Somerset volleyball knocked from the ranks of unbeaten in MBCThe hopes of repeating as Middle Border Conference champions have ended for the Somerset Spartans with losses to Baldwin-Woodville and Durand.
The hopes of repeating as Middle Border Conference champions have ended for the Somerset Spartans with losses to Baldwin-Woodville and Durand.
The Spartans had been undefeated in MBC matches until last week.
The first loss of the MBC season for the Spartans came in front of their Parents Night/Senior Night crowd last Tuesday against Baldwin-Woodville. Both teams were incredibly streaky during the match, but B-W ended up scoring a 25-12, 19-25, 25-18, 13-25, 15-10 win.
The Spartans weren’t able to win any games in Thursday’s match at Durand. While all three games were close, the Spartans suffered a 20-25, 25-27, 19-25 loss.
In the loss to B-W, it seemed that whichever team started poorly could never recover. Somerset fell behind 10-2 in the opening game and lost 25-12. It was Somerset’s turn in the second game, leading 8-2 early on the way to a 25-19 win. B-W came back in the third game, starting fast and maintaining a lead in the 25-18 win.
Somerset coach Sarah Praschak said she wants to see her team be more productive late in games, when most games are decided.
“We have the skill, we didn’t have the closing factor,” Praschak said of last week’s losses. “It’s a learning curve this year with us. I’m not disappointed in our play, I’m more disappointed in our communication.”
The Spartans were able to get some hitting production from seniors Sarah Krig and Sarah Northey in their matches last week, but the team was inconsistent in nearly every other facet of their game. Even blocking, which has been one of the team’s most consistent features, was not sharp and the opponents were able to score with more hits because of it.
New Richmond tournament
The Spartans were able to earn two wins in their four matches in the New Richmond Invitational on Saturday. The Spartans were placed in a three-team pool with Northwestern and Clayton. Clayton went on to win the nine-team tournament, while the Spartans did defeat Northwestern 25-19, 17-25, 15-7.
That put the Spartans in the Silver Division with Chippewa Falls and Barron. The Spartans struggled against Chippewa Falls, but they came up with their best performance of the week in beating a tough Barron team 27-25, 25-20.
The Spartans weren’t at full strength for the tournament. Krig had another commitment and Northey tried to play, but illness weighed her down. Praschak said the team adjusted as the day progressed, finishing with the sharp effort against Barron.
“Sometimes the best experience is when you have a downfall and how you recover from it,” she said.
Praschak credited senior setter Sami Martell with an excellent effort in holding things together as the Spartans worked to find their way in the tournament. The team’s effort was rewarded against Barron. The Spartans didn’t miss a serve and did their best passing of the day.
The Spartans are in the final week of their regular season. They will play in a tournament in Altoona on Saturday. Their regular season ends next Tuesday when they play at Prescott.