PREP VOLLEYBALL: Minneota takes care of Lakers in three sets

Photo by Lacey Barke Minneota’s Natalee Rolbiecki (8) and Lizzy Gillingham (4) go up to block a Lakeview kill attempt during their match on Tuesday. The Vikings defeated the Lakers 3-0.

MINNEOTA- The Lakeview volleyball team played an aggressive game, but it was not enough to grab the win as Minneota came out victorious with a three-set sweep over the Lakers. The set totals came to be 25-16, 25-8 and 25-14.

The first set saw a powerful start from both teams with the score reaching a 4-4 tie quickly. Lakeview saw success from their blocks, but Minneota’s hitters delivered strong kills that moved the score to 25 effectively.

Minneota head coach Hayley Fruin said that her team lagged in the beginning, but they picked up the pace as the night progressed. “I think overall the game went pretty well,” she said. ” We maybe had a slow start, but I think our passing was on and we were connecting with our setter in the front row. Ellie Pesch had a really great night with serve receive passing and digging that gave us some energy on the court as well tonight.”

The Vikings and Lakers started the second set with big kills, but Minneota was fast to put distance between the scores on the board and gained a 11-1 lead. Lakeview’s effort never ceased, but the team wasn’t clicking as well as the first set and struggled to keep in the game.

The Lakers laid down a few hits that caught the Vikings back row off guard, but the Vikings did not get frazzled easily and played their game. Even though Lakeview was putting down some kills and digging up hard hits from Minneota, their errors on the serving line brought the ball back to the Vikings who further extended their lead to a set win.

The Vikings had 35 kills coming from their three kill leaders, with 16 of them from leader Lydia Sussner, while Natalee Rolbiecki put down 10 kills and Lizzy Gillingham earned nine. Minneota’s Abby Hennen found success with digs and earned 11, while Gillingham achieved six and Pesch pitched in five. Sussner again led her team in blocks with four while Rolbiecki helped out with two, while Gillingham added one.

At the serving line, Sussner brought the heat with 21 perfect serves and one ace. Rolbiecki was also perfect on the line and had 15 serves with one ace as well. Morgan Kockelman saw success as well and picked up 11 perfect serves.

The Lakers had 31 total digs with Alexis Lienemann and Sidney Geistfeld showing up with eight digs each, and Leah Brusven had seven digs. Geistfeld, Stephanie Pickthorn and Sierra Plotz were perfect on the serving line with Geistfeld earning seven serves for her team, Pickthorn with nine, and Plotz with five. Lienemann was 3 of 5 at the serving line while Haley Unke was 4 of 6, Shay Gregoire 0 of 1 and LeeAnn Stensrud 3 of 5.

At the net, the Lakers had 21 kills with eight of those kills coming from Stensrud. Baylee Larsen helped out with five kills and Pickthorn with three. Larsen led her team in blocks with three block assists and one block. Pickthorn also had three assists, while Stensrud and Unke contributed two assists each.

Hailey Osland, head coach of Lakeview’s volleyball team, stated that she felt her team had a strong start but couldn’t pull that strength through to the rest of the game. “I thought that we started out really strong in the first set but then we started to dwindle,” she said. “I wish we would start strong and stay strong; we can do really well, and the intensity needs to stay strong.”

Osland added how her team came into this game prepared. “We came and watched them last night, so we knew that they were going to feed their middle. Sussner had a powerful arm, and their eighth grade middle is just as strong so we knew we had to block those hits. I think we did a decent job at that.”

Minneota’s methodical, well paced game brought them to a quick four point lead in the third set. The Lakers had some victories at the net, but were suffering from the same issues at the serving line that plagued them in the second set. Lakeview was scrappy and showed good effort, but ultimately the Vikings players overpowered the Lakers and took the game.

Lakeview has a 13 day break and will be playing again in their playoff match. Osland states that this will be a great opportunity to pinch in some practice time and work on some key points such as serve receive. Minneota plays this Friday in Apple Valley against Winona. Fruin states that the Vikings will be facing some tough competition so they have to be ready to play well.