ST. PAUL -- The trip to state ends in heartbreak for the Pequot Lakes volleyball team as they fell to the No. 2 seed Marshall Tigers 3-1 in the first round of the consolation bracket Friday, Nov. 8, at the Xcel Energy Center.
Pequot Lakes started fast as they won the first set 25-21 led by the three team blocks they registered.
“It felt wonderful,” Pequot Lakes head coach Chris Ganley said of winning the first set after a loss the night before. “I mean, these girls were themselves. The awe of being at the state tournament was over and they showed them who Pequot Lakes Patriots are and I’m so proud of them.”
Trailing 8-10 early, the Patriots went on a 4-0 run to take the lead that would not let up in the first set.
The Tigers responded in the second set as a 10-2 run put Marshall up 20-14. They closed it out winning 25-17 led by Logan Sherman, who tallied five kills in the second set.
In the third set, Pequot Lakes jumped out to an early 9-3 run that included a 8-0 run with Phoebe Glenn serving.
Marshall battled back and cleaned up some of their mistakes to make it 11-10 Patriots. Pequot Lakes led 22-18 when a Tigers 4-0 run tied the third set.
Back and forth it continued as the teams traded points until a 3-0 run by Marshall pushed them over the top 28-26 to take the third set. The Patriots had four game points in the third set, but could not put the Tigers away.
“I love the courage and bravery I saw out of my girls,” Ganley said. “They battled time and time again and I said ‘I’m just so proud.’”
Marshall used the momentum of winning the third set and transferred it over to the fourth set taking a 14-3 lead early.
Pequot Lakes battled with a 5-0 run with Mariah Rickard serving, but it was not enough to come back as the Tigers won 25-15 to win the match.
Sherman tallied 16 kills and 26 set assists for the Tigers, who had four players register 10 kills or more. Rachel Schwarz netted 35 set assists and Bria Morris also tallied 16 kills for Marshall. While Jordyn Hilgemann had a big night as well with 14 kills and 31 digs. As a team, the Tigers racked up 105 digs.
For Pequot Lakes, Kate Bolz-Andolshek and Lydia Hubbard both led the Patriots with 10 kills. Rickard, a senior, tallied a team-high 27 digs in her last game wearing the white libero jersey.
“I’m so happy I was able to be a part of it,” Rickard said. “We worked so hard this season — during the season and in the offseason — we knew this is where we wanted to be and I’m just so proud of the team for fighting after yesterday’s tough loss. That’s the best way for me to go out — just playing as hard as I could.”
The Patriots end their season 27-7 with their first trip to the state tournament in 25 years and Ganley will remember how well they played on court together in all facets of the game.
“What I loved about this team is that we had a strong defense and service element and a strong offense element,” Ganley said. “That is what brought them to this point of their season and we had great senior leadership. The team chemistry was the best team chemistry I have coached in a long time.”
Bolz-Andolshek hopes she and Hubbard come back next year to lead the Patriots back to the Xcel Energy Center now that they know how it feels.
“Now we have seen the speed and how good all of these teams are,” Bolz-Andolshek said. “Now we have to build off that and say ‘hey, this is where we need to be’ so next year we will have to work hard in practice to get to this speed.”
Marshall 21 25 28 25
Pequot Lakes 25 17 26 15
Pequot Lakes statistics
Rita Ganley 14 set assists, 1 dig
Mirjana Ganley 1 kill, 10 digs, 1 block
Maddy Morrison 2 kills, 2 digs, 1 block
Greta Harmala 1 kill
Catherine Ganley 1 ace serve
Ella Pfeiffer 1 set assist, 3 ace serves, 9 digs
Phoebe Glenn 1 kill, 12 set assists, 2 ace serves, 11 digs
Maci Martini 6 kills, 2 digs
Kate Bolz-Andolshek 10 kills, 3 digs, 2 blocks
Lydia Hubbard 10 kills, 1 dig
Mariah Rickard 2 set assists, 4 ace serves, 27 digs
Logan Sherman 16 kills, 26 set assists, 10 digs, 1 block
Kate Bucher 1 ace serve, 8 digs
Tessa Gannott 7 kills
Emily Meier 10 kills, 1 ace serve, 13 digs
Bria Morris 16 kills, 8 digs
Keziah Knudson 5 kills, 4 digs, 1 block
Mia Schnaible 1 kill, 4 set assists, 19 digs
Jordyn Hilgemann 14 kills, 1 set assist, 2 ace serves, 31 digs
Rachel Schwarz 35 set assists, 12 digs
Marshall 3, Pequot Lakes 1
Key: Marshall came alive to win three straight sets after the Patriots won the first set.
Overall: PL 27-7, M 29-7.