GRANTSBURG—The Grantsburg Pirates won their 26th Regional title on Saturday night as they cruised past the No. 5 seeded Clear Lake Warriors by scores of 25-19, 25-11 and 25-15 to take the crown.
The Warriors started strong and took an early lead while the Pirates worked to find their groove before tying it up at 8-8. From there, they cranked it up a notch with strong net play and great defense to get the first win of the night.
Grantsburg completely dominated the second and third sets to secure the win and extend their season and move onto the Sectional semi-finals.
“Thankfully, this was our year to dominate, and dominate we did,” Pirates coach Deb Allaman-Johnson said. “Looking at the crazy-good ace serving stats by the Warriors, we knew we had to win the serve/pass battle. As a team, they aced their opponents 18 percent of the time, with a couple of servers near 25 percent. Thankfully, our passers were determined and were only aced once. It helped that Clear Lake missed 10 serves. Our serving was not especially crisp, either, as we missed six, but we did amass six aces to somewhat mitigate the misses. We know if we can put the ball in play and at least get them out of system some of the time, our defense can handle most attacks.”
The Siebenthal sisters led the team in ace serves with two each.
The Pirates’ defense was impressive with players all over the court making sure nothing hit the floor. Randi Siebenthal and Jenna McNally led the team with 13 digs each,
followed by Olivia Oachs with six.
“Clear Lake has some big hitters in the front row,” Allaman-Johnson noted. “There were even eight times that we did not assign a dig error because those hits were pretty amazing. Yet 43 times, we did dig the attack as our defense was on fire.”
Offensively, Grantsburg put on a show with several hitters playing aggressively and putting down some big hits. Kenna Johnson led the charge with 12 booming hits. Sophomore Brooke Quimby had her best game of the season putting down eight timely and well placed balls. Randi Siebenthal also had eight had kills on the night. Olivia Ohnstad tallied four kills and Linda Harmon had three “including the big exclamation point to end the match,” said her coach.
Johnson and Quimby played big at the net defensively as well with five and four blocks respectively.
“My heart bursts with pride in our athletes. They battled and believed and brought nothing but positive energy to the court, bouncing back quickly after errors and firing back more unified, solid, and determined than ever,” Allaman-Johnson said. “We have played some great matches at weekend tournaments against top D1 and D2 teams that Pirate fans never got to see. It was nice to put on a good show for our fans here at home.”
The Pirates will travel to Cameron on Thursday night to take on the No. 3 Colfax Vikings in the Sectional semi-finals. Game time is 7 p.m.
The winner of that match will play in the Sectional final on Saturday night against the winner of the Eau Claire Regis vs Cochrane-Fountain City for a right to go to State in Green Bay.