BABBITT—A season that started with promise has taken an unfortunate turn for the Nighthawks volleyball squad as a series of injuries have taken much of the team’s top talent off the court. …
BABBITT—A season that started with promise has taken an unfortunate turn for the Nighthawks volleyball squad as a series of injuries have taken much of the team’s top talent off the court.
“It seems like one thing after another,” said Head Coach Jodi Reichensperger after losing two starters in the past two games. On Tuesday, against Nashwauk-Keewatin, senior Shayler Lislegard went down hard, hitting her head on the gym floor. “She did not lose consciousness but you could tell it was not good,” said Reichensperger, who said Lislegard is out for the foreseeable future after suffering a concussion in the fall.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, junior setter Lara Poderzay badly hyperextended her fingers just four volleys into their match-up with North Woods. Poderzay was out for Tuesday’s game and is uncertain for action the remainder of the week.
The latest injuries came as the Nighthawks learned that standout freshman Hannah Reichensperger was likely out for the season with torn ligaments in her ankle, that may require surgery.
“I have kids who just won’t quit,” said Reichensperger of her team. “They are giving everything to get to a ball and I’ve had to tell them ‘don’t sacrifice your body.’”
The injuries have wreaked havoc with a team that started the season with just ten players in the lineup. Reichensperger said she’s had to call up junior varsity players and set more realistic goals for the season.
The situation has clearly hampered the team’s success on the court, as the team has lost six straight games after starting the season at 6-3. Even so, the scrappy team gave the Spartans a run for their money on Tuesday, as the Nighthawks fell in five sets, 19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 12-25, and 6-15. “I do have to say that I have never been more proud of a team for pulling together and pulling off some wins with a lineup that we practiced for one day, and using one setter who has never been on the floor in that position,” said Reichensperger. Freshman Jenna Smith had a big night, with 29 digs and 20 set assists, while Shayler Lislegard notched 27 digs and 13 sets before going out of the game. Freshman Sophie Lenz posted 15 digs and 11 kills, along with four blocks, while junior Maude Lenz tallied 13 digs and eight kills and Chloe Aase added eight kills.
Northeast Range will take part in the Mesabi East Tournament this Saturday. They’ll host Duluth-Marshall next Tuesday, Oct. 9. Game time is 7 p.m.