BARNESVILLE, Minn.— After a long battle, the resilient Breckenridge Cowgirl volleyball team lost their road match 3 sets to 2. A talented 17-2 Barnesville team had to give their all to beat the Cowgirls Thursday night.
“Honestly, this was the most complete and best match we’ve played all season,” Breckenridge coach Linda Hillestad said. “We had our best blocking of the season, our best digging of the season, and our best offense of the season. That’s good volleyball.”
The first set was as air-tight as possible. The score was always within two points between the two teams. The Cowgirls and Lady Trojans fought for over-the-net dominance in the set, trading blocks and kills nearly every play. Near the end of the set the score was 21-21. Senior Morgan Wall served a couple of key aces and then the Cowgirls finished the set out 25-22.
“The energy we had was great. We really came in with a lot of flair and it was fun tonight,” said Hillestad.
In the second set junior Katrina Dahlgren took over early with her play on the front line. She had four kills early and an ace to spark the away team. However, the athleticism of the talented Barnesville team overpowered the Cowgirls in this set and Breckenridge lost in another close one, 24-26.
Set No. 3 started out close like all the others, but too many Cowgirl errors helped out the Lady Trojans to stretch an one point lead to an 11point lead. The Cowgirls lost that set, 25-13.
“Our girls handed the game to them in that set, but I knew we’d be able to bounce back,” said Hillestad.
The Cowgirls came out with much more energy in set four. They were hustling for digs all over the floor and prevented the home team from finding any holes in their defense. The stellar above the net play reappeared in this set and was the building block of the 9-1 run they had to blow the game open late and win 25-21.
The last set only went to 16 points, but with long, back and forth rallies it felt like the longest set. Both teams were hustling for digs and kept trying to find spots to score. Senior Tori Ellingson hit the floor hard for two consecutive and crucial digs late. Ellingson also finished the match leading the team with 24 assists. However, just when it appeared the Cowgirls would pull out with a big win, a couple of unfortunate Breckenridge errors paired with late Barnesville kills finally put this long and daunting match to an end at 16-14.
“Tori had her best game of the season, she really played well. And I’m happy for all of our girls for how we came back after a big loss in set three and win set four and almost set five. It really says a lot about our character,” said a proud Hillestad.
The Cowgirls(5-13) will look to build off this match when they travel to Hawley, Minn. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.