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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Roughriders 8-0 after defeating EGF Green Wave

An experienced Grand Forks Red River volleyball team was after its eighth straight victory, while a new-look East Grand Forks Senior High squad was playing in its season opener.

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An experienced Grand Forks Red River volleyball team was after its eighth straight victory, while a new-look East Grand Forks Senior High squad was playing in its season opener.

That contrast was visible tonight in the Red River gymnasium.

Red River junior Hadley Steffen's 17 kills carried the Roughriders to a 25-13, 25-7, 25-10 win over Senior High.

Red River, coming off a North Dakota Class A state runner-up finish, has started the season 8-0.

The Riders went 7-0 at a tournament in Bismarck last weekend.

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"We could have gone 1-6, instead of 7-0," Red River coach Carolyn Olson said. "We certainly weren't dominant in Bismarck. Records can be deceiving, and that might be the case here."

The Green Wave likely didn't feel that way against the Riders.

Red River opened the first game on a 6-0 run, pushed the lead to 10-1 and finished off the 25-13 victory with a kill by Steffen.

"I thought we played much more disciplined than last weekend," Olson said. "We had two focuses coming in. We wanted to play better defense and have a solid serve receive. I think we accomplished both."

The Riders coasted in the next two games, as well, limiting Senior High to 30 total points in the match.

"We've got a lot to work on," Senior High coach Sara Schnathorst said. "But I told our team after the game that (Red River) is a team of mostly seniors, and we're mostly sophomores and a few juniors. We've got to start to work on the little things.

"We played like a junior varsity team today, so hopefully as the season goes on we can start playing like a varsity team. The girls were a little nervous, walking into Red River, who was a state champion runner-up team last year."

The Green Wave offense was led by two kills each from Karly Nelson and Ellen Potter.

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After Steffen's 17 kills, the Riders were aided by Jasmine Robinson, who had nine kills, five digs and three service aces. Annika Strand added eight kills and nine digs, while Cassidy Bush had six kills.

Shelby Bommersbach chipped in 18 assists and three service aces.

"Our setters spread our offense out well," Olson said. "I thought we did a good job of keeping East Grand Forks off balance. We were much better today than in Bismarck. We're off to a decent start, and I think that gives the girls some confidence."

The Riders face Grand Forks Central on Thursday.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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