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Panthers swept by M-L-S

By Staff | Sep 20, 2013

Chris Bieri/PCT Rugby’s Emily Stier smacks down a spike during the Panthers’ 3-0 loss to Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood at the Rugby gym on Sept. 17.

Rugby head coach Jessica Fritz has two key words for her volleyball team for its upcoming week’s play: aggressiveness and communication.

Fritz said the Panthers were lacking both during their action at the Glenburn Invite and in a 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-14) loss to Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood at home on Sept. 17.

“We just seem to think we can tip the ball and win and obviously it didn’t work for us,” she said. “We kept saying ‘hit the ball, hit the ball.’ You have to hit the ball to win.”

The Panthers had a hard time stringing together extended runs of offense against the Mavericks.

Rugby got down early in the first game and M-L-S slowly pulled away to take the game.

Rugby’s Cassandra Jaeger digs up a ball during a 3-0 loss to Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood at the Rugby gym on Sept. 17. Chris Bieri/PCT

The second game appeared to be a repeat, but the Panthers ran off seven straight points late to draw even on a number of occasions.

But with the game tied 24-24, M-L-S ran off the final two points to earn the win and cruised in the final game.

Still, the short spurt in the second game was a positive sign to Fritz.

“When the girls are having fun and talking on the court and congratulating each other, that’s when they play their best volleyball,” Fritz said. “They know that, but they have to remember to do it all the time.”

In the Glenburn Tournament, the Panthers took top honors in the Silver Tournament, topping Sawyer 2-0 to win the title.

But Fritz said the team didn’t play as well in pool play as it had the week before in Bottineau, when it qualified for the top bracket and placed fifth.

“Our communication is really weak right now,” Fritz said. “I don’t what it is, but we have to work on that. They’re a very athletic, talented team. They just have to get the mindset they can do it and that’s half the battle.”

Against M-L-S, Rugby was led by Cassandra Jaeger and Elizabeth Blessum, who each recorded five kills. Allison Volk added 17 assists and a pair of aces. Jaeger and Lauren Kraft each totaled five digs.

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