The Pirates looked like a completely different team Thursday evening in a 3-0 win over Sacred Heart than when they hosted Mahnomen two weeks ago. Thursday's 25-15, 25-23, 25-15 win over the Eagles in Crookston gave the Pirates their first victory of the season.
"We needed that," Pirate Head Coach Lon Boike said of the season's first win. "The confidence is important and getting that first win of the year. We know what we have to do to win matches. We'll take that into Bagley Monday and against Park Rapids here on Tuesday."
The Pirates were led by 19 digs from senior libero Taylor Demarais, who celebrated her 18th birthday Thursday. She also had four aces in the match. Sophomore Amber Froeber recorded a game-high 12 kills and four blocks. Senior Kaylee Desrosier added ten kills, 14 digs, 12 assists and five aces. Senior Katie Davidson posted 14 assists and five aces.
Fast starts were what the Pirates were all about Thursday as they jumped out to a lead of 8-1 in game one, 6-1 in game two and 6-2 in game three.
"We haven't done a good job holding onto leads this year," Coach Boike explained. "Five of our six matches we've had great starts and then we let teams back in it and stumble. Tonight our mantra was to get accomplished what we need to and play from start to finish. We can't have let downs and we did a good job of getting the lead and keeping it."
Sacred Heart struggled to climb its way back into game one but the momentum looked like it may be shifting with the Pirates lead down to six at 21-15. However, Demarais racked up four consecutive service points to lead the Pirates to game one.
Sacred Heart caught up to the Pirates at 10-10 in game two and the teams went back and forth until the Eagles went on a 7-1 run to go up 21-17. But, like game one, a senior stepped up with some big serves as Davidson posted four straight service points to lead the Pirates to victory.
In game three, the Eagles clawed their way back in and tailed 12-10 when the Pirates went on a 7-1 run to put the game out of reach.
"Our hitting could've been better," Coach Boike said. "We tried to mix it up. As the match went on I thought it got better; we got more confident. Amber Froeber really started swinging in the third game and was hitting it well.
"We really served well and our receiving game was good too," Boike continued. "We got them out of their rotation tonight. Our passing was very good off their serve tonight and I thought our setters, Katie Davidson and Kaylee Desrosier, put up some good balls tonight."
The Pirates, now 1-5 on the season, will travel to Bagley on Monday, Sept. 17 to face the Flyers. On Tuesday, Sept. 18 the Pirates will host Park Rapids. Both matches begin at 7:30 p.m.