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Volleyball: Captain of Cheer: Randt provides energy, Schaefer punch in Chargers sweep

Brandon-Evansville sophomore Korrie Randt (7) cheers from the sidelines during Tuesday's 3-0 sweep over Battle Lake in Evansville. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)1 / 4
Brandon-Evansville sophomore Bailey Schaefer (right) maintains a businesslike approach in preparation of a point during Tuesday's 3-0 sweep over Battle Lake in Evansville. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)2 / 4
Brandon-Evansville senior Sara Jacobson (0) drops down for a dig during Tuesday's 3-0 sweep over Battle Lake in Evansville. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)3 / 4
Brandon-Evansville senior Madison Quinn (11) joins her team in celebration of a point during Tuesday's 3-0 sweep over Battle Lake in Evansville. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)4 / 4

Korrie Randt has an integral role on the Brandon-Evansville volleyball team. Especially when she’s operating on the bench.

“The bench, we want to get involved in the game. We made a ‘Cheer Squad,’ and we have cheers for each play,” the Cheer Squad captain and sophomore defensive specialist said. “We all are pretty invested in the team. … The girls that do play, they make it really easy for us to feel a part of the team, even though we don’t get to play as much.”

Backed by the energy flowing from the Charger sidelines, B-E dominated Battle Lake on Tuesday for a 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-16) sweep in Evansville.

“It’s absolutely a big win,” Brandon-Evansville head coach Kelly Olson said. “You could see, when we had people come off the bench, they were ready to play. That’s because (Randt) does such a good job for us.

“Korrie does a lot of stuff for us. … She provides a lot of energy and a lot of focus to that bench, keeping them engaged.”

Early on, neither team could create separation. Nobody took a lead of more than one point until the Chargers (11-4) went ahead 10-8, and they couldn’t expand it to three until 20-17 on a Bailey Schaefer kill that rocketed down on the back line.

It followed a crafty setter attack from Madison Quinn, which sparked a 6-0 run to put B-E ahead 24-17 and on the cusp of taking the opener. The Battlers (8-12) rattled off five straight points in attempt to survive, but a booming Schaefer kill ended the drama with a 25-22 final.

“It’s always nice to have somebody of her talent level,” Olson said of Schaefer. “She’s always engaged, and she tries to put the ball down every time. She doesn’t cheat herself.”

And while the Cheer Squad brings the boost for the Chargers, Schaefer maintains a businesslike approach for the B-E attack.

“I just keep my game face on,” she said. “We have our Cheer Squad, and they’re the ones who do the dancing. They help keep our energy up. … They’re a really big part of the team.”

The combination continued to add up to success for Brandon-Evansville. Schaefer picked up five more kills in the second set, and the Chargers surged with a 9-1 run midway through to turn an 8-7 battle into a 17-8 rout.

Both Brittany Korkowski and Kailee Klimek helped carry the stretch with aces, and B-E inched toward victory from there. Battle Lake never climbed back within striking distance, and Randt finished a 25-15 win with an ace to end it.

In the third set, Brandon-Evansville wouldn’t give in. After a quick 7-2 lead, the Battlers trimmed their deficit to 9-6. The Chargers regained a seven-point advantage, but Battle Lake stuck around and snuck into a 16-13 game.

Schaefer killed the rally with a rifle to the back line, which came shortly before five consecutive attacking errors on Battle Lake.

It was all the breathing room B-E needed. Megan Lauthen and Korkowski closed the night on a kill and an ace, respectively, sending the Chargers home as 25-16 victors in the 3-0 sweep.

“We had to use some kids that we usually don’t use, but Megan Lauthen stepped in, and she played two positions for us,” Olson said. “It’s a testament to the kids, what they do in practice and always being ready for the games.”

The win is Brandon-Evansville’s seventh in a row, which has helped them stay atop the Little Eight Conference standings at 7-0. The Battlers dropped to 5-2 in league play.

“We had our moments (tonight). Our good moments, we were pushing points, which is good,” Schaefer said. “We’ve been talking a lot, which really helps. We’ve been able to stay positive and focused in practice and in games.”

Schaefer finished with a team-high 15 kills, while Mikenna Pattrin added eight. Quinn tallied 26 assists, and Korkowski had three aces to pace the Chargers. Sara Jacobson led the B-E defense with 10 digs, and Pattrin also had two blocks.

And although the statistics are important, Brandon-Evansville also knows that it’s not all there is to the story.

“We just want to get involved in the game, even though we’re not on the floor,” Randt said. “We can always count on our front-row players and everyone to give us a kill, so we can make the Cheer Squad go.”

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 3, BATTLE LAKE 0

25-22, 25-15, 25-16

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE: Sara Jacobson - 2 aces, 10 digs; Kailee Klimek - 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 block, 3 assists; Bailey Schaefer - 2 aces, 15 kills, 1 assist, 2 digs; Brittany Korkowski - 3 aces, 3 kills, 1 assist, 1 dig; Mikenna Pattrin - 8 kills, 2 blocks; Korrie Randt - 1 ace, 1 dig; Megan Lauthen - 1 ace, 2 kills, 1 dig; Haddey Zastrow - 2 kills, 1 block; Madison Quinn - 6 kills, 1 block, 26 assists, 5 digs.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.

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