Crookston struggled against the Trojans' powerful hits in a 3-0 loss.

    With two of their final three games at home, the Crookston Pirates hoped to build some momentum before the regular season came to a close. The Pirates met their match in the Barnesville Trojans who defeated Crookston in three sets.    

    From the beginning, Barnesville made their presence known taking a quick 10-4 lead in set one while service errors prevented the Pirates from sustaining a rally.   

    Rachel Hefta recorded a kill to make the score 21-10 and the Pirates scored one more courtesy of a Trojan service error en route to a 25-11 loss.    

    In the second set, the Pirates kept it closer, but struggled to stop the Barnesville hitters. After trailing 6-1, the Pirates went on a 6-3 run capped off with an ace by Kacey Cwikla.    

    “We got a little bit more fired up,” Head Coach Ashley Stopa said. “We were going after a few more balls, we were talking a little bit more, but still not what we could have done.”   

    The quick play and the big hits by the Trojans helped Barnesville recover, outscoring the Pirates 16-7 the rest of the way to win 25-14.    

    By the time the third set had begun, Barnesville had hit their stride. At one point, Crookston trailed 5-3, but then suffered a 12-2 run. Katelyn Wagner ended the run with a nice block to make the score 17-6. The Pirates scored points seven and eight from a mishandled ball and a spike into the net by Barnesville, but the Trojans won shortly after 25-8.    

    “We let that game happen,” Stopa said. “We let them make the plays and we just sat back and went through the motions. This was our lull today.”   

    The loss dropped Crookston’s record to 5-12-3. The Pirates will look to end their five game losing streak on Senior Night against Warren-Alvarado-Oslo tonight, October 10. Start time is 7:30 p.m. with a pregame ceremony starting beforehand.