The Pelican Rapids Vikings hosted Barnesville for their first Heart O’ Lakes Conference matchup of the season on Thursday and the visiting Trojans recorded a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-7) victory.
“We knew that the Trojans would run a fast paced complex offense and that we would have to be quick and strong at the net to slow them down,” said Pelican Rapids Head Coach Heidi Isaman. “We also knew we had to do our best to get the Trojan’s out of system as much as possible to take that fast paced offense away. The Vikings served pretty aggressively all night to throw off the Barnesville offense several times. When we were in system we executed quite well tonight! Setters Sophia Paulson (3 assists) and Morgan Korf (6 assists, 4 digs) did a great job of setting our girls pin to pin to try and make their blockers work hard. We set more consistent to the outside pin and Tori Stephenson (4 kills, 6 digs) and Kelsey Isaman (8 digs, 2 kills, 1 block kill) had some great swings at the outside for us. Our problem was that we were not in system enough. We struggled with serve receive tonight especially their aggressive deep spot serving they were throwing at us.”
Hazel Haugrud led the Vikings with 12 digs and Pelican Rapids had some key players off the bench do a great job stepping into major roles.
“Theo Olson, Marie Backstrom, Grace Backstrom, and Taia Marich all came in with confidence and did exactly what we need them to do,” said Coach Isaman. “Set 2 the girls were finally putting some great volleyball together but just still could not quite fill the gap.”
The Vikings will host their invitational tourney this Saturday in Pelican Rapids.
Barnesville was led by Lexi Bolgrean (16 kills, 6/6 serving, 2 aces, 5 digs), Emily Bredman (9 kills), Anna Stanford (7 kills, 21/21 serving, 2 aces, 9 digs), Katie Newell (32 set assists, 7/8 serving, 5 digs), Sydney Strand (13/14 serving, 4 aces, 8 digs), Kenzie Skogen (14/17 serving, 1 ace, 7 digs) and Lauren Halverson (3 kills, 2 block assists).
“Tonight was a match of great defense and passing as well as communicating well as a team,” said Barnesville Head Coach Megan Askegaard. “We needed to be better on the court at taking charge and communicating with our teammates through the entire match and tonight we did just that. All players served tough and made sure we took them out of system. This also allowed us to run our offense and again use the free ball sets. Lexi had a great night tonight both attacking and playing defense. Emily Bredman was another huge asset in the middle blocking and getting in for her quick sets. Katie moved the ball around well and kept the Pelican blockers guessing where she would put up her second ball. Emily Smith was out of the lineup tonight as she wasn’t feeling well. The players that subbed in tonight worked hard on the court and played hard when they were in.”