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Cowgirls Outlast Vikings in 5 Set Match

By Craig Olson, 09/15/23, 8:00AM CDT


The Pelican Rapids Vikings hosted Breckenridge in a Heart O’ Lakes Conference match on Thursday. The Vikings and Cowgirls just matched up on Saturday at the Pelican Rapids Invitational tournament with the Vikings coming out on top with 2 very close sets.  “We knew this would be a tight battle and a tight 5 set battle is exactly what we got,” said Pelican Rapids Head Coach Heidi Isaman.  When it was all said and done, Breckenridge escaped with a 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-11).

The Cowgirls were led by Parker Yaggie (15/15 serving, 18 assists, 26 digs, 2 block assists, 2 kills), Hailee Hanson (14/15 serving, 1 ace, 8 kills, 13 digs, 1 block assist, 1 solo block), Sydni Roberts (21/22 serving, 3 aces, 3 assists, 32 digs), Julia Kleisman (15/16 serving, 3 aces, 12 kills, 4 digs, 1 solo block, 1 assisted block), Katlyn Kaehler (18/19 serving, 10 kills, 17 digs, 2 assisted blocks), Kolle Schuler (17/17 serving, 2 aces, 19 assists, 4 digs) and Erin Blaufuss (9 kills, 4 block assists, 4 digs).  Jaelle Ernst added 2 kills, 3 block assists and 6 digs.

“The Vikings had a slow start and had trouble executing,” said Coach Isaman. “The Vikings could not seem to get any runs going with the exception of just 1 three point run for the set.  A few too many errors and dropped balls due to lack of communication prevented us from closing the gap and the Cowgirls took advantage to win set 1.”

Coach Isaman provided this recap of each set.
“Set 2 we knew we needed to get more aggressive at the net and start communicating at a higher level.  We also needed to get our runs in certain rotations that we were unable to do set 1.  We got a little more aggressive at the net and our setters did a better job of moving the ball to get their big blockers to move.  Anna Roisum (11 kills, 6 digs, 3 aces, 18 assists) had a few key kills to change the momentum and senior Ellie Welch (4 aces, 4 digs, 9 kills, 1.5 blocks, 12 assists) had a great 6 point serving run to get us an early lead. We started to pass the ball better which gave our setters more opportunities to run our offense successfully.  Another big 7 point serving run from Ellie Welch and a 6 point serving run for Claudia Gurath (18 digs, 1 ace, 1 kill) sealed the deal and the Vikings won set 2. 

Set 3 the Vikings were back to a back and forth battle. Senior Marie Backstrom (2 aces, 9 kills, 8 digs) got us going a few monster kills and libero Morgan Korf (48 digs, 1 ace) did a great job of reading their hitters.  Junior Anna Roisum served very aggressively to get us a nice 7 point run and junior Zayla Arrow (6 kills, 2 digs) got some great quality touches at the net to help us defend their outside power hitters.  The Vikings kept the aggressive momentum going and won set 3.

Set 4 we went back to some break down of communication and giving the Cowgirls too many unearned points. We were digging up a lot of balls but did not execute as well as we needed at the net. Arianna Hovland (14 digs) played well defensively throughout the match. We struggled getting any runs going and had trouble closing our block on the pin.  The girls fought hard but came up short closing the gap and lost the set. 

We went into our first 5th set of the season and the Cowgirls served very aggressively at us to start the game.  We started down a quick 0-4 as we shied away from a few balls. We tried to stay aggressive on the offensive end but the Cowgirls found their rhythm on the outside pin and earned their win with a set 5 score of 15-11.  

Sophomore libero Morgan Korf had a great defensive game tonight with 48 digs and earned her 1000 career dig.  Congratulations Morgan on a great accomplishment! This was a great back and forth conference battle and the girls fought hard all night.”