Volleyball wins subsection title, falls to Delano for trip to state

  by Ashley Hertwig
With a long drive to a neutral site in Milaca on November 1, the Irish had plenty of time to mentally prepare themselves to beat the Zimmerman Thunder and advance to the next round of playoffs.
Game one began with the Irish hitting the court with strong serves and good plays right away. The Thunder found it hard to keep up with the Irish and the first game ended with a score of 25-12 in Maple Lake’s favor.
Zimmerman seemed to pick up the pace in the second game, keeping right with Maple Lake during the beginning of the game. However, the Irish kicked it up a notch, pulling ahead of the Thunder and winning the second game 25-18.
Seeing the end in sight, Zimmerman was determined to stay in the game. During the third game, both teams were struggling to get a large enough lead to win the game. It wasn’t until the score reached 35-33 that the Irish were declared the winners.
                          Serv. Kills SA Digs
B. Decker         11/13 3     33   20
L. Pingel         13/14 -       -     15
J. Holm           -       -     -       -
R. Latour         6/8   -       -     5
D. Hudek          -       4     -       2
S. Knott         8/9   11     -       1
E. Bryant         -       1     1     3
S. Rachel       13/13 14     -       17
C. Knott           14/17 -     -       8
S. Knudsen     2/2     -     -       1
J. Puncochar   -         7     -       -
Irish vs. Mora
Traveling to St. Michael on Thursday, November 4, the Irish were hoping to leave the court with sub-section championship medals around their necks, but they figured it wouldn’t be an easy task, as they had already lost to Mora earlier in the season.
“We wanted to beat them really bad, but we knew that Mora was the favored team to win,” said Lexi Pingel.
Against all odds, the Irish came out with a good lead over Mora right away. However, Mora was never too far behind. Near the end, they began closing the gap between the score, but Maple Lake took the first game 25-20.
Having lost to Mora 9-25 earlier in the season, the Irish were a sight to see as they left Mora in the dust during the second game. Barely able to catch up, Mora fell to the Irish 25-17.
The third game found the Irish trying hard to gain a lead because Mora was looking for a comeback. Getting down to the wire, the Irish pulled ahead near the end, defeating Mora 25-22, earning them the title as sub-section champs.
The Irish played a strong game with their team serving percentage at 92%. Shelby Rachel had a total of 10 kills while Brooke Decker had 24 set assists. Pingel led the team in digs with a total of 10 throughout the game.
     Serv. Kills SA Digs
B. Decker       13/14 5     24     7
L. Pingel         13/13 -       -       10
J. Holm             -         -       -       -
R. Latour       11/11 -     1     4
D. Hudek         -       2     -       1
S. Knott         8/10 8     -     2
E. Bryant       -         -     -       -
S. Rachel       13/14 10   -       9
C. Knott         10/12 -       -     -
S. Knudsen       -         -       -       -
J. Puncochar   -       6     -       -
Irish vs. Delano
It seemed to be déjà vu for the Irish when they stepped onto the court November 6 in Big Lake to play Delano for the chance to go to state. Just one year prior, they were in the exact same spot, against the same team, but were defeated. Like the football team had done the night before, the volleyball team was hoping to make history being the first Maple Lake volleyball team to make it to the state tournament.
The Irish came out ready to play and kept right with Delano, fighting for the lead in the beginning of the game. However, it wasn’t long after when the Tigers started bringing the heat. The Irish started to fall behind and lost the first game 15-25.
The Tigers came out strong in the second game, taking a lead over the Irish. Strong hits by Delano had Maple Lake running and diving on the court. Fear began to sink in when the Irish lost game two 7-25.
Wanting desperately to win, the Irish attempted to shrug off the first two games and keep their eyes on the prize. The third game began much like the first with a close score, but then the Tigers took a lead over the Irish. Fighting back tears, the girls stayed in the game until it ended with a score of 16-25 in Delano’s favor.
“It was next to impossible trying to hold it together during the last few plays knowing our season would be over,” said Sami Knott.
As a crowd full of fans stood and clapped for the team, the Irish accepted their second-place medals with dignity, knowing they had a great season. With no players graduating, the Irish look forward to improving and coming back next year stronger and better.
Serv. Kills SA Digs
B. Decker         6/7     2     19   7
L. Pingel         9/10 -       -     10
J. Holm           -       1     -       -
R. Latour         3/4   -       -     4
D. Hudek          -       4     -       2
S. Knott         5/7   5     -       -
E. Bryant         -       -     -     1
S. Rachel       6/7   5     -       8
C. Knott           7/8   -     -       1
S. Knudsen     1/1     -     -       2
J. Puncochar   -         5     -       -
With a long drive to a neutral site in Milaca on November 1, the Irish had plenty of time to mentally prepare themselves to beat the Zimmerman Thunder and advance to the next round of playoffs.
Game one began with the Irish hitting the court with strong serves and good plays right away. The Thunder found it hard to keep up with the Irish and the first game ended with a score of 25-12 in Maple Lake’s favor.
Zimmerman seemed to pick up the pace in the second game, keeping right with Maple Lake during the beginning of the game. However, the Irish kicked it up a notch, pulling ahead of the Thunder and winning the second game 25-18.
Seeing the end in sight, Zimmerman was determined to stay in the game. During the third game, both teams were struggling to get a large enough lead to win the game. It wasn’t until the score reached 35-33 that the Irish were declared the winners.
Irish vs. Mora
Traveling to St. Michael on Thursday, November 4, the Irish were hoping to leave the court with sub-section championship medals around their necks, but they figured it wouldn’t be an easy task, as they had already lost to Mora earlier in the season.
“We wanted to beat them really bad, but we knew that Mora was the favored team to win,” said Lexi Pingel.
Against all odds, the Irish came out with a good lead over Mora right away. However, Mora was never too far behind. Near the end, they began closing the gap between the score, but Maple Lake took the first game 25-20.
Having lost to Mora 9-25 earlier in the season, the Irish were a sight to see as they left Mora in the dust during the second game. Barely able to catch up, Mora fell to the Irish 25-17.
The third game found the Irish trying hard to gain a lead because Mora was looking for a comeback. Getting down to the wire, the Irish pulled ahead near the end, defeating Mora 25-22, earning them the title as sub-section champs.
The Irish played a strong game with their team serving percentage at 92%. Shelby Rachel had a total of 10 kills while Brooke Decker had 24 set assists. Pingel led the team in digs with a total of 10 throughout the game.
Irish vs. Delano
It seemed to be déjà vu for the Irish when they stepped onto the court November 6 in Big Lake to play Delano for the chance to go to state. Just one year prior, they were in the exact same spot, against the same team, but were defeated. Like the football team had done the night before, the volleyball team was hoping to make history being the first Maple Lake volleyball team to make it to the state tournament.
The Irish came out ready to play and kept right with Delano, fighting for the lead in the beginning of the game. However, it wasn’t long after when the Tigers started bringing the heat. The Irish started to fall behind and lost the first game 15-25.
The Tigers came out strong in the second game, taking a lead over the Irish. Strong hits by Delano had Maple Lake running and diving on the court. Fear began to sink in when the Irish lost game two 7-25.
More information and stats appear in this week's Messenger.
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