Week of volleyball action resembles Rockford’s season story line

BY DAVID PEDERSEN

The results of the seven volleyball matches played by Rockford last week was a good example of how the season has gone.

Like the season, the week started well with victories over Brooklyn Center Monday and Providence Academy Tuesday. Next came some inconsistent play, mainly attributed to more injuries to key players.

Nikki Friedlein digs the volleyball for Rockford. (Photo by Bill Decker)

Nikki Friedlein digs the volleyball for Rockford. (Photo by Bill Decker)

Rockford lost to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Thursday and all four matches at last Saturday’s Dassel-Cokato Invitational. Although competitive at times, the Rockets lost to Watertown-Mayer, Eden Valley-Watkins, St. Cloud Tech and BOLD at DC.

Rockford had been slowed this season by injuries to leading hitters Jordan Weeding and Lexi Majeski. Coach Cindi Simonson said because of injuries she has gone back and forth with using setters.

Senior Jaclyn Bagaason has been the starting setter and Kayla Schumacher the backup. But with Majeski out, Simonson needed another middle hitter, so Emily Eberspacher has been filling that spot. Schumacher moved to help in the back row defense.

Against BBE Rockford changed things again by playing a 5-1 offense, using Schumacher as the setter. Weeding led with six kills and nine defensive digs and Ellen Paatela had four kills and six digs, as did Eberspacher.

The week prior, Paatela was named Central Minnesota Conference player of the week. Against Providence Academy she had 14 kills.

At the DC invite, Bagaason got hit really hard by a ball toward and had to sit out the last match against Bold. She will be looked at by the trainer.

Simonson said Schumacher had a great weekend as the setter, getting 34 set assists and 16 digs.

The coach is hoping Majeski will return for the home games against Pierz on Thursday, Oct. 4 and Park Center, Monday, Oct. 8.

“We are coming around but we still struggle to finish,” adds Simonson about the 5-15 overall record. “I am hoping we can get some more wins before the season ends and we go off to playoff.”

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