Volleyball: Brainerd stumbles against Rocori

Brainerd hosts Rocori Sept. 22

Volleyball player bumps the ball.
Brainerd's Aden Yost bumps the ball against Rocori on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Rocori had the Warriors number Thursday, Sept. 22.

The Spartans made quick work of Brainerd with a 3-0 sweep in a Central Lakes Conference game at Brainerd High School.

Rocori jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first set and stretched it to 16-5 before the Warriors used their second timeout.

Brainerd went on a mini-run to cut the lead to 17-11. The Spartans scored eight of the last nine points to win Set One 25-12.

“It goes bad sometimes and tonight was bad,” Warriors head coach Rick Kuehlwein said.


It was Brainerd, which jumped to a 4-0 lead in the second set. The Spartans quickly rallied to tie it at four.

Back-to-back Anika Aho aces made it 9-7 Warriors. Then Rocori went on a run to take a 15-12 lead.

Rocori led 21-16 and rattled off four of the next five points to win 25-17. Kate Holthaus had the winning kill for the Spartans in the second set. She finished with a team-high 12 kills for Rocori.

“She sees the court and has a really good connection with our setter,” Rocori head coach and former Central Lakes College All-American Samantha Schlangen said. “She all-around has a good head on her shoulders and knows when she is on or off.”

In the third set, the Spartans jumped to an 11-6 lead. With Kate Stadum serving, Brainerd went on a 6-0 run to take the advantage.

The Warriors led 18-14 before the Spartans started to make their run for the sweep.

Even so, after an Aden Yost ace, the Warriors led 25-24 with a chance to win the third set.

Rocori rattled off three points in a row with the match point being a block.


“We just cleaned up our errors,” Schlangen said of finishing the third set. “We were able to pick up their tips and make them start to swing, which was our goal. We wanted to make them swing and put it in play. It kind of just clicked tonight.”

Stadum recorded three kills, four digs and three ace seves. Yost tallied eight set assists, three ace serves and two digs. Greta Jager also had three kills.

Brainerd travels to Duluth East for a tournament Saturday, Sept. 24.

“We always look forward to that tournament,” Kuehlwein said. “Right now, I think we have more problems just getting our ball control down and just being in control of our own destiny.”

Rocori 25 25 27

Brainerd 12 17 25

Brainerd statistics

Kate Stadum 3 kills, 4 digs, 2 ace serves

Ana Bjorklund 1 kill

Ava Loney 2 kills, 2 digs, 1 block

Ella Anderson 5 digs

Greta Jager 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 block

Anika Aho 3 set assists, 3 ace serves

Karley Dunham 1 kill, 3 digs, 2 ace serves

Aden Yost 2 digs, 8 set assists, 3 ace serves

Emma Storm 3 digs

Abigail Paulson 1 kill

Rocori 3, Warriors 0

Key: Holthaus leads Spartans past Warriors
Conference: Brd 3-4, Roc 3-2.
Overall: Brd 5-7, Roc 6-3.
Next: Brainerd at Duluth East Tournament 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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