Pelican Rapids hosted the Pelican Rapids Invitational Volleyball tournament September 11.
Teams participating were Rothsay, Hillcrest, Battle Lake, LPA, Breckenridge, and Pelican Rapids.
The tournament was a round robin format with playing two sets each with each team receiving two points if winning both sets, one point if splitting, or zero points if losing both sets.
Tie breakers came down to head to head and point spread.
Pelican opens with win over Rothsay
The Vikings took on Rothsay for round one and executed our offense very well from start to finish and served 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 five each. Setters Morgan Korf and Sophia Paulson did a good job of getting all out 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.
Lady Vikings avenge earlier loss to Hillcrest Round two Pelican played Hillcrest.
The Vikings had lost to Hillcrest the week before and were excited for an opportunity to play them again.
The Vikings did a much better job executing its offense this time around than earlier against the Comets.
“We serve received very well in both sets with gave us a chance to run our offense through all our hitters instead of just our outside hitters. Our kills were balanced throughout all hitters which is what we always strive to accomplish,” said Coach Isaman. “This also forced the Comets to be out of system more which took their strong middle hitter out of the game more than she was last week.”
Pelican 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.
Vikings split with Battle Lake
Round three we took on Battle Lake. The Vikings started strong again with serving very aggressively.
Ellie Welch and Kelsey Isaman were ace leaders with three and two respectively.
“We continued to serve receive at a high level which balanced our offense again,” said Coach Heidi 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 five and four.
Setters Sophia Paulson and Morgan Korf really set the ball well for us all day by 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 one 25-18.
Set two was another great battle and we continued to execute well, however the Battlers did a good job switching the momentum their way with a few quick plays out of their back sides. Our block was too slow and the Battlers took advantage.
The Vikings lost set two, 21-25.
Split with Lake Park Round four the Vikings played a very scrappy and aggressive LPA.
The Vikings continued to execute our offense at a very high level with few mistakes and continued to get our middle hitters more in the offense with has been something we have been working on.
Middle hitters Anna Roisum and Ellie Welch were are kill leaders with five and four.
“We also served very aggressively at the Raiders to get them out of system,” said Isaman.
Senior Sophia Paulson had a great run of five 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,” said Coach Isaman. “ 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 two. Our communication got weaker as we got tired which caused some hesitation and dropped balls.”
The Vikings ended up splitting with LPA winning set one, 25-23 and losing set two, 18-25.
Lady Vikings fall to Breckenridge
The last round was against Breckenridge.
The Vikings started set one 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 mistakes and struggled to close the gap.
The Vikings lost a close set one, 17-25.
Set two the Cowgirls served super aggressively and the Vikings really struggled serve receiving.
Pelican could not get our offense going and just could not seem to dig out of the hole we created and lost 7-25.
“Even though we ended on a tough loss the Vikings had a really good day of volleyball with making huge strides forward in our offensive execution and serve receive,” said 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!”
Pelican netters fall to rival Barnesville 3-0
The Pelican Rapids hosted Barnesville for their first conference match up of the season.
The Vikings knew that the Trojans would run a fast paced complex offense and would have be quick and strong at the net to slow them down.
“We also knew we had to do our best to get the Trojan’s out of system as much as possible to take that fast paced offense away,” said Coach Heidi Isaman.
The Vikings served pretty aggressively all night to throw off the Barnesville offense several times. “When we were in system we executed quite well,” said Isaman.
Setters Sophia Paulson and Morgan Korf did a great job of setting Pelican girls pin to pin to try and make their blockers work hard.
“We set more consistent at the outside pin and Tori Stephenson and Kelsey Isaman had some great swings at the outside for us. Our problem was that we were not in system enough. We struggled with serve receive tonight, especially their aggressive deep spot serving they were throwing at us. We had some key players off the bench do a great job stepping into major roles tonight,” said Isaman.
Thea Olson, Marie Backstrom, Grace Backstrom, and Taia Marich all came in with conifendence and did exactly what was needed.
Set two the girls were finally putting some great volleyball together but just still could not quite fill the gap.
The Vikings lost the sets with a scores of 15-25, 19-25, and 7-25.
PHOTOS BY LOUIS HOGLUND