The Pelican Rapids Vikings traveled to West Central Area High School in Barrett to take on the Knights Tuesday. The two teams battled through five tough sets before the Vikings pulled out a 3-2 (24-26, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9) victory over the Knights.
“The Vikings decided to make a few rotation changes and I was so proud of how the girls handled some big changes with only one day’s practice,” said Pelican Rapids Head Coach Heidi Isaman. “Sophomore Sophia Paulson (14 set assists, 6 digs) jumped into a setting role running a 6-2 offense with senior setter Greta Tollefson (13 set assists, 7 kills, 5 digs, 3 aces) and junior Anna Stephenson (26 digs, 6 kills) went from setting to an all-around middle hitter and left back defense to help out us out in the back row. Both girls handled these new roles very well and we started to get more of an offensive flow tonight than we have had in a long time. The Vikings served well every game to keep the Knights out of system a lot of the night. This gave our offense more opportunities to execute. In fact Sophia was our assist leader while Stephenson was our dig leader. Riley Berg (4 aces, 8 kills, 12 digs) and Ryley Paulson (4 aces, 5 kills, 20 digs) were great aggressive servers for us tonight and we the entire team served at a high percentage. Greta Tollefson did a great job blocking in the front row for us tonight with Anna Stephenson doing the same damage opposite of her.”
Leaders for West Central area were Morgan Stark (11/14 serving, 4 aces, 9 kills), Kaleigh Anderson (15/15 serving, 1 ace, 23 digs), Ellie Herman (19/20 serving, 1 ace, 6 kills, 1 block), Holly Gilsdorf (20/20 serving, 12 set assists, 19 digs), Hailey Bennett (14/14 serving, 17 set assists, 17 digs, 5 kills), Liz Rustan (10 kills, 2 blocks) and Kaylyn Ulrich (6 kills, 1 block).
“This was a back and forth battle,” acknowledged WCA Head Coach Missy Foslien. “We started off solid with steady serving, good defense and smart hitting. Overall, we improved our play tonight and came out as a team. We had been struggling as of late in meshing together and were in need of a solid performance. The girls were scrappy and played with a lot of heart. I’m proud of the way they fought and I hope we can rise up and get some wins in the upcoming weeks.”