The Crookston Pirate Volleyball squad was looking to get back into the win column on Tuesday night, but the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Ponies came away with a 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-19, 25-22) in a match played at Crookston High School. “We talked a lot about energy pre-game and during the game, but I don’t think we brought that tonight and I think it showed on the court,” said Pirates Head Coach Katie Engelstad. “I don’t know if that has fully clicked on how important that is so maybe as a coach I have to do some more digging into that.”
Both teams struggled early with the first five points being errors before Libby Salentine notched a kill to tie the set at 3-3. Lily Bayne added five kills for the Ponies over the next eight W-A-O points, but the Pirates hung around with two kills and a block from Mallorie Sundeen. After seven more errors in the set, the teams continued to battle back-and-forth. “We had some communication errors tonight with balls dropping in between some girls which we normally don’t see,” explained Coach Engelstad. “Also, our service errors were huge. And those are things we control so we will talk about that.” The Pirates were within a points at 21-20 after two kills each from Rylee Solheim and Sundeen. However, Gracie Anderson added two kills for W-A-O and the Ponies won the first set 25-23.
The Pirates got the first two points on a kill from Solheim and an attack error. However, the Ponies went on a 12-2 run, led by two kills and an ace from Aaliyah Johnson, two kills from Bayne, and a kill and an ace from Lindsey Bring. The Pirates were able to stick around the rest of the set with two kills from Solheim and one each from Sundeen and Ally Perreault. “I think we saw a lot from Rylee [Solheim]. She has been in the background a little bit so it was fun to see her attacking the ball again tonight,” said Coach Engelstad. Still, the Ponies were too strong in the second half as they finished off the set again with two kills from Anderson to win 25-19. “I think what is frustrating is that we were right in each of the sets. It’s almost like we just gave up out on the court at times,” said Coach Engelstad. “I’m not sure why because we were in those sets.”
Both sides traded points early on, but the Ponies went on a 5-2 run to break open a lead at 8-4. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo continued to open up their lead and had a six point lead as late as 17-11. However, the Pirates did not give up and slowly cut into their deficit. They got kills from Hannah Loraas and Salentine and an ace from Solheim to get back within a point at 21-20. “Libby is a really smart player and she has shown a lot of improvement this season,” added Coach Engelstad. “It will be fun to have her around for another year next year to see what she can do.” Despite another Pirates’ point on a kill from Samantha Sanders, the Ponies finished off the Pirates with an ace from Gracie Anderson and two kills from Lily Bayne to end the set at 25-22 and win the match 3-0.
Crookston drops to 4-13 this season. They will have a few days off before they host Roseau on Tuesday. “We have a few days off so we are going to have a team breakfast and we are also going to switch things up and have a 3-on-3 tournament during practice to see if we can get some competition going,” said Coach Engelstad.
Warren-Alvarado-Oslo improves to 9-8 this year. They will play Kittson County Central on Friday.
Kills – Mallorie Sundeen- 9, Rylee Solheim- 8, Ally Perreault- 6, Libby Salentine- 5
Blocks – Mallorie Sundeen- 1
Digs – ??
Assists – Libby Salentine- 15, Anna Funk- 12
Aces – Rylee Solheim, Breanna Kressin, Ally Perreault- 1 each
Kills – Lily Bayne- 19, Gracie Anderson- 9, Aaliyah Johnson- 3
Blocks – Annika Magnusson- 1
Digs – ??
Assists – Elise Oberg- 29
Aces – Lindsey Bring- 2, Aaliyah Johnson, Gracie Anderson- 1 each