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Braves close regular season with a victory

Menahga volleyball team improves to 7-14 with conference win over Pillager

SamanthaPfeifer.JPG
Samantha Pfeifer (right) went up for a kill as Pillager's Sadie Hopman (12) and Danielle Kocur (7) went for the block during the regular-season finale at Menahga on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

An impressive rally midway through Set 2 provided a spark as the Menahga volleyball team ended the regular season by picking up its first Park Region Conference win of the season on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Strong finishes in all three sets led the way in the Braves’ 26-24, 25-20, 25-19 victory over Pillager.

After winning a close Set 1, Menahga rallied from a 15-7 deficit to win Set 2 before ending on a 9-5 run in Set 3 to close out the match.

An ace serve by Erica Kicker and kills by Elly Hillukka, Samantha Pfeifer and Tara Hendrickson tied Set 1 at 9-9 before two kills by Janie Tormanen gave Menahga a 12-10 lead. Two kills by Hillukka made it 17-14 while Hillukka and Tormanen followed with kills as the set was tied at 22-22. Kills by Rena Pinoniemi, Tormanen and Hillukka helped the Braves close out Set 1.

Pillager jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Set 2 and led 15-7 before Menahga rallied. Hendrickson had two kills while Jessica Pietila, Hillukka and Pinoniemi had a kill apiece in the early going. Pinoniemi served six straight points as a block by Tormanen and kills by Tormanen and Pietila produced a 16-16 tie. Kills by Tormanen and Pietila and a tip by Annie Lake gave Menahga a 22-18 edge before a kill by Hendrickson closed out that set.

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A block by Tormanen, two kills by Hillukka, and kills by Hendrickson, Pinoniemi and Tormanen gave the Braves a 13-10 lead in Set 3. After a kill by Hendrickson, Hillukka served an ace and Hendrickson had a tip and a kill as the Braves claimed a 20-15 advantage. A block and a pair of kills by Tormanen closed out the match.

Tormanen (10), Hillukka (9) and Hendrickson (9) combined for 28 kills with Lake setting up 35 kills to lead Menahga’s offense. Pietila (13), Maryn Pinoniemi (13) and Rena Pinoniemi (10) had double digits in digs while Tormanen had three blocks to lead the defense.

Menahga ended the regular season with a 7-14 record while Pillager closed with a 12-15 mark.

Wadena-Deer Creek won the conference title with a 7-0 record while Henning finished at 6-1 and New York Mills went 5-2. Sebeka went 3-4 with Bertha-Hewitt, Pillager and Verndale posting 2-5 records. Menahga ended at 1-6.

Menahga statistics
Serving: Kicker 3 for 4 (1 ace), R. Pinoniemi 17 for 17, Pfeifer 1 for 3, Pietila 8 for 8, Hillukka 10 for 11 (1 ace), Hendrickson 11 for 11 (1 ace), Lake 8 for 9 (1 ace), M. Pinoniemi 11 for 11 (1 ace).
Service points: R. Pinoniemi 11, M. Pinoniemi 6, Hendrickson 6, Hillukka 5, Lake 4, Pietila 2, Kicker 2, S. Pfeifer 1.
Attacks: Hillukka 28 (9 kills), Tormanen 24 (10 kills), Hendrickson 23 (9 kills), R. Pinoniemi 14 (6 kills), Pietila 10 (3 kills), Pfeifer 5 (1 kill), Lake 5, M. Pinoniemi 2.
Set assists: Lake 35, Pietila 2.
Digs: Pietila 13, M. Pinoniemi 13, R. Pinoniemi 10, Hillukka 6, Peterson 5, Hendrickson 4, Lake 3.
Blocks (solo-assists): Tormanen 3-1, R. Pinoniemi 0-1.

Allen leads S-M

Tabatha Allen’s 23 kills sparked Staples-Motley to a 3-1 win over the Braves at Staples on Monday, Oct. 14.

Alix Peterson (9) and Morgan Becker (8) combined for 17 kills while Heide Lombard had 26 digs as the Cardinals improved to 14-8 with a 25-11, 25-22, 12-25, 25-21 victory.

Hillukka had seven kills and served four aces while Tormanen had seven kills and two blocks. Lake tallied 27 set assists and 10 digs while Rena Pinoniemi had 20 digs, Maryn Pinoniemi had 17 digs and Pietila had 11 digs.

