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Somerset volleyball team earns its first Middle Border Conference victory

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Somerset volleyball team earns its first Middle Border Conference victory
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

It took a bit of a wakeup call to get the Somerset volleyball team rolling, but the Spartans were able to earn their first Middle Border Conference win of the season at Amery last Thursday.


The Spartans lost the opening game at Amery 27-25. The Spartans improved drastically in the next two games, winning 25-11 and 25-17. The Spartans weren’t as sharp in the fourth game, but they were able to manage a 25-23 victory.

“The best lesson was when we lost the first game,” said Spartan coach Sarah Praschak. “We had to shape up. We played much better in the second and third games.”

Praschak said senior Rachel Helgeson led the Spartans in all phases of the game. Helgeson and Rachel Plourde combined for 20 kills to lead the team’s hitting attack. Praschak said the team’s defense is progressing with Megan Starry and Haley Bassett sharing the defensive specialist role.

Last week the coaches had senior Alyssa Willett take on some of the setter responsibilities, sharing with sophomore Baily Paulus. Praschak said having a sophomore set all-around was a great deal of pressure, so they inserted Willett to lessen her workload.

The Spartans hosted New Richmond last Tuesday. The Tigers are a year or two ahead of Somerset in its progression and the Tigers were able to score a 25-13, 25-21, 25-19 win over the Spartans.

Praschak used New Richmond as a team that has gone through the growing pains the Spartans are currently experiencing. She said the team has to retain its focus and try to find ways to improve.

“If we try to take one game at a time and improve in two areas, we’ll have a much better product at the end of the year,” Praschak said.

One of the areas where the Spartans showed flashes of success against New Richmond was their serving. Abbie Rivard led the team with 15 successful serves, followed by Helgeson with 12 and Tori Martell with eight.

“Serving has to be our ‘go to.’ As a young team, we can’t afford errors,” Praschak said.

Plourde led the Spartans with five kills against New Richmond. Martell and Helgeson had four kills. They were the only Spartans to record kills in the match.

This is a big week for the Spartans. They host Durand on Thursday in a conference match. The Spartans will play in the New Richmond Invitational on Saturday. The Spartans face another of their conference rivals next Tuesday when they play at Osceola

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.
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