Vikings go the distance at home against the Panthers
It took five sets to dictate the winner of Tuesday’s volleyball game, but the Logan-Magnolia Panthers came out victorious over the AHSTW Vikings, winning three of five.
The Panthers took set one 25-20, the Vikings won sets two and three, 25-15 and 15-13, but the Panthers won the final two sets, 25-21 and 15-9.
“I think we saw a lot of positives from last night's game,” said Vikings Head Coach Kelsey Muxfeldt. “I know the girls were disappointed in the outcome of the game, but there were a lot of great things happening on the court for us. There are definitely parts of our game that we are seeing vast improvements on.”
The night started off with a back-and-forth affair in set one, with both teams exchanging points until the Panthers took the set from the Vikings.
Before set two began, Muxfeldt pulled her team together for a quick meeting that resulted in the next two sets being won by the Vikings.
“My message to them was simple; ‘We know what kind of a team we can be, we just need to show it,’” she said. “We have been focusing on our communication and energy levels, and we definitely showed that in the second and third sets.”
The second set ended with Senior Saydi Paulsen serving the ball in the backcourt that grazed the top of the net, hitting the floor and resulting in a victory.
“Saydi is one of our most consistent servers,” Muxfeldt said. “We have been struggling with serving consistency, so it was nice to have confidence in her being at the service line to finish the game. It was definitely an exciting way to end the set.”
Later on, the third set concluded with Senior Delaney Goshorn spiking the ball down on the Panther defense that concluded with a second consecutive won set.
“Delaney is always aggressive at the net,” Muxfeldt added. “She works hard to put herself in a position to be wherever the ball is and to make an aggressive play at all times. Her aggressiveness always provides a spark when she is in there.”
Throughout all five sets, Goshorn was working with Senior Lauren Yates, who was assisting the ball to Goshorn for shots that results in many points. Goshorn leads the team in blocks with 21 and kills with 79, while Yates leads in assists with 138.
“The biggest part of this is trust,” Muxfeldt said. “They trust each other and that shows on the court.”
The Vikings will play Thursday on the road at 7:30 p.m., taking on the 12-5 Riverside Bulldogs, who have won four matches in a row. The Bulldogs are led by Ayla Richardson with 183 assists, Elyssa Amdor with 69 kills, Sophia Taylor with 22 blocks, and Carly Henderson with 128 digs.
The Vikings hope to get redemption after losing two consecutive sets to them in a tournament less than a week ago.
“We are going to have to minimize our unforced errors, especially missed serves,” Muxfeldt said. “We need to be aggressive offensively and focus on getting rotated correctly on defense.”