BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Rockford split two volleyball matches last week, but received praise for the effort in both from coach Cindi Simonson.
The Rockets defeated Minneapolis Henry/North in three straight sets before falling to league leading Pierz in four competitive games.
Rockford has only two remaining matches in the regular season, facing Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Thursday, Oct. 11 and Holdingford, Tuesday, Oct. 16, both at home.
Simonson noted how the stats showed a great team effort against Henry/North. The squad totaled 15 ace serves, 22 kills, 32 digs and 17 set assists by Kaylee Schumacher.
Three hitters spread the glory by each having six kills, including Ellen Paatela, Emily Eberspacher and Jordan Weeding.
Rockford continued the momentum against the top team in the Central Minnesota Conference by winning the first game 25-21 before losing 25-23, 25-11 and 25-19.
“We went four sets with Pierz and it was some of the best volleyball I have seen these girls play.” said Simonson. “We are coming around and playing together as a team.”
Weeding powered the offense with 12 kills, 3 ace serve and had 21 defensive digs. Paatela had 10 kills and 10 digs. Nikki Friedlein had 13 defensive digs and “played very well as our libero (defensive specialist).” Schumacher contributed 22 set assists, three ace serves and 12 defensive digs.
“I was very happy with how we played,” adds Simonson. “Pierz is undefeated in the conference and we made them earn every one of their points.”
The Rockets have been playing without the injured Lexi Majeski and and Jaclyn Bagaason. Majeski saw action last week and Bagaason should be back this week. The team is 5-13 overall.