Five seniors spotlighted

    Tuesday evening ended for the Crookston Pirates volleyball team losing a long battle against the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Ponies in a best-of-five match. Playing four sets, the Pirates lost the first two (25-15 and 25-14), striking back suddenly in the third set for a 25-23 victory. Despite rallying several times to close the point deficit, the Pirates’ lost the final set 25-22, Warren winning the game 3-1.

    The first set cut off with WAO in the lead, the Pirates repeatedly closing the gap down to a lower deficit, the Ponies never letting go of the lead, however. The second set followed suit, WAO keeping a lead double the Pirate score throughout the second set, the Ponies finishing off at 25-14. Head coach Ashley Stopa said, “It took some points to get the block timing down.”

    The third set was the entrance of a sudden comeback from the Pirates, kicking off with double kills and a 5-1 lead. “The girls picked up their intensity,” says Stopa. “They were communicating and eliminating their errors.”     The Ponies quickly tied the score at 7-7, the Pirates proceeded to repeatedly keep their lead, despite the Ponies’ efforts. The score tied at 18-18 before the Pirates made a major push, several kills, made by Libby Salentine and Kasey Cwikla, and an ace by Danielle Boyle ending the set in a Pirate victory of 25-23.

    The fourth set started with a WAO lead of 7-3, Libby Salentine’s kill and Boyle’s ace cut the deficit to 7-5. However, a long streak by WAO left the Pirates’ behind, the Ponies leading 18-8. Crookston rallied well, pushing to close the gap, lagging by only one point at 23-22. However, several kills by the Ponies ended the game in the final WAO win at 25-22.

    Tuesday night was also Senior Night, celebrating the five seniors who will be leaving the team when graduation arrives. The game kicked off with the coaches giving flowers to the senior girls and their parents. “Senior night is always emotional as we say goodbye to our senior class,” Stopa said. “The seniors did a great job keeping their heads in the game and the younger players were very supporting cheering on their seniors.” The graduating seniors of the volleyball team are Jasmin Hanson, Kasey Cwikla, Danielle Boyle, Sophia Steiner, and Allie Love.

    Kasey Cwikla led with twelve kills throughout the game, Jasmin Hanson near behind at 7 kills. Cwikla also made the only two blocks of the game; Sophia Steiner made all ten assists through the game. Danielle Boyle made 27 digs, as well as both Pirate aces, Emma Boll at nine digs.

    The Pirates’ fall to 2-18. They will return to the court Thursday, hosting Roseau. Varsity begins at 7:15 pm.