Moorhead at Brainerd
For the first time in who knows how long, maybe never, the Brainerd Warriors faced off against Moorhead in the regular season in volleyball. The two teams are familiar, as they’ve met in the section 8AAA playoffs the last three years. The Spuds eliminated the Warriors in each of those matchups, as they have claimed the section title in each of the past five years.
But this night would belong to the Warriors. After Moorhead started the opening set up 4-0, the Warriors dug in and battled. There were seven ties and three lead changes in the set. Brainerd finished stronger with a 5-1 burst to take a 19-16 lead, and then scored five of the last seven points to take it 25-21.
In set two, Moorhead surprisingly struggled to get into a rhythm, and the Warriors took full advantage to go up 2-0. Brainerd started up 9-1, and led by as many as 13 before claiming a 25-15 win.
The Spuds got a spark in set three, coming out with great energy and agressive play. The Warriors struggled to gain control as Moorhead was up 11-4 early, and kept the Warriors at arm’s length. Brainerd wouldn’t get within five from the Spuds’ lead, and Moorhead took the set 25-17.
At first, it appeared Moorhead would keep the momentum as they burst out of the gate in set four to lead 5-1. After the Warriors cut it to 6-4, back to back points had Moorhead back up 8-4. But then the script flipped back in favor of the home team. The Warriors scored eight straight to go up 12-8, setting up a back-and-forth battle until another Warriors run of 9-2 put them at match point 24-17. The Spuds, a program with a pedigree, made it very interesting with a 6-0 run keeping the Warriors fighting for the win. A serve that did not miss the line by much was just out of bounds to give Brainerd the set win 25-23.
Brainerd is now 5-2 on the year, while the Spuds are now 5-3.
Team Stats: Serving- Moorhead 78/82 (95%), 6 Aces; Brainerd 82/91 (90%), 4 aces
Blocks- Brainerd 5, Moorhead 4
Moorhead Leaders: Alexa Gronwald 21 assists, 15/16 serving, 4 aces; Sam Zimmerman 16 kills, block, 9/9 serving, Riane Mohagen 7 kills
Brainerd Leaders: Madison Genz 13 kills, 2 assists, 13/15 serving, 2 aces; Abbi Bohlen 21 assists, 17/18 serving, Grace Peabody 13 assists, 12/13 serving, ace; Karlie Anderson 8 kills, 3 blocks; Kate Stadum 7 kills, block, 17/19 serving, ace; Hala Davis 7 kills