By Staff

            CANTON – On Saturday, the Little River volleyball team went east on highway 56 to Canton to play in the Canton/Galva Invitational and came home as the Invitational Champions.

            Currently ranked number 1 in Class 1A Division I, the Lady Redskins breezed through pool play with three two-set victories over Sunrise Christian (25-7, 25-11), Wichita Homeschool (25-14, 25-16) and Solomon (25-19, 25-15).

            Things got a bit tougher in the semi-final match with Marion as Little River lost the first set 26-28 before bouncing back and handling Marion easily in the final two sets with wins of 25-14 and 25-19.

            “The girls had a great day of volleyball,” exclaimed Little River head coach Kim Rolfs. “We competed pretty well all day and saw a lot of competitiveness in the team as they lost the first set in both the semis and finals before coming back for solid second and third set wins.”   

            In the invitational championship match with Halstead, the Lady Redskins once again fell in the first set, 18-25, before roaring back for two 25-19, 25-19, wins in the final two sets to earn the Invitational Championship Trophy.

            Speaking of those final two matches, coach Rolfs added, “Both Marion and Halstead were good teams making them very solid wins for us. Our team played very well but we’ve got some kids starting to contribute to our wins and produce in clutch situations. Looking back at the stats, Havana (Olander) was clutch in shutting down the big hitters for both Marion and Halstead while contributing some kills herself.”

            As for the individual stats, Kate Ellwood and Chenzi DeBaere directed the Lady Redskins by dishing out 49 and 40 assists, respectively.

            Both Aubrey Olander and Alaina Eck recorded over 30 kills with 35 and 34 each while Mea DeBaere made 41 digs and Eck and Chenzi DeBaere chipped in by making 33 and 31.

            Aubrey Olander, Havana Olander, and Ashley Stephenson all got double digits in blocks with 16, 14, and 12, respectively. Havana also topped the team in service aces with seven.

            Havana Olander was the star of the final two matches as she recorded 14 of her 18 kills and 10 of her 14 blocks in the battles with Marion and Halstead.

            Coach Rolfs concluded her post-invitational reflections by saying, “We continue to find more and more kids finding ways to contribute to our successes and that is making our team a well-balanced team.”


Team Results: 1st.

Pool Play:

Sunrise Christian > won 25-7, 25-11

Wichita Homeschool > won 25-14, 25-16

Solomon > won 25-19, 25-15


Marion > won 26-28, 25-14, 25-19


Halstead > won 18-25, 25-19, 25-19


Assists: Kate Ellwood – 49; Chenzi DeBaere – 40; Lucy Wright – 8.

Kills: Aubrey Olander – 35; Alaina Eck – 34; Havana Olander – 18; Ashley Stephenson – 17; Kami Grasser – 12; Chenzi DeBaere, Lucy Wright – 6.

Digs: Mea DeBaere – 41; Alaina Eck – 33; Chenzi DeBaere – 31; Kate Ellwood – 28.

Blocks: Aubrey Olander – 16; Havana Olander – 14; Ashley Stephenson – 12; Lucy Wright – 3.

Service Aces: Havana Olander – 7; Kate Ellwood, Kami Grasser – 6.

(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at