Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Gators vs. G/G

by Coach Dahl
Facing one of the top teams in Section 8 A is a welcome challenge as tournament time approaches.  It's an indicator of what needs to be fixed to compete and stay alive in post season play.  In the remaining matches of the 2015 season, the Gators have great challenges ahead of them as they compete against the toughest teams in the area, but they'll gladly take it as this is what pushes a team to rise to be its best.  Great competition only makes us better.

The Gators may have lost against the Grygla-Goodridge Chargers, but they did push extra sets, and sometimes that's the goal.  However, to win against a better team, the Gators needed to play an exceptional game and the Chargers needed to have an off night, and this was not the case.  Set 1 was back and forth for most of the set.  The Gators had to serve tough and stay aggressive to have a change against a dominant Charger team.  Several hitters were able to sneak in kills; however, the Chargers kept putting on the pressure and won the set.  Gator attackers combined for 12 kills in the set; however, the Gators fell 20-25.  The Chargers manhandled the Gators during set 2.  The Chargers were very effective from the serving line and kept the Gators from returning the ball.  The Charger block camped out and Gator attackers couldn't penetrate the Charger defense.  When the Gators did side out, they couldn't keep it.  It was a quick 6-25 loss.  Such a huge deficit sparked a fire as the Gators battled in set 3 and had a much better start, something incredibly challenging to do after getting demolished in the previous set.  Late in the stretch the Gators tied it up 20-20 and were able to close out the set 25-21.   Ideally, teams would like to keep the momentum rolling into the next set, but set 4 was troublesome from the start as the Gators dug themselves into a hole right away.  The Chargers kept attacking and serving tough, and the Gators just didn't work hard enough to battle back as the gap was too large.  Back row passing struggled in every set.   There was a  run late in the set to make it 16-21 but not enough steam to make it a match.  The Gators lost 17-25.  Overall, the Chargers had over 20 service aces in the match, so clearly, the Gators need to do a better job playing the ball off the serve, but despite the weak set 2, the Gators played the Chargers better than their last meeting.  The Gators have to get better blocking on the other team's prime time hitters and avoid giving weak hits and tips back to an offensively dominant team.  The bright side is stealing a set from a better team; however, the Gators can't be satisfied with only that--staying competitive and battling point for point throughout the match against tough teams is key.

Carly Mekash had 12 kills; Emily Anderson had 9 kills and 2 aces.  Brenna Dallager had 15 assists; Alyssa Kilen had 14 assists.  Megan Larson also contributed 3 aces.

Gator Pride runs deep, and Dig Pink night did not disappoint.  Hats off to all who contributed in various ways to make the night a success!  Fearlessly fighting for a cure is important for all affected by cancer of all types, and there is great strength in unity.  Gator Volleyball is proud to do its part--Thanks for being part of our team and supporting this great cause.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gators vs. Freeze

by Coach Dahl
The Gators didn’t have enough manpower to compete with a much improved Freeze volleyball team.  Although the Gators had edged out the Freeze early in the season, the Freeze were gunning on all cylinders.  Set 1 set the tone for the night as the Freeze served tough and kept the Gators scrambling out of system.   The Gators hung with them early on, but Freeze hitters kept pounding balls at the Gator defense, and though Freeze servers missed 4 serves, their servers picked apart the serve receive.  The Gators fell 17-25.  Set two was similar as the Gators could ever get any flow established and the Freeze defense outhustled the Gators and made big plays.  With only 7 kills in the set, the Gator hitters had to find a way to be effective, and the defense had to make stops against the Freeze attack.  The Gators had an 18-15 edge as they rallied toward the home stretch; however, they couldn’t get it done.  Freeze hitters responded and pounded the ball in the court to close it out.  The Gators lost 20-25.  Down 0-2, set 3 was do or die for the Gators.  Finally, Gator hitters started finding holes in the defense.  Emily Anderson and Carly Mekash had 4 kills in the set, which was already more than the first two sets.  Amy Svir got a couple kills and came up with a big block to aid the Gator cause as well.  Gator servers had a few out of system serves, but clearly weren’t as effective as the first meeting between these two teams.  The Gators had the Freeze on the ropes 24-22 but they needed to shut the door.  The Freeze battled to steal the win, but Anderson and Mekash came up with two big kills to triumph 26-24.   The Gators started finding more of the passing well in set 4, but again, the scrappy Freeze defense never gave up. They outlasted the Gators on several volleys, and the Gators never found a way to score more than 1 point compared to the Freeze scoring 2 or more every possession.  The Gators fell 16-25.

