The Minnewaska Area volleyball team split a pair of conference matches last week, pulling out a five-game victory at home against Melrose Area last Tuesday, but falling in three games at Sauk Centre, Thursday.

The Lakers, who are 3-3 in the WCC and 6-4 overall, have two winnable road matches this week starting with a match at Benson, Tuesday (tomorrow) and at Morris Area-CA, Thursday. 

Minnewaska 3, Melrose 2

The Lakers earned a 3-2 victory over Melrose Area last Tuesday night at home after falling behind two games to one.  Minnewaska Area had to go overtime to do it, earning a 27-25 victory in game four and 15-11 in the fifth game to complete the 25-19, 20-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-11 win.

“It was a nice win last night and a big confidence booster after losing a five-set match to BOLD recently,” coach Michele Johnson said.  “Our team has learned that tough defense gives us opportunities to make offensive plays. I believe we are starting to become more consistent with this mindset.”

Dreya Barsness and Avery Fier were superb for the Lakers, although it was another great team effort by Minnewaska, which improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the WCC.

The Lakers won game one easily, 25-19, but fell behind in game two, 14-6, as Minnewaska Area struggled with the serve receive.  The Lakers rallied to a 17-17 tie on a block by Miaya Guggisberg and Haillie Schulz, but the Dutchmen regrouped and went on to earn a 25-20 win after an Laker error on game point.

Melrose, which had some of the toughest servers this reporter has seen, took control of the match to win game three, 25-19, but the two teams went back and forth in the fourth game before the Lakers forced a fifth game with a 27-25 win.

The Lakers, who fell in five games to BOLD earlier this season, were not about to lose another five-game match and Minnewaska played a solid final game to earn the 15-11 win and match victory.

Barsness had 26 kills on the night and a 25 percent kill percentage, while Fier ended the match with 19 kills and a 15 percent kill percentage.  Haillie Schulz hammered down seven kills with no errors and Addy Kath added five kills.

Barsness also had five ace-serves, 1.5 blocks and 24 digs during the match, while Fier also had 33 digs, 1.5 blocks, 38 error-free passes and was 12-for-13 serving with an ace.

“When you are down 1-2 and your game plan is still intact, you rely on your seniors to step up and lead and that’s what they did,” coach Johnson said.  “I was so impressed with our seniors, especially in the last set how they dug in and led their team with such strong determination.  It was a very exciting win.” 

The top server on the night for the Lakers was Haley Shea, who was 21-for-21 serving with three aces in addition to putting up 25 set assists.  Schulz also had a great night serving, going 19-for-19 while leading the team with 26 set assists.

Emma Poegel had a team-high 36 set assists for the Lakers and was 17-for-18 serving with two aces, while Guggisberg had a team-high two bocks.

Sauk Centre 3, Waska 0

The Lakers fell in three games at Sauk Centre, Thursday, 25-22, 25-19, 25-15.  Minnewaska kept close with the Mainstreeters through the first game before Sauk Centre took control from the second game on.

Dreya Barsness had nine kills, Avery Fier had seven and Haillie Schulz added six to lead the Laker offense, while the top servers were Emma Poegel and Fier, who were both 10-for-10 with an ace.

Haley Shea had a team-high 13 set assists, while Fier led the team with 21 digs, Poegel had 15 and Shea had 14, and Hellermann had the lone solo block.

at Waska 3, Melrose 2

Melrose 19 25 25 25 11

Minnewaska (6-3) 25 20 19 27 15

WASKA STATS  (good-attempts-aces):  Serving:  Dreya Barsness 15-22-5, Haley Shea 21-21-3, Haillie Schulz 19-19-0, Emma Poegel 17-18-2, Avery Fier 12-13-1, Brooklyn Meyer 8-8-0, Brooklyn Noyes 5-6-0 . . . Set assists:  Schulz 26, Shea 25, Fier 3

Hitting:  Barsness 74-80-26, Fier 51-61-19, Schulz 34-34-7, Addy Kath 26-27-5, Emma Hellermann 5-5-1, Shea 4-4-0, Miaya Guggisberg 4-4-0 . . . Digs:  Poegel 36, Fier 33, Barsness 24, Shea 12, Schulz 7, Hellermann 5, Guggisberg 2, Kath 2, Noyes 1, Meyer 1 . . . Blocks:  Guggisberg 2, Barsness 1.5, Hellermann 1.5, Fier 1.5, Schulz 1


at Sauk Centre 3, Waska 0

Minnewaska (6-4) 22 19 15

Sauk Centre 25 25 25

WASKA STATS  (good-attempts-aces):  Serving:  Dreya Barsness 9-13-3, Emma Poegel 10-10-1, Avery Fier 10-10-1, Haillie Schulz 7-8-1, Brooklyn Noyes 5-6-0, Haley Shea 6-6-0, Brooklyn Meyer 2-3-0 . . . Set assists:  Shea 13, Schulz 8, Fier 2

Hitting:  Barsness 28-35-9, Fier 27-30-7, Schulz 23-27-6, Addy Kath 14-15-3, Dacia Fleury 5-7-1, Miaya Guggisberg 6-6-1, Emma Hellermann 1-1-0 . . . Digs:  Fier 21, Poegel 15, Shea 14, Barsness 12, Schulz 7, Hellermann 2, Noyes 2, Kath 1 . . . Blocks:  Hellermann 1, Kath .5, Guggisberg .5

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