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Pirates take first set since season opener, but fall at Mahnomen-Waubun

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Mallorie Sundeen goes for a kill during Crookston's four-set loss at Mahnomen-Waubun on Monday. The loss dropped the Pirates to 0-8 on the season.

MAHNOMEN — The Crookston volleyball team got one monkey off its back Monday night. It will need a bit longer to get rid of the other.

Despite winning their first set since Oct. 8's season-opener against Ada-Borup West, the Pirates fell, 3-1, to Mahnomen-Waubun, falling to 0-8 on the season.

"The girls had moments they fought," said coach Ashley Stopa. "The goal is to bottle up that fight and stay consistent through the entire match."

What looked like a close match at first soon spiraled into Thunderbird dominance. The first set was tied on five different occasions during the first 22 points, but Mahnomen-Waubun (2-2) went on a 9-3 run midway through, helped by five straight Crookston errors, en route to taking the set 25-20.

The Thunderbirds came out even stronger in the second set, scoring 16 of the first 19 points to create a seemingly insurmountable advantage. But that's when the tide started to turn.

With senior Emily Funk serving, the Pirates scored seven straight to cut it to 16-10. Behind clutch kills from Mallorie Sundeen (Jr.) and Libby Salentine (So.), they got even closer at 21-18, before Mahnomen-Waubun took four of the final six points.

The near-comeback, though, appeared to give Crookston some energy. A Sundeen block gave the Pirates the advantage for good in the third set, and they extended their lead to 16-10 on back-to-back kills by junior Rylee Solheim.

Crookston weathered a late push, and with the score 24-19, the Thunderbirds were unable to return senior Emma Boll's serve, snapping the Pirates' 23-set losing streak.

"We had strong serves, and Rylee swung hard, resulting in some great kills," Stopa said.

But in the fourth set, Mahnomen-Waubun took a big lead and did what it failed to do two sets prior: keep it. The Thunderbirds led 13-4, then 18-5, and won it 25-12, meaning Crookston will have to wait at least another week to earn its first victory.

UP NEXT: The Pirates travel to Bagley on Tuesday, Nov. 10 to take on the Flyers, who are just 0-2 on the season, having had four games postponed so far. Mahnomen-Waubun hosts Ada-Borup West (2-5) next Tuesday.

Hannah Loraas hits the ball back over the net.


Mahnomen-Waubun 3, Crookston 1 (25-20, 25-20, 19-25, 25-12)


  • Kills: Mallorie Sundeen 4, Chloe Bruley 2, Rylee Solheim 2, Emma Boll 1, Hannah Loraas 1, Libby Salentine 1
  • Blocks: Mallorie Sundeen 2, Libby Salentine 1, Rylee Solheim 1
  • Digs: Amber Cymbaluk 9, Rylee Solheim 6, Mallorie Sundeen 2, Emily Funk 1, Emma Boll 1
  • Assists: Libby Salentine 8, Emily Funk 2, Chloe Bruley 1
  • Aces: Rylee Solheim 4, Emily Funk 3, Amber Cymbaluk 2, Emma Boll 2, Libby Salentine 1

The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730, Jacob Shames (405) 496-0168 or by email at

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