Vikings polish off Agates, then add five more wins

Brian Larsen


Above: On bended knee, Raina Ryden made a great play on this ball to set up her front line as Alyssa Fenstad Lashinski watches in the background. Right: At a smidgeon over five feet tall, Sophie Eliasen was a good foot above the net as she went up and slammed the ball back to the Mariners. 
Staff photo/Laurie Johnson Above: On bended knee, Raina Ryden made a great play on this ball to set up her front line as Alyssa Fenstad Lashinski watches in the background. Right: At a smidgeon over five feet tall, Sophie Eliasen was a good foot above the net as she went up and slammed the ball back to the Mariners. Staff photo/Laurie Johnson Two take-aways from the Thursday, September 28 home game against the Two Harbors Agates. The first, Cook County won’t always be this good. The second, the Agates, a much larger school than CCHS, won’t always be this bad.

Before the players took the court Viking head coach Pam Taylor announced to the crowd that senior Meredith Sutton was the first Viking ever to reach 1,000 kills. Sutton passed that milestone against the Proctor Rails at Proctor earlier in the week. Sutton received a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd for her accomplishment.

The Vikings’ first eight points in the first game – except for one lone kill by Sophie Eliasen – were kills by Sutton. Meredith was fed the ball by her teammates and repeatedly pounded it back against a hapless Agate defense.

It got to the point where Sutton, apparently able to smash the ball back, looked at the opposition and hit it softly. And no, she wasn’t trying to dink it over the defense because there wasn’t much defense to tap the ball over.

On offense, Two Harbors bumped, bumped and bumped the ball some more. Only Agate front row player Cassie Prince had any kills, and she just had three.

A big weapon for the Vikings on this night was their serve. Along with 14 set assists, Abby Prom recorded five ace serves. Sutton, who had 13 kills and 10 digs, also had five ace serves. And Alyssa Fenstad-Lashinski, using her wicked jump serve, recorded seven ace serves to go along with six kills.

The Vikings’ combination of strong frontcourt play and great serving kept the Agates on their heels all night.

Whatever plays the Agates had, were left in their playbook.

The Vikings won the first game 25-7, and head coach Pam Taylor pulled most of her starters for the second game. It didn’t matter because the back-ups won the second game by the same 25-7 score.

Playing some starters and reserves in the third game, the Vikings allowed Two Harbors 14 points before they reached 25 points and took the match 3-0.

Sophie Eliasen ended her night with 14 digs, Raina Ryden finished with 14 set assists and 14 digs, and Reilly Wahlers had 10 digs. All of the girls played and had some big moments, including Hanna Borson, Linnea Gesch, and Jasmine Smith, players who don’t often fill up the stat sheet but contribute on a nightly basis.

Makenna Coan’s 14 digs, Brenna Gelineau 11 digs, Cassie Prince three kills, and Viviane Mickelson’s two kills led two Harbors.

Vikings sweep Two Harbors tournament

The Vikings traveled to Two Harbors on Saturday, September 30 to play three games in the annual Two Harbors tournament.

Cook County defeated Proctor 25-23, 25-12, defeated Silver Bay 25-12, 25-13, defeated Mesabi East 25-18, 25-13 to take the tourney.

Coach Pam Taylor said her junior varsity team also won first place at Two Harbors in the JV division.

Vikings defeat North Woods

This match looked easy, but it got pretty exciting. The Vikings beat the visiting North Woods Grizzlies 25-11 in the first game and 25-16 in the second game played on Monday, October 1. However, the last game turned into a hard-fought contest as the Vikings won 32-30 to take the match 3-0. Games have to be won by two points, so fans were treated to some exciting edge-of-your-seat volleyball in the last contest.

Raina Ryden finished with 21 set assists, four ace serves. Abby Prom had 12 set assists; Sophie Eliason three solo blocks, 12 digs; Meredith Sutton 16 kills, four solo blocks, 12 digs; Reilly Wahlers seven kills, 13 digs, five ace serves; and Alyssa Fenstad-Lashinski had 10 Kills.

Vikings sink Mariners

Playing their sixth game in six days, the Viking hosted the Silver Bay Mariners on Tuesday, October 2.

The Vikings jumped to a 9-2 lead in the first game and cruised to a 25-13 win.

Game Two was different. It looked like the Vikings took “sleepy time” medicine during their break. Falling leaves get more attention than the dropping volleyball did – almost untouched – into the Vikings home court. The Mariners reeled off five straight points before the Vikings scored on a Sutton smash.

Alyssa Fenstad-Lashinski served to make the score 5-2, but the Mariners scored the next four points to lead 9-2.

Viking coach Pam Taylor had seen enough and called a timeout. After some tough talk, the Vikings trooped back onto the court and pretty soon the score was 12-12. The Vikings won 25-16, outscoring the Mariners 23-7 in their comeback.

Game Three was an afterthought for the Mariners, who didn’t put up much of fight. The Vikings won 25-10.

Meredith Sutton finished with 14 kills and 20 digs. Abby Prom had 10 set assists, and Raina Ryden had 13 set assists to go along with an incredible eight ace serves.

The Vikings’ next home game is against Floodwood on October 9. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. Come out and cheer for your Vikings!


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