieces in a win at home against Wild Rose on Sept 6. The Eagles start the conference season 1-0 after a 25-13, 25-15, 25-13 victory. Junior Lexie Dernbach made an impact in the win for the Eagles.
“We’ve been working really hard, we faced some pretty good teams in our non-conference games,” head coach Payton Grote said. “The girls have just been working really hard on their consistency. That has kind of been our tone for the whole year. Not making errors and not beating ourselves, that really rewarded us tonight.”
Almond-Bancroft came out and did exactly that. The Eagles started the first set on a 5-0 run that later turned into an 8-1 lead. Wild Rose sprayed a couple of spikes out of bounds that let Almond-Bancroft keep a substantial lead. Durnbach was a consistent presence all night on the outside for the Eagles. Sophomore Madalyn Potts also contributed to the first set win. Both attackers tacked on points in the middle of the first set. The Eagles never let their foot off the gas and won by double-digits.
A closer start in the second resulted in long volleys and louder points. Almond-Bancroft took an early 6-4 lead and kept Wild Rose in the game until the score was 12-8. The Eagles continued to put the ball in play, forcing the Wildcats to make plays. The Eagles’ lead increased to seven, 15-8. Durnbach continued her impressive play above the net, and Potts had a momentum-swinging kill in the middle of the second set. Durnbach finished the evening with ten kills, also 14 digs defensively. The Eagles went on a 13-7 run to win 25-15.
“Every game it gets harder and harder to pull out that win. They get tired,” Grote said. “They did a great job. You know, we always focus on being loud out there. We focus on consistency and playing our volleyball. That’s been our focus, and they did it tonight.”
The third set went similarly to the second. Wild Rose shot out to an early lead, but a couple of plays on defense by the Eagles tied the game at 5-5. The two teams traded points until the score was 10-10. Almond-Bancroft jumped out to a 16-13 lead and went on another run to extend the lead to 21-13. The Wildcats put together a run themselves, but Dernbach put away another kill to make it 24-18. The Eagles gave up one more point, then put the game away on the next serve.
Grote talked after the game about what she looks forward to after watching what she saw.
“I am looking for more of the same. I’m looking for more good volleyball and tough plays from our girls.”
The Eagles continue the conference season on the road against Port Edwards on Sept 13.
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