The No. 4-seeded Pequot Lakes Patriots were stung by the visiting No. 5 Frazee Hornets in the South Subsection 8AA quarterfinals on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Frazee won the first game 25-16 before the Patriots rallied to take the second game 25-18. The Hornets then won 25-22 before Pequot Lakes forced a fifth game with a 25-22 win. Frazee then took the match with a 15-13 win in the deciding game.
“We didn’t play the kind of volleyball that we’re capable of playing, especially in at the service line where we really struggle,” said Pequot Lakes head coach Kate Dale, whose team missed 15 serves. “(Frazee) played well tonight, and they are a young team with two or three good hitters.”
The Hornets were looking for an upset, according to their coach Tavia Bachmann.
“We took Perham to five games late in the season, and they’re the top seeded team in the south,” she said. “So we thought we had a chance against Pequot Lakes, who also has a good team.”
The Patriots had four missed serves in the first game, which they trailed most of the way.
“We didn’t play well in the first game and dug a big hole, and also built up (Frazee’s) confidence.”
In the second game, Pequot Lakes trailed early until Barb Miller served seven straight points to rally from a 14-12 deficit. With seniors Vanessa Lane and Katie White each pounding down kills, the Patriots were able to win by nine points.
The third game was a classic battle, and was tied at least seven times before the Hornets eventually won 25-22 behind eight kills by Kennedy Barlund.
The Patriots played much better in the fourth game and eventually won 25-22 on a kill by Laura Squires. Pequot Lakes had tied the game 22-22 after kills by Lane and Justyne Litzau.
In the fifth and deciding game, the Hornets jumped to a 12-7 lead before Corina Ruud, Lane and Squires had kills to cut the deficit to three points. Frazee later led 13-12 when Whitney Janu pounded down a kill for the Hornets.
The Patriots cut the deficit to 14-13 on Morgan Lohmiller’s kill, but Janu’s kill ended the match and the Pequot Lakes’ season.
“I hoped we would play a little longer in the playoffs, and I feel sorry for the seniors – Katie (White), Vanessa (Lane), Justyne (Litzau) and Abby (Abear). We will miss them next year.”
Katie White tallied 16 kills along with 20 set assists for Pequot Lakes. Vanessa Lane recorded 15 kills, and Morgan Lohmiller added 20 set assists for the Patriots, who finish 18-8.
Last season, the Patriots were defeated by Thief River Falls in the subsection championship match. TRF then won the section title and advanced to the state tournament.
Pequot Lakes statistics: Ashley Abear 1 kill, 14 digs; Justyne Litzau 3 kills, 1 set assist, 5 digs, 1 ace serve; Amanda Nies 14 digs; Jessica Nies 1 set assist; Morgan Lohmiller 7 kills, 4 blocks, 20 set assists, 3 digs; Vanessa Lane 15 kills, 4 blocks, 5 digs, 1 ace serve; Laura Squires 4 kills, 2 blocks, 1 set assist, 12 digs; Katie White 16 kills. 2 blocks, 20 set assists, 8 digs, 2 ace serves; Barbara Miller 1 ace serve; Corina Ruud 3 kills, 3 blocks.