The old coach's adage goes, it's hard to beat the same team three times in a season.
The Fremont-Mills volleyball team will tell you four times is just as hard.
The Knights (23-4) struggled to maintain momentum against a scrappy East Mills team but finally found it’s touch when they had to in a 25-20, 25-20, 25-5 victory in the opening round of Class 1A Regionals in Tabor last Wednesday.
“It's very hard to beat a team four times,” said Fremont-Mills coach Abby Brownlee. “We really struggled to get anything going the first two games. Our serving really kept us in it, I don't know if we missed more than two serves all night.”
The Knights never led by more than three in the first game until they rattled off five straight points behind the strong serving of Amy Carlson – who had three aces in the stretch – and some key blocks. The Knights went on to win the opener 25-20.
In game two, the two teams traded single point leads most of the way. The Knights went up for good on Mindy Lorimor's kill to make it 18-17. The Knights scored seven of the last 10 points for the 25-20 winner.
In the game-winner, Fremont-Mills sprinted out to leads of 6-0, 12-2 and 18-4 in a 25-5 victory.
“We started passing better and getting back attacks,” said Brownlee of her team's improved play over the final game and a half. “They (East Mills) had a hard time receiving it and we finally kind of put it together. Maybe it was the new gym a little bit and we were a little bit nervous, a little bit weary but we got it turned around.”
The match christened the Knights' new, recently completed Lied Gymnasium before a reporter-estimated crowd of 300.
Time and again the Knights were the aggressors at the net. They finished with 30 kills and five blocks.
“We practiced everyday working at the net, trying to get every ball before it gets to our side. We really stressed that in practice this week,” said Brownlee.
Melissa Kesterson and Mindy Lorimor led the Knights with nine kills each. Lynde Madison added six.
Kendall Fichter has 26 set assists and improved on her school ace record with three against the Wolverines to put her total to 66 for the season.
The Wolverines finished their season with a record of 2-19.