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Vikings Host Volleyball Invitational

By Craig Olson, 09/12/21, 8:45AM CDT


Pelican Rapids hosted the Pelican Rapids Invitational Volleyball tournament on Saturday, September 11th.  Teams participating were Rothsay, Hillcrest, Battle Lake, LPA, Breckenridge, and Pelican Rapids.  The tournament was a round robin format with playing 2 sets each with each team receiving 2 points if winning both sets, 1 point if splitting, or 0 points if losing both sets. Tie breakers came down to head to head and point spread. Final results for the day were:

1st-Breckenridge, 2nd-LPA, 3rd-Pelican Rapids, 4th-Battle Lake, 5th-Hilcrest, 6th-Rothsay

The Vikings took on Rothsay for round 1 and executed their offense very well from start to finish, serving aggressively to get the Tigers out of system. “Middle hitter Anna Roisum and outside hitter Tori Stephenson were aggressive at the net and were our kill leaders with 5 each,” reported Head Coach Heidi Isaman.  “Setters Morgan Korf and Sophia Paulson did a good job of getting all our hitters in the game which has been a struggle for us and we had several girls come off the bench and do a great job in both sets.”  The Vikings won both sets with scores of 25-14 and 25-21.

Round saw the Vikings matchup with Hillcrest.  “We had lost to Hillcrest the week before and were excited for an opportunity to play them again,” said Isaman.  “The Vikings did a much better job executing our offense this time around. We serve received very well in both sets which gave us a chance to run our offense through all our hitters instead of just our outside hitters. Our kills were balance throughout all hitters which is what we always strive to accomplished.  This also created the Comets to be out of system more which took their strong middle hitter out of the game more than she was last week.  We also served very aggressively to get the Comets a little out of sync.  The Vikings played great team volleyball with a higher level of execution and ball control to win both sets 25-23 and 25-23.”

In Round 3 the Vikings took on Battle Lake.  The Vikings started strong again with aggressive serving.  Ellie Welch and Kelsey Isaman were are ace leaders with 3 and 2, respectively. “We continued to serve receive at a high level which balanced our offense again,” commented Coach Isaman.  “This has been a struggle for us so to pass so well to up our execution rate was a huge improvement for the Vikings on the day.  We hit the ball well with few errors.  Middle hitter Ellie Welch and outside hitter Kelsey Isaman were very aggressive at the net to be our kill leaders with 5 and 4.  Setters Sophia Paulson and Morgan Korf really set the ball well for us all day with improving their consistency and setting choices. Libero Hazel Haugrud did an amazing job reading the hitters and running our back row with confidence and calmness.” The Vikings won set 1 25-18 and lost set 2 25-21. 

Round 4 the Vikings played a very scrappy and aggressive Lake Park-Audubon team. The Vikings continued to execute their offense at a very high level with few mistakes and continued to get their middle hitters more in the offense. Middle hitters Anna Roisum and Ellie Welch were the kill leaders with 5 and 4. “We also served very aggressively at the Raiders to get them out of system,” noted Coach Isaman.  “Senior Sophia Paulson had a great run of 5 aces in a row. Even though our offense was running very well we started to get a little fatigued and our defense was slowing down a bit.  We did not get enough touches at the net that we needed and we had a hard time defending their aggressive setter when she attacked on 2.  Our communication got weaker as we got tired which caused some hesitation and dropped balls.”  The Vikings ended up splitting with LPA winning set 1 25-23 and losing set 2 18-25. 

The last round was against Breckenridge.  “The Vikings started set 1 a little hesitant and fatigued but hung in there with the Cowgirls to force them to make some mistakes, however, we were not as aggressive as we needed to be to capitalize on those mistake and struggled to close the gap,” said Coach Isaman The Vikings lost a close set 1 17-25.  Set 2 the Cowgirls served super aggressively at the Vikings and the Vikings really struggled serve receiving as Breckenridge won 25-7.   

“Even though we ended on a tough loss the Vikings had a really good day of volleyball, making HUGE strides forward in our offensive execution and serve receive,” added Isaman.  “We had some key players come off the bench and do a great job for us today!  The Vikings ended up taking 3rd place and I could not be more proud of their efforts today!”