On Saturday the Barnesville volleyball team played in their first weekend tournament of the year over in Hawley where they saw Thief River Falls, Perham, and Wheaton/Herman-Norcross in pool play. After placing second in pool play, the Trojans faced off with BGMR as they were the second place team in their pool as well. “Hawley expanded this years’ tournament to 12 teams, which made for a great day of seeing some different competition for the Trojans,” said Head Coach Megan Askegaard of Barnesville.
“The girls started off our day with a quick, brisk jog outside Hawley High School to wake up our bodies after a short bus ride after an extremely busy week of traveling and late nights,” noted Askegaard. “Our first round of pool play was an exciting match with TRF where we battled back and forth in the front row with some very tall players from TRF.”
After losing the first set 25-20, Barnesville won the next two sets, 25-22, 15-10 to take a 2-1 victory over the Prowlers. “We needed to be better about seeing the large block up in the front row and keep our 3rd contact away from where that block was coming from,” assessed Coach Askegaard. “Kenadee Gray played tough defense in the backcourt and played up many balls to our setters in this first set. We fell short in the first set, but then battled back in the second set behind our middle hitters. The girls fought for every point and carried that momentum into the 3rd set where they found success by winning those small games to 5 points to push their way to 15.”
In their second pool play matchup the Trojans saw the Perham Yellowjackets for the second time this week, with Perham claiming a 2-0 (25-16, 25-15) win. “Our goal was to focus on the moment and NOT on the game from Thursday,” commented Askegaard. “We worked to make adjustments to where their hitters scored on us and played some tough defense. They have some big hitters, but they also make plenty of mistakes. We traded points with them back and forth for both sets, however their strength on the front line was too much for us and we just needed to be more aggressive back on their side. I felt like we played it a little too safe too often and just needed to be more aggressive down the stretch in order to come out on top.”
In their third and final match in pool play Barnesville went up against Wheaton/Herman-Norcross, beating the Warriors 2-0 (25-14, 26-24). “The Trojans came out strong in the first set of pool play and really worked to play those small games to five and keep their eyes forward to the end of the set. We were able to set up our offense and attack WHN whenever we had a chance. This set was all Barnesville as they had a strong start and pushed their way all the way to the end point. The second set in the match was a little different as we were not as aggressive on the attack as we needed to be. We let a few balls drop and didn’t communicate very well at times and that cost us a couple points. They worked together and found ways to score and eventually take the set.”
Tournament play was a single elimination round where Barnesville faced a tough, returning class A state participant from 2022, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River. “They were scrappy and had a big left handed hitter up in the front row that caused us to make a few errors in the backcourt until we made some adjustments to her arm swing. The Gators were a scrappy team that had a very good player who we really tried to avoid in the front row and back row. We executed our game plan and played really hard for the last match of the day.” BGMR recorded a 2-1 (25-21, 24-26, 15-11) victory over the Trojans.
Stat leaders for the day were Lexi Hoeft (27 kills, 4 aces, 17 digs), Abby John (22 kills,7 block kills, 2 block assists), Amelia Newell (11 kills, 7 digs, 8 aces, 93.8% serving, 45 set assists, 3 block assists), Maci Pauna (11 kills, 2 aces, 6 digs, 1 block kill, 1 block assist), Lydia Braton (6 kills, 5 aces, 1 block kill, 3 block assists), Aubryn Hinsz (6 kills), Kenadee Gray (41 digs, 93.8% serving, 1 ace) and Sophie Frederick (32 digs, 100% serving, 1 ace).
The Barnesville JV team had a great tournament in DGF on Saturday. They lost to Detroit Lakes, beat ADA, and lost to Sheyenne in pool play. This put them into the silver bracket where they beat Pelican and Perham and then lost to Fergus Falls in the championship match.