The Barnesville volleyball team got off to a slow start on Tuesday night as they dropped the first set to the Hawley Nuggets, 25-14, however, the Trojans came back strong and were able to record a 3-1 (14-25, 25-22, 25-20, 26-24) Heart O’ Lakes Conference win on their home floor.
“It was Senior night tonight and we honored our 6 seniors,” said Barnesville Head Coach Megan Askegaard. “We started off the first set trading points with the Nuggets up until 10-10 before the Nuggets took over with some strong serving and we were not passing the ball very well. We were waiting for a teammate to make plays instead of stepping in on Serve Receive and passing the ball to our target. At this point in the match we were hesitating so much on defense and not running through to play balls up and on the net. We needed to just react and play defense and the Nuggets found holes in our defense to score. A positive take away from the first set was Katie Newell reaching 1,000 assists, adding her name to the Lady Trojan Record book behind, Valerie Fankhanel, Holly Vancura, and Elora Passa.”
Newell finished the night with 37 set assists, while going a perfect 14-for-14 on the serving line, adding 11 digs, 5 kills and a solo block to her night.
“We regained the momentum and you could see the determination in the girls’ faces moving into the second set,” noted Coach Askegaard. “We played hard to start the set, however, the Nuggets continued to attack and we were just one step behind them until we tied them up at 16-16. We really dug deep and wanted to control the set. We continued to battle back and forth with them until Emily Bredman had a couple great back to back kills up on the net as well as a huge block to finish off the second set.”
Bredman had 11 kills in the match and 5 solo blocks.
“Moving into the third set we passed the ball much better on serve receive and worked our hitters across the net,” said Askegaard. “We were able to find some holes in their defense that we were able to hit. We really needed to serve and pass well in this set to get us the win. I also saw us communicating much better throughout this set than we had been. We played great defense with Sydney Strand and Kenzie Skogen making many hustle plays in the back court. Our block up on the net was much better in this set.”
Strand had 15 digs in the match and was also 16-for-17 on the serving line, with one ace. Skogen finished with a perfect 18-for-18 performance on the serving line and 8 digs.
“We were hoping the 4th set was going to be the final set for the night,” added Coach Askegaard. “We had a strong start to the match with some tough serves from Kenzie to put us up 4-1. Anna Stanford was attacking the ball well for us up in the front while her defense was picking up everything that was coming back from the Nuggets. We were always able to keep just a couple points up on them until 17-17 when they tied us by a hitting error on our side. The Nuggets took the lead 19-17 due some great defense on their side of the court and a few errors made by us. It was a fun battle down to the final few points. We tied it up at 24-24 until Syd had a serving ace and then the final serve in the court to let her defense finish it out for the night.”
Stanford had 10 kills and 18 digs for the Trojans. Other leaders were Emily Smith (7 kills, 16/17 serving, 2 aces), Lauren Halverson (5 kills) and Lexi Bolgrean (11 kills, 10/10 serving, 1 ace, 27 digs).