Pirates Volleyball Swept in Section 8AA Playoff

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Pirates Girls’ Volleyball team ended their season in Thief River Falls Wednesday, October 27 after falling 0-3 to the Prowlers. 

Having lost to Thief River Falls earlier in the season, the Pirates used their off time to prepare for the familiar opponent.  

“We knew it was going to be a tough match,” Head coach Katie Engelsted said. “We were off almost a week, so we had a lot of practices to work on aggressive net play. We worked on being aggressive and fighting for every point, and we definitely saw that come out in the second set.” 

The Pirates hung tough with the Prowlers early in the first set, as Crookston got a kill from Samantha Sanders and capitalized on the Prowlers’ hitting errors.  

Thief River Falls created a lead with two key kills and an ace. 

Out of the timeout, the Pirates were able to stall the run momentarily with a kill from Ally Perreault. The Prowlers regained momentum, however, and took 11 of the final 14 points to win 25-11.  

The Pirates flipped a switch in the second set, as they took an early 5-1 lead. The Prowlers responded by knotting the game at 5-5, but Mallorie Sundeen kept the lead with a kill on the next point. 

The two teams tied up the set another three times before Thief River Falls took the lead 10-9 with a block. 

The lead was short-lived as the Pirates tied the game at 12 and regained control with a kill from Libby Salentine.  

Thief River Falls took the lead for good after a 15-15 tie, as Mattea Erickson had three kills in a row. Sundeen tried to crush the Prowler momentum with a kill, but Thief River falls edged out a 25-20 win. 

The Pirates left everything they had out on the court, as they played some of the best volleyball they had all season. 

“The second set was so much fun,” Engelsted said. “We talked in the huddle about leaving it all on the floor, and the girls did just that. It was great to see the back row diving after balls and the front row being aggressive not only on attacks but blocks.” 

In the third set, the Pirates had little juice left in the tank, as they fell 7-25. Their only points came from two kills from Sanders, a kill from Breanna Kressin, Prowlers hitting errors and an ace from Salentine.  

Perreault led the team with 4 kills, followed by Sanders and Salentine with 3 apiece. Perreault also had 2 blocks on the match. Rylee Solheim totaled 5 digs and Kressin added 4. Salentine led the team with 8 assists.  

The Pirates finished the season 4-16 under a strong group of nine seniors. 

“We lose a solid chunk of our varsity with our seniors this year,” Engelsted said. “They will be tough to replace since they were a solid piece to our team. They are all so unique in personalities and they were a great group to work with.”