The Pelican Rapids Vikings hosted a volleyball invitational tourney September 9.
Breckenridge won the 6 team round robin style tournament, with Pelican Rapids taking second, followed by Battle Lake, Rothsay, Lake ParkAudubon and Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.
The Vikings started the morning taking on Battle Lake in the first round. The Vikings defensive specialists Kaylie Isaman, Rachel Gottenborg, and Taylor Berndt serve received the ball very well.
The Vikings front row started a little flat but didn’t take long to get in their offensive rhythm. Setter Sarah Thompson really stepped it up in set 2 to mix up the attack, keeping the Battler blockers moving.
“Once our offense got more complex the Vikings really started to come alive,” said Head Coach Heidi Isaman. Pelican Rapids beat Battle Lake in round 1 with set scores of 25-16 and 25-12.
Round 2 the Vikings took on LPA. “We served very aggressively to put the Raiders out of system and Jessica Weinrich and Adriana Torres took advantage on the offensive end,” said Isaman. The Vikings beat the Raiders 25-11 and 25-12.
Round 3 the Vikings took on Hillcrest. “The Vikings did not start with the same energy and communication that we had in the previous rounds and started out pretty flat,” reported Isaman. “We continued to serve aggressively and made a few big offensive plays but did not play our best defensive
game.” The Vikings beat the Comets 25-15 and 258.
The Vikings knew they needed to play better defense to match up against the Rothsay Tigers and they did just that. “Outside hitter Taylor Berndt made some big plays for us on the defensive and offensive end and outside hitter Grace Johnson came alive at the net. The Tigers blocked well against us and we did not cover very well to start, but then our hitters got smarter and they cut through the blockers and the momentum started to go our way.” The Vikings won some big rallies and played 2 very competitive sets with the Tigers, winning 25-19, 25-20.
“The championship round came down to our match up with Breckenridge who only had one set loss,” noted Coach Isaman. “The Cowgirls started serving very aggressively at the Vikings and played amazing defense digging up everything we gave them. We did not pass very well to start the game and struggled getting all our hitters in the offense. The Cowgirls hit the ball very well from the outside and the Vikings struggled to slow them down. Set 2 the Vikings battled back and fought hard for every ball, however, the Cowgirls had too many runs that we could not dig out and the Vikings were defeated in 2 sets with scores of 17-25 and 22-25 to take 2nd place on the day. Overall, the Vikings played very competitively all day and are starting to show great progress on the defensive end.”