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Somerset volleyball hits a bump in the path of progress

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For the Somerset volleyball team, there will be days like this.

The inexperienced Spartans found progress doesn’t come in a straight line when they played their Middle Border Conference opener at Ellsworth last Thursday. The Spartans lost the match 25-23, 25-10, 25-19.

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In their two previous outings the Spartans had been on a progressive arc. There was little progress in the loss.

“We struggled with the basic skills and that affected our offense,” said Somerset coach Sarah Praschak. “That’s the learning curve of a young team. We’ll have some ups and downs.”

The Spartans were competitive in the opening game, but their play fell off sharply in the second game. The major problem was returning Ellsworth’s serves. The Spartans had 20 serve reception errors on Thursday.

Praschak credited Ellsworth for being a tough opponent that excelled at keeping the ball alive and forcing the Spartans into positions where mistakes were more likely to happen.

The Spartans did have some bright spots. Tori Martell led the team with seven kills and Rachel Helgeson had seven kills. Praschak said Helgeson and Rachel Plourde had strong nights and they battled Ellsworth to the final point.

Kendrah Wink led the Spartans with five solo blocks and three assists. Plourde was involved in five successful blocks. 

The Spartans are now in the midst of their conference schedule. They will play at Amery on Thursday and Baldwin-Woodville next Tuesday. 

Praschak said she expected the team to bounce back from the Ellsworth loss quickly.

“This team is determined and we’re not going to settle for this level of play,” she said.

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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