LUCK—The Pirates traveled to Luck last Tuesday seeking to avenge an early season loss to the Cardinals — the Pirates’ only conference loss of the season. The first time these two teams met back in early September, they battled to five sets with Grantsburg coming up just a bit short, falling 2-3.

This time, they were determined to get the win and did it in just three sets, 26-24, 25-10 and 25-23 to keep the Pirates in the running for the conference title.

“No matter how proud I am of my team for their fierce and determined unity and performance, this match still needs an asterisk,” Pirates coach Deb Allaman-Johnson said. “When one of the best players in the conference is removed from the equation, we humbly acknowledge the difference it makes.”

Luck’s senior leader, Isabelle Jensen, tore her ACL in a previous match and is done competing for the season. With Jensen’s absence, the Cardinals seemed a bit “off” at times and didn’t have much fire most of the night. The Pirates took advantage and got the win.

The first match was a battle with both teams exchanging points back and forth right until the end, with Olivia Ohnstad getting the 26-24 win with an ace serve to the back line of the court.

In the second set, Grantsburg dominated from start to finish, jumping out to an early 13-1 start and never looking back winning this one 25-10.

“They played with a fury and a passion and lightning speed and expert “read.” Jenna McNally reversed course and flew to every corner of the court picking up the tricky tips and big hits,” Allaman-Johnson said. “Linda Harmon and Randi Siebenthal scooped up every soft shot to the middle. Blockers Brooke Quimby, Rachel Tooze, Kenna Johnson and Olivia Ohnstad raised the roof. Passers Alaina Oachs, Kenna, Jenna, Randi and Linda were only aced once. Setters Charli Siebenthal and Olivia Oachs glided across the floor to retrieve nearly every dig and pass and helped our hitters shine. Randi Siebenthal and Kenna had their usual power. Linda joined the big bang gang with her best offensive performance of the season. Our middles hit hard or smart, but occasionally ran into the high flying Katie Mattson, whose long arms and 31-inch vertical create a nearly impenetrable wall at the net.”

The final set was much like the first with each team going on small runs, but in the end the Pirates got the win 25-23.

Johnson led the Pirates on offense with 18 kills. Harmon had her best offensive showing with 10 kills. Randi Siebenthal was next with seven, followed by Ohnstad with five and Quimby with three.

Charli Siebenthal had an impressive 29 assists for the night with Olivia Oachs adding seven and Tooze with three.

The Siebenthal sisters led the team in ace serves with Randi tallying six and Charli three.

Defensively, it was McNally with 18 digs followed by Randi Siebenthal with 15 and Harmon with 10. The Oachs twins, Alaina and Olivia, had six digs each, and Charli Siebenthal finished the list with five.