Emily Anderson had 9 kills, 9 digs, and 2 aces on the night; Carly Mekash scored 9 kills too.  Megan Larson had 4 kills to help the Gator effort, and Amy Svir cashed in 4 kills and 2 blocks.  Brenna Dallager and Alyssa Kilen had 13 and 6 respective assists.  Makenna Burslie had 6 digs in her varsity debut.

In a momentum game, the Gators have to find a way to serve more and pass less to keep momentum their side.  Serve receive passing has been a continual struggle this year and makes it much harder to get quality swings against good defensive teams.  October gets to be a grind, and the Gators need to continue to be focused and ready to compete.  Teams often improve greatly throughout the season, and the Gators need to make solid strides in their game as well.  “Win this ball” and 25 doesn’t seem out of reach.  With few regular season games left, tournament time will be here shortly.  Let’s rise above all obstacles and finish what we started.  Goooooo Gators!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Gators Win in the Long Haul

by Coach Stacy Dahl

The Gators squeaked out their second 5 set win of the season vs Sacred Heart.  Set one felt much like a warm up game.  Neither team was ripping it up on the court.  Energy was incredibly lacking and feet weren't moving to the ball.  The Gators held off a late Eagle surge to win 25-23.  Set 2 was much more Gator dominated.  The Gator servers did a nice job from the service line to serve the Eagles out of system and keep the ball away from their middle hitter.  Gator hitters were able to find the court to score 11 kills in the set, and several players made outstanding scrappy plays to keep intensity and energy going.  Rachel Peterson did a nice job closing out the set with 5 serves in a row, three of them out of system to win 25-15.  Up 2-0, the Gators needed to keep the pressure on the Eagles, but the Eagles livened up their game.  Their outside hitters were unstoppable and the Gator defense struggled to pick up the ball.  The Gators fell 18-25.  The Gators had their chances late in the set but couldn't capitalize and lost 2-25.  The tell all fifth set went the Gator way as they came out swinging.  Missing the first milestone, the Gators were able to get the next one 10-7 and were able to go the distance.  The Gators continued to strategically serve to take out the middle and found a way to win 15-11.  Nine of their 15 points were earned by kills, aces, or blocks, a nice way to earn the win.

Emily Anderson and Carly Mekash both had 11 kills to lead the charge; Anderson had 2 service aces as well.  Brenna Dallager had another solid night with 8 kills and 23 assists.    Maddi Janicke and Megan Larson had 6 kills each.  Taylor Becker had the hot serving hand with 4 service aces.

The Gators continue to look to make their weaknesses their strengths as they compete against the strong teams of Section 8A.  Excellence is no accident.  It requires a team effort, hard work, and the will the win.  Continue to "strive for excellence" and give your best effort---this is how champions are made.  Goooooo Gators!

Friday, September 18, 2015


 Congratulations to our Homecoming King and Queen candidates...Emily Anderson, Adrianna Horien, Johanna Jacobson, Julia Stenberg, Chase Anderson, Nick Kaml, Trever Robinson and Trevor Undeberg;  our MC's...Megan Larson and Joe Hlucny;  and our attendants for Grade 9...Issie Brockhouse, Emmie Jacobson, Dylan Heggedal and Keegan Rustad;  Grade 10...Montgomery DeZelar, Alecia Berard, Logan Anderson and Tanner Foss;  Grade 11...Caitlin Wahl, Emily Wicklund, Austin Aune and John Langaas.  
Homecoming Dress Up Week is September 28th-October 2nd.  The Homecoming football game is on Friday, October 2nd vs RLCC in MR at 7:00 (this is also Parents Night).  Coronation is on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:30 p.m. followed by the Homecoming Dance.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Homecoming Game in Badger

