Pheasants slip at Sioux Valley

Brooke Berens eyes a kill last week against Sioux Valley. (Photo/Shane Merrill)

Shane Merrill | Sports

The Parker volleyball team started hot but couldn’t finish last Tuesday night against longtime conference foe Sioux Valley. Parker jumped out to big leads in the first two sets but fell in the contest 3-1.

Set one was the Pheasants, after some early jitters Parker rallied from a four point deficit to take a lead midway through the game, going to take the win 25-19 behind solid offense from Brooke Berens and Katie Bialas.

The second set was controlled by Parker early, which roared out to a quick five point lead. The Pheasants stayed in control of the set up until the final points, as Parker led 24-20 needing just one point to win. Sioux Valley somehow found a way, picking apart the Pheasant defense and taking the set 26-24, behind a 6-0 scoring run.

That momentum was just what the Cossacks needed to roll in the third set, taking the win 25-21, after the Pheasants had rattled off six straight to pull within 24-21, but Sioux Valley grabbed the final point and the lead 2-1.

The third set was a must win for the Pheasants, and a valiant effort fell just short. Sioux Valley held slight leads throughout the game, but in the final points Parker was down 24-22. The Pheasants roared to life to tie the match at 24 all behind kills from Bialas and Halle Berens. Parker then scored the next point, needing just one to win. Sioux Valley responded knotting the match at 25, with the Cossacks scoring once again, leading 26-25. The Pheasants then got a side out, off a kill from Brooke Berens, tying at 26, but a strong Cossack block on the next Parker swing resulted in a point, with the final score falling through the Parker defense with Sioux Valley winning the set 28-26 and the match 3-1.

Leading Parker was Brooke Berens with 18 kills, 31 digs and four aces. Bialas also had 13 kills and five blocks. Defensively Josie Leberman had 22 digs while Lexi Even had 12 and Terryn Fuller 10.

“This game really opened a lot of things that we needed to work on as a team,” commented head coach Carly Ball. “We are still very new to playing with each other and that can create some communication errors. I am excited to see us get better in the next couple games and really focus on playing as a team.”

Up next the Pheasants played MCM.

Parker edges MCM in five

After three straight road games to open the season, the Parker volleyball team finally got a crack at their first home game of the season, opening up against longtime rival MCM.

The fourth match of the season has a long history of going four or five sets, and the 2021 version was no different as Parker was able to use their home cheering crowd to their advantage, coming away with a 3-2 victory.

The first game was as back and forth as it could go. MCM grabbed the first two points before the Pheasants got their own run going, being led by Brooke Berens and Katie Bialas on offense. The Pheasants held a slight lead near the end, hanging on for a 25-23 victory.

Parker had a little more breathing room in the second set, going ahead late 23-18. The Fighting Cougars tried to make a run, but the Pheasants kept them at bay, going on to take the win 25-21.

Parker needed just one more set to take the match, but MCM, per the usual, wanted to make it interesting, rallying to a 25-15 victory in the third and a 25-14 win in the fourth. That forced a decision match in a race to 15, the first of the new season for Parker. 

Lexi Even scored the first point of the set for Parker, an ace to in the front corner of the court. Back came MCM and the race was on from there as Both teams traded points and timeouts with Parker trailing 6-4 and rallying back to a 9-8 lead and forcing a Fighting Cougar timeout. It was then MCM who went on a tear, leading 13-11, but somehow the Pheasants found a way, as sophomore Bialas and freshman Halle Berens took control in the front line, pounding several shots down, tying at 13 and going on to take the emotional win 15-13.

Leading Parker was Bialas with 13 kills, including the game winning, along with Brooke Berens who had 12. Halle Berens also had nine. 

Desiree Pierce led the back row with 27 digs while Brooke Berens had 22, Lexi Even 15 and Terryn Fuller 10. Even also had 22 assists and Fuller 14.

“This was a very fun game,” said coach Carly Ball. “We had to make changes to adjust to MCM and the girls really went with and did well. I am proud of their fight and effort to get the job done.”

Parker will next have a week off but will play MCM once again in the opening round of the BEC tournament.

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