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Pirates solidify 4th-place berth

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Hankinson had a lot on the line Tuesday night as the girls faced off against Milnor-North Sargent.

It was their last home game of the regular season.

If the Pirates won, they solidified fourth in the Region 1 standings.

If Hankinson lost, they could have gone as far down in the standings as eighth place, depending on what happened with the other volleyball teams that night, said coach Tera Paulson.

“So, no pressure,” Paulson said, taking a big breath after her team held off the Bulldogs in three sets — 25-19, 25-20, 25-20.

The match was by no means certain in the third set with the Pirates holding a 24-16 edge. Four-straight points by the Bulldogs had Paulson on edge. “That is why I didn’t put in my subs. We needed that last point,” she said. “I reminded them the game plan was that (M-NS) leaves the middle wide open,” so sophomore outside hitter Kya Mauch finally put the match away with a tip to the middle. The Bulldogs were forced to set up for a big defensive kill since the Pirate hitters were having success Tuesday night with big kills that came when needed, Paulson said.

“They played smart tonight. They swung away, but they also placed balls tonight. We really needed this one,” Paulson said.

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