by Coach John Lee

The Gators played their final game of the season at home in Badger this past Friday night.  The game started with a good return by Dayton Bishop but the Gators offense was forced to punt after a three and out.  The Raiders from Lake Park marched the ball all the way to inside the five yard line but was stopped by a great goal line stand with back to back losses from tackles from Derrick Knutson and Anthony Rinde. The Gators struggled moving the ball most of the first half.  The raiders scored on their second drive of the game following some poor tackling.  A great return by Undeberg and the Gators were 30 yards away from tying the game.   Penalty by the home team on first down for holding set the pace for the drive. On third and thirty the Gators ran a draw to Devin Dostal who picked up a first down but once again the play was called back on a penalty.  The Gators also lost Devin for the rest of the season to injury on the play.  This was the first play of the second quarter.  The teams went into halftime with the score 12-0 following another LPA touchdown.

The Gators played hard in the second half but whenever it appeared they were on the verge of scoring a touchdown the team would turn the ball over or get a big penalty that would stop the drive.  LPA scored on the varsity defense one more time and they finished the game scoring on a long run against the JV defense.  A bright spot for the JV offense was a 28 yard completion from freshman Brandon Pries to sophomore Shaun Waage to end the game.  The Gators will be on the road next Friday as we travel to Fosston to play the greyhounds. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gators Pull Out a Win

by Coach Stacy Dahl
The Gators held out for a win over a promising LOW team.  It was difficult for the Gators to get into a rhythm in the first set—“Bring it” mentality is a must when teams are on the road.  They didn’t really get strings of points and had a tough time containing the outside attack of LOW.  Several Gator hitters were able to pick up some kills.  Gators were up 22-20 late in the set and left the door wide open for LOW to snatch the win 26-24.  Gator hitters earned some kills early on, but the LOW defense had no trouble picking up soft hits.  The Gators picked up the pace set two and started serving more effectively from the back line to fluster the LOW serve receive.  Megan Larson and Maddi Janicke both had three service aces, and the Gators were able to get their hitters swinging as they received freeballs to get some nice looks with 48% hitting.  They marched to a 25-13 win.  Instead of keeping the pressure on, the Gators backed off during set 3; 23% hitting didn’t really help the cause either as the Bears kept making plays in the back row.  The Bears kept swinging hard and they Gators didn’t pursue the ball and keep it from the floor.  Ministrings were traded back and forth as momentum shifted throughout the set, but the Gators showed some grit and were able to battle back from behind to earn the last 5 points of the set to win 25-23.  The Gators came out strong set 4 and earned 5 of their first nine points.  Both teams got a little sloppy from the serving line with the Gators missing 3 and the Bears missing 5 in the set.  Down the stretch the Gators poured it on.  Emily Anderson had the hot hand and saw the floor scoring 4 kills late in the set to grab the win 25-22.
Anderson led the Gator attack with 10 kills, 3 aces, and 11 digs.  Megan Larson had another solid night with 8 kills, 4 aces, and a block; Brenna Dallager also had a rock-solid night with 8 kills, 14 assists, 5 digs, and 3 aces, and Carly Mekash contributed 8 kills, 9 digs and a block.   Alyssa Kilen added 13 assists to the mix.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it.  It’s the hard that makes it great.”  Every match has been a stepping stone this season, and the Gators need to continue their journey to be one of the best.  Mental toughness, pinpoint passing, shutting the door, and communication are keys to Gator success.  Volleyball is a game of mistakes, and we need to continue learning and improving.  The more weapons in our arsenal the better.  Attack Mode On!

Monday, January 13, 2014

On Friday the 10th the BGMR Girls won against Fisher/Climax by almost 30 points! Outstanding!