3-1 loss wraps up regular season; Section 8A tourney begins Oct. 21

    Monday night, the Pirate volleyball team headed to Fisher for their last regular season match against the Climax-Fisher Knights. The match ended in a loss for the Pirates, with the Knights winning 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-14).

    The first set took off for the Pirates, starting a with a kill by Kasey Cwikla and a 3-1 lead. The game quickly became a battle however, repeatedly tying at 6, 8, 12, 13, and 17 before a faulty Pirate pass and a net strike allowed Fisher to break the tie cycle. The Knights mostly kept momentum, an 8-4 run leading them straight into triple kills, finishing off the set 25-21.

    Head coach Ashley Stopa said, “Climax-Fisher found some good spots to put the ball down. It took some time for the girls to adjust.”

    As the second set started, Climax-Fisher took an immediate 5-1 lead, making several kills. The entirety of the set, the Pirates were struggling to catch up, managing to pull right behind Fisher-Climax at 19-18. “The team fought hard,” Stopa said. “They did a great job increasing their efficiency with blocking, hitting and serving.”

    However, after a Pirate error, a Knight kill, and an ace, Fisher-Climax widened the gap to 24-19. The Pirates made one more kill before the Knights responded with a kill of their own, winning the set 25-19, and leading in the game 2-0.

    The Pirates were back with a vengeance, tying the score at 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 until a Fisher-Climax run suddenly launched them to 19-10, close to a three-set win. The Pirates kicked off their best run of the game after four Knight errors: Rylee Solheim and Cwikla kills, the Knights called in the net, a kill by Jasmin Hanson, and the Pirates had reduced their deficit to 19-18. “The girls are fighters,” Stopa said. “They always give their all in every ball.” The teams were back to intense volleys, tying at 21 and 22, both teams serving into the net until the Pirates took the win 25-23.

    The final set was another battle of volleys, tying twice before Fisher-Climax took the lead 10-9. Several Knight kills and a Pirate serving error rocketed the Knights to 16-10. The final set was short from then on, the Knights barreling to victory 25-14.

    Stopa praised the performances of several players.

    “Kasey Cwikla and Rylee Solheim did a great job on offense, and Emma Boll was all over the floor trying her hardest to keep every ball off the ground.” Cwikla made nine kills and three aces, and Boll made 14 digs. “Dani Boyle, Libby Salentine  and Emma Boll serve-receive passing allowed for a very aggressive offense.” Boyle made 19 digs throughout the game.

    The Pirates will be starting the first round of the Section 8A tournament, location and opponent to be determined, but currently scheduled for Monday, October 21.