Menahga statistics
Serving: M. Pinoniemi 8 for 9 (2 aces), R. Pinoniemi 18 for 18 (2 aces), Pietila 10 for 10, Lake 17 for 17, Hillukka 16 for 17 (4 aces), Hendrickson 9 for 9.
Attacks: Hillukka 29 (7 kills), R. Pinoniemi 27 (4 kills), Hendrickson 22 (5 kills), Tormanen 21 (7 kills), Pietila 13 (4 kills), Lake 10, M. Pinoniemi 5, Peterson 2, S. Pfeifer 1, A. Pfeifer 1.
Set assists: Lake 27.
Digs: R. Pinoniemi 20, M. Pinoniemi 17, Pietila 11, Lake 10, A. Pfeifer 5, Hillukka 3, Tormanen 2, Hendrickson 2, Peterson 1.
Blocks (solo-assists): Tormanen 2-1, Lake 1-1, Hillukka 1-0, Hendrickson 1-0.

Sebeka survives

Jolee Lillquist surpassed 1,000 digs in her career as Sebeka survived a marathon conference match at Menahga on Oct. 10.

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Lillquist finished with 20 digs, four ace serves and six kills while Kenzie Nelson had 34 digs and Maya Lake had 29 digs to go along with eight kills as the Trojans rallied for a 19-25, 25-11, 20-25, 25-14, 15-6 victory. Maci Lake also had eight kills and Lydia Lillquist had four blocks as Sebeka improved to 3-5 against Section 6A teams and 8-12 overall.

Tormanen’s 11 kills, Hillukka’s 10 kills and two ace serves, Hendrickson’s nine kills, and Lake’s 34 set assists led Menahga’s offense. Maryn Pinoniemi (34), Rena Pinoniemi (17), Lela Peterson (13), Lake (12) and Hendrickson (11) tallied double figures in digs while Tormanen had two blocks to lead the Braves defensively. Menahga fell to 4-7 against section opponents.

Menahga statistics
Serving: M. Pinoniemi 10 for 11, R. Pinoniemi 14 for 15, Pietila 10 for 11 (1 ace), Tormanen 3 for 5, Kicker 2 for 2, Lake 16 for 16, Hillukka 15 for 17 (2 aces), Hendrickson 4 for 5.
Attacks: Hendrickson 36 (9 kills), R. Pinoniemi 34 (6 kills), Hillukka 29 (10 kills), Tormanen 28 (11 kills), Pietila 28 (3 kills), Lake 10 (1 kill), M. Pinoniemi 7, Kicker 6, Peterson 2, S. Pfeifer 1 (1 kill).
Set assists: Lake 34, Hillukka 1, Tormanen 1, Pietila 1, Peterson 1, M. Pinoniemi 1, S. Pfeifer 1, A. Pfeifer 1.
Digs: M. Pinoniemi 34, R. Pinoniemi 17, Peterson 13, Lake 12, Hendrickson 11, Pietila 8, Hillukka 3, Tormanen 2.
Blocks (solo-assists): Tormanen 2-2, Pietila 1-1, Lake 0-2, Hendrickson 0-2, Hillukka 0-1.

Braves fall to Panthers

Hendrickson led the Braves with six kills in a 25-15, 25-21, 25-9 loss at Park Rapids on Oct. 7.

Lake tallied 13 set assists while Maryn Pinoniemi and Peterson had five digs each.

Menahga statistics
Serving: Lake 9 for 9, Hendrickson 11 for 11, R. Pinoniemi 7 for 8 (1 ace), Pietila 4 for 5, Hillukka 7 for 7, Peterson 1 for 1, Tormanen 1 for 2, M. Pinoniemi 3 for 3.
Attacks: Hendrickson 17 (6 kills), Hillukka 15 (3 kills), R. Pinoniemi 14 (3 kills), Pietila 14 (2 kills), Tormanen 8 (3 kills), Lake 7 (2 kills), Peterson 3, M. Pinoniemi 3.
Set assists: Lake 13, Tormanen 2, R. Pinoniemi 1, Pietila 1, Peterson 1, Hendrickson 1.
Digs: Peterson 5, M. Pinoniemi 5, R. Pinoniemi 4, Pietila 4, Tormanen 4, Lake 3, Hendrickson 3, Hillukka 2.
Blocks: Hillukka 1.

JanieTormanen (3).JPG
Janie Tormanen (6) looked to pound down a kill past the block attempt by Pillager's Sadie Hopman during Menahga's Park Region Conference win on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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