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Rebels notch their first win

USC takes down Maple River in five set marathon

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Sep 19, 2021

Kyllah Curry (No. 4) goes high to hit a ball over the net while her Rebel teammates look on. USC will host St. Clair on Monday, Sept. 20. They will travel to New Richland on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to take on the Panthers and then head to Randolph on Thursday, Sept. 23, to play the Rockets.

The United South Central Rebels volleyball team notched their first win of the season when they took down the Maple River Eagles in a five set marathon, 3-2, last Thursday, Sept. 16.

The scores of the match were 23-25, 16-25, 25-19, 31-29, 18-16. After losing the first two sets, the Rebels had to regroup and win the final three.

“What a big win for these kids,” coach Joe Kuechenmeister said. “Very proud of their fight after getting down 2-0. We were having a hard time finding our rhythm, but instead of rolling over we made some adjustments and found a way to get our first ‘W.'”

Melanie Ehlert led the way for the Rebels with 13 kills, 16 digs and one block. Kyllah Curry was right behind with 12 kills, nine digs and two blocks.

Kiera Schultz had nine kills, four digs and two blocks, Kendal Harpestad had five kills, 10 digs and an ace and Hannah Meyer had two kills and two blocks.

Sam Swanson had 39 assists, four kills and nine digs.

Leah Winch and Erika Johannsen had three digs each.

The coach said it is not often a team can survive eight match points, but that is what the Rebels did, and he said it shows the team is managing their nerves better in crucial moments and finding ways to keep pressure on the other side of the net.

“That’s big because we didn’t do that earlier in the season,” Kuechenmeister said. “Credit Erika Johannsen for stepping behind the service line at 10-14 in set five and having the focus needed to be able to rattle off a couple of aces in her five-point serving run, but what a total team effort.”

He credits both the team members on the floor and those on the bench for keeping the energy going and helping pull off the win.

“We’re hoping to keep this momentum going into Monday’s showdown with St. Clair,” he added.

USC is now 1-4 (1-2 Gopher Conference).

Medford 3, USC 0

The United South Central Rebel volleyball team suffered their fourth loss of the season when they traveled to Medford on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

The Rebels fell 3-0, with the scores of the three sets at 25-17, 25-16, 25-18.

“While we challenged Medford at times, we struggled to avoid giving up three and four point runs and that was our undoing in all three sets,” coach Joe Kuechenmeister said. “Our focus has to continue to be to operate in system.”

The Rebels were led by Kiera Schultz who had five kills, two digs and one block. Kendall Harpestad added four kills, three digs and one ace.

Melany Ehlert and Hannah Meyer each had two kills, while Ehlert added three digs and Meyer two blocks and a dig.

Kyllah Curry and Sam Swanson each had one kill. Curry also had three digs, one block and two aces, while Swanson had three aces, three digs, 13 assists and one block.

Erika Johannsen and Lexi Johnson each had one ace.

“We had a lot of success tonight when we had several offensive options off a great pass,” the coach added. “We just didn’t control the ball well enough for us to do that consistently.”

Coach Kuechenmeister also added the team will spend Wednesday getting ready for their next match against Maple River on Thursday, Sept. 16.

“We’re doing a lot of things better,” the coach said. “So, hopefully we’ll put an entire performance together and get that first ‘W.'”

USC is now 0-4 (0-2 Gopher Conference).