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Breanah Pfaff breaks school records, Kidder County competing

Breanah Pfaff has broken two Kidder Country volleyball school records so far this season. The Wolves most recently competed in the District 6 tournament.

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Members of the Kidder County volleyball team celebrate a point earned during the course of the 2022 Class B volleyball season.
Contributed / Courtney Steinolfson
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STEELE, N.D. — No school record is safe with Breanah Pfaff around.

"I've been playing volleyball since fifth grade," Pfaff, a freshman setter for the Kidder County volleyball team, said. "I've always had a passion for the sport, but once I started playing in junior high, my love for the sport grew even more. I've stuck with it because of the memories (I have made) with my teammates and the love that I have for the sport."

The freshman setter broke the school record for most assists in a match this season. The record was 44 and now it is 53. She has also broken the program's school record for most assists in a season. Prior to the District 6 tournament, Pfaff was at 717 assists for the season and the previous school record was 611.

Pfaff has been on Kidder County's varsity roster for two years now.

"When I found out that I would be starting varsity as a freshman, I was overall very excited and ready to keep working as hard as I can to keep my spot," Pfaff said. "Honestly, I never thought that I would ever break a school record, but once I found out that I had broken one, I was very shocked but proud of myself."

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Kidder County finished the regular season at 17-14 overall and 3-6 in Region 3. The Wolves dropped 3-0 to Medina/Pingree-Buchanan in the first round of the District 6 tournament, sending them to a region qualifier.

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The regional qualifier against South Border was slated for Tuesday evening. Final results were not available when the Jamestown Sun went to press.

"Breanah is such a special asset to our team because of her selflessness and drive," Kidder County head coach Courtney Steinolfson said. "Her volleyball IQ is continually growing smart and puts the ball where our big hitters are. Breanah is level-headed, poised under pressure, and willing to take the blame for mishaps even when they aren't her fault, making her a phenomenal leader."

"I was very proud of myself for working hard and appreciative of my teammates who helped me break (these records) since without them it wouldn't be possible," Pfaff said.

Pfaff also already hit the 1,000 assist benchmark. Just this season, Pfaff has been responsible for notching 33 aces, 276 digs, 766 assists and nine blocks.

"Not only does Breanah set the tone for our offense, but she also does well on the defensive end for us," Steinolfson said. "As a setter, she digs up a lot of balls. For only being a freshman, she is a huge asset to the team and we wouldn't be the team we are without her."

So with all those records broken just two years into her prep career, what's next for the freshman?

"What the state of North Dakota can expect of me, in the next three years of my high school career, is to be adding to my assists and working to break more records," Pfaff said. "Another thing is to be a positive role model for the younger generations."

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While Pfaff has got three more years on the roster to make an impact, Avery Rath and Kennedy Harter are making the most out of their last few games.

"Avery is an exceptional outside hitter," Steinolfson said. "She is known for her defense, both off the block and in the back row. She can read hitters' hands well and is quick on her feet. Although she leads our team in digs, she also brings a lot to the table offensively."

Rath, a senior, has tallied 484 digs through her last season. She has notched 32 aces and has used her hops to garner 13 blocks. In her five years on the Kidder County roster, she has recorded 120 aces, 340 assists, 23 blocks, 1,149 digs and 529 kills.

"She stands at 5-foot-4, but sees the court so well and is our second stat leader for kills on our team with 298," Steinolfson said. "She can hit the ball hard, but also places the ball to the opposing team's weak spots. She is coachable, hard-working and has been thrown into many different positions throughout her volleyball career. Although she would make an outstanding libero, our team needs her to be an offensive threat for us as well."

When Rath was an eighth grader she started playing varsity as a defensive specialist. In her freshman and sophomore years, coaches began training her to be a setter. Rath set half of her junior season then switched to outside where she's been ever since.

"Going into this year I wanted to keep an open mind on what position I was going to play (but) I knew this summer I had to focus on becoming a better and stronger hitter," Rath said. "During the off-season, I attended every open gym. During our open gyms, I would work to my best potential because I knew it would benefit me during the season. I also lifted weights during the summer as I knew it would benefit my game by becoming a stronger player. Taking time to get into the gym and practice will show in the end."

Rath tied the school record for the most digs (50) in a match this season. The senior also wound up hitting the 1,000 dig benchmark — both things she is pretty proud of.

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Avery Rath digs up a ball for setter Breanah Pfaff during a 2022 Kidder County volleyball match.
Contributed / Courtney Steinolfson

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career in volleyball," Rath said. Knowing my family is at every game of mine always boosts my confidence by just knowing they are there cheering me on. I also want to thank my coaches for pushing me to be my best self as a player. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today."

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Rath isn't the only one who's had to flip positions this season.

"Kennedy (Harter) brings energy to the court that our team needs," Steinolfson said. "She is a natural leader and all around just athletic. She can jump out of the gym which makes her a huge offensive threat for us, but she also does work in the back row. She is our second stat leader for digs on the team with 465."

Harter has been a part of the Wolves varsity volleyball program since she was in eighth grade. She's been flipped from the middle to the outside position this season and has since managed 457 kills and 34 blocks. She has also powered 63 aces past opposing defenses.

"When we are in system and the ball gets to Kennedy in our offense, she is hard to stop," Steinolfson said. "Last year she was in the middle for us because of her blocking skills, but to be more successful this year on offense, we needed to move her to the outside so she could get more attack attempts."

Harter said the switch from middle to the outside has been an easy one because she used to practice hitting from every spot in the front row and that she likes the angle of hitting on the outside.

In her five years spent on the KC squad, Harter has put 128 aces, 55 assists, 213 blocks, 1,039 digs and 1250 kills on the books.

Those stats are just the evidence that Harter, Rath and Pfaff have done their jobs this season.

"I always am trying to do my best on and off the court for my teammates," Pfaff said. "I want to give a huge shoutout to my coaches, teammates, and everyone who supported me and my teammates throughout this season."

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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