Dodger volleyball squad sweeps

The Fort Dodge volleyball team easily took care of business against Des Moines North here Tuesday night.

Earning their first home victory of the season, the Dodgers (6-11 overall) swept away the Polar Bears (0-7) by scores of 25-14, 25-11 and 25-11.

“I can definitely see we’re getting better every game,” FDSH head coach Tonia Burrell said. “We still have a long way to go, but I’m glad we were able to get another win.

“I thought every girl on our roster played well (last night), which was encouraging.”

Senior Ashley Altman collected 11 kills and eight digs for FDSH, while classmates Tiana Mericle and Lexi Astor delivered five and four kills, respectively.

“Lexi played a very smart game (Tuesday),” said Burrell. “I thought she really showed some improvement in her shot selection.”

Maci Knutson (15-for-16) and McKinna Teske (12 of 15) led the way at the service line for the Dodgers, who were without the services of starting senior setter Maddie Egli (sprained ankle). Kari Grindberg also registered 14 digs, while Mericle posted 3.5 blocks. Teske added 10 assists, and Marcy Weinzetl was next in line with seven.

In the opener, Fort Dodge jumped out to an 11-6 advantage and never trailed. Astor actually closed out the game with four straight aces.

“I really want us to keep working on the tempo of the game and running more quicks,” Burrell said. “We need to find a way to get the ball to our big hitters on every play.”

Despite spotting North the first two points in the second set for their largest deficit of the match, the Dodgers eventually gained control with an 18-4 run. Fort Dodge then slammed the door early behind a 16-3 burst in the finale.

“Our record is obviously not where we wanted it to be at this point, but we’ve faced a lot of tough competition at our tournaments,” said Burrell. “Playing all those Top-10 teams is only going to help us as the season goes on.”

With the loss, the Polar Bears have now dropped all 17 games this year.

The FDSH junior varsity (25-9, 25-7 and 25-2) and freshman (25-11 and 25-12) squads also swept North.

Next action for the Dodgers is Saturday when they host their own Jackie Wilde Invitational. Start time is set for 9 a.m.