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After seeing streak of 59 straight crosstown wins snapped, Red River bounces back with win over Central

The Roughriders swept the Knights 25-18, 25-18, 25-16.

Grand Forks Red River's Haley Johnson hits the ball past Grand Forks Central's Karlee Anderson during Thursday's match at Grand Forks Central. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The Grand Forks Red River volleyball program was in unfamiliar territory Thursday night against Grand Forks Central.

The Roughriders haven't had to stew over a loss to their crosstown rival since Central beat Red River on Dec. 29, 1995.

Red River saw that 59-match winning streak snapped a month ago.

In the rematch, the Riders put together a dominant performance.

Led by Hannah Litzinger's 15 kills and Cassidy O'Halloran's 13 digs, Red River swept Central 25-18, 25-18 and 25-16 in a packed Central gym.


"As a team, we came out working together, all kind of firing on the same cylinder with a common goal and that was really to just show our best because we knew the first time we played them wasn't our best," Red River coach Heather Chatham said.

Central won in four sets in the mid-September matchup.

"We put the ball away more," said Litzinger, a 5-foot-9 sophomore. "It was definitely good redemption. We needed that."

Litzinger was a difference-maker as she showed to put away the first set. After an early 9-9 tie in the first set, Red River slowly pulled away and finished it off with back-to-back powerful kills from Litzinger.

"I think the last time we played we blocked very well and played defense very well and tonight we couldn't block Hannah," Central coach Kari Hearn said. "I feel like she just went around us. They blocked well, and we didn't block very well."

Red River 6-foot sophomore Haley Johnson added 11 kills, while Kelsey Towers had six and Ava Swangstue had four. Litzinger also added three service aces.

Chatham was most pleased with her defense, though. Litzinger had 10 digs to join O'Halloran in double figures. Emma Storstad had six digs and Hope Gaddie had five.

"I think we moved our feet better and got the scrappy balls more than we did (in the first meeting)," O'Halloran said. "We also hit around the block more than into the block."


Jasmine Thomas and Hannah Biby led the Central offense with four kills each. Katelyn Gass paced the defense with 11 digs.

Red River improved to 7-19 overall and 4-11 in the EDC, while Central dropped to 2-23 and 1-12.

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