No. 4 Detroit Lakes got caught out of rotation and played out of sorts for half of the first set before righting the ship to cruise by No. 5 Staples-Motley in the opening round of the Section 8AA volleyball playoffs at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium Thursday, Oct. 25.
“The first set we were just a bit discombobulated and we weren’t talking as much as we should have,” senior Bre Price said. “We talked more and it kind of rattles you when you have that mistake, but the second and third game we knew we had killed this team before so just do it again.”
Staples-Motley took advantage of the Laker miscue and led by a four or five point margin until the Lakers came back to tie the set at 17. The teams tied at 19, 20 and 21 before senior Courtnee Ziegler took the serve and did not give it up scoring four straight points on an ace, an Anna Cihak kill, a Cardinals’ error and a kill by Price for set point and a 1-0 lead.
For Price and fellow seniors Ziegler and Teeya Doppler, communication was the key to getting back on track.
“We, as captains, are always trying to encourage the team,” Price said. “We have to stay positive and keep talking. When we don’t talk we get in our slumps and when we do talk we’re at the top of the rollercoaster.”
The Cardinals played shorthanded with only two seniors on the roster and one of them, outside hitter Kiara Storry, out with a finger injury. Staples-Motley struggled to get back into a rhythm after the first set loss and the Lakers quickly built leads of 13-6 and 15-9 in the second set en route to a 25-14 victory.
Set three was much of the same as the Lakers led 15-6 early and took 10 of the next 17 points to close out the match 25-13.
Doppler led in kills with 17, two aces and had five digs. Anna Cihak was in double figures with 13 kills, while Price had eight.
Ziegler had 23 assists with Maren Daggett adding 19.
Faith Keller was strong in the back row with a team-high 16 digs.
The Lakers (14-13) move on the face the top seed in the south subsection Park Rapids (21-6) on the Panthers’ floor Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
“We have to be excited and play our best and we have the pieces of the puzzle,” said Price. “We just have to put them together, really talk and be loud and work as a team.”
The Panthers and Lakers met early in the season on Sept. 13 in DL with Park Rapids winning 3-0 (22, 16, 16).
Park Rapids has won 14 of their last 16 matches. DL has captured five of the last seven.
In the other half of the south bracket, No. 2 Pequot Lakes defeated No. 7 Crosby-Ironton 3-0 (20,11,11) and No. 3 Perham and No. 6 Fergus Falls went the full five sets to a 13-13 tie in the fifth. The Yellowjackets held on to win 16-14 for a 3-2 victory.
8AA Volleyball: Detroit Lakes 1, Staples-Motley 0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-13)
Kills: Doppler 17, Cihak 13, Price 8, Patnaude 3, L. Prussia 2.
Assists: Ziegler 23, Daggett 19, Campbell 1, Keller 1, Kulik 1.
Aces: Doppler 2, Daggett 1, Keller 1, Ziegler 1.
Digs: Keller 16, Daggett 6, Ziegler 5, Doppler 5, Campbell 4, Kulik 4, Cihak 3, Fredrickson 1, L. Prussia 1.
Block Assists: Price 2, Fredrickson 2, Doppler 1, Patnaude 1.