Brooke Baker powers Bremen in conference win over Culver

BREMEN — Junior middle hitter Brooke Baker put in a strong all-around performance, and Bremen won its Northern State Conference opener with visiting Culver in three games Thursday night, 25-17, 25-17, 25-16.
“Brooke is not one to see herself as the stud player or the go-to player, but the rest of the team sees it that way,” said Bremen Head Volleyball Coach Beth Huppert. “For us to feed her when she has a hot hand, we’re going to ride that; we’re going to go with that.”
Baker put away 11 kills with four digs and four aces for the Lady Lions, while Allie Shorter served up another four aces with 19 assists in the win.
The Lions open NSC play at 1-0 with the victory and move to 3-7 overall after a tough 0-4 start to the season under new head coach Huppert.
“A win in the conference really means a lot,” said Huppert. “Placing higher in the conference is one of our team goals and starting 1-0 helps them get started right.
“There is a learning curve, and I look at a lot of the girls and I say we’re freshmen at almost every position because we’re freshmen to the varsity. There are I think eight players that are returning to varsity; however, I switched it up and I gave everybody different roles this year, so it’s kind of like starting over.”
While Baker put in a balanced performance for Bremen, Culver was led by Samantha Howard’s six kills, two aces and three assists. Junior Ali Overmyer also had something of a breakout match with an ace and nine digs.
“(Baker) really pulled her game together tonight along with Ali Overmyer: She was all over the floor, she was getting a lot of balls, and that was the best game I think I’ve seen her play this year,” said Culver head coach Amanda Minix. “Samantha, she’s obviously the biggest girl that we have, and we’re going to go to her quite a bit when she’s in the front row. She can place serves; she’s just a good all-around player right now.”
Culver slips to 5-7 with the loss and an 0-2 conference start.
“Everybody knows it’s a tough conference,” said Minix. “I’m just hoping we can get a couple wins here in the rest of the season, but even if we don’t win any I’m hoping we play with everyone else we have.”
Both Bremen and Culver will play in the Triton Tournament Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
CULVER 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-16)
At Bremen
Bremen stats
Kills: Brooke Baker 11, Cassie Sears 7
Aces: Allie Shorter 4, Haley Foster 4, Baker 4, Taylor Lashbrook 4
Assists: Shorter 19
Digs: Baker 4
Culver stats
Kills: Samantha Howard 6, Aspen Kitchell 4, Alex Baker 3
Aces: Howard 2, Ali Overmyer 1
Assists: Howard 3
Digs: Kalee Miller 13, Overmyer 9
Records: Bremen 3-7 (1-0 NSC), Culver 5-7 (0-2 NSC)