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Volleyball team returns to IML action tonight

The Pirate volleyball team entertained the Kirtland Central Broncos last Thursday in the final non-league match of the year and the New Mexico squad left the PSHS gym with a 25-25, 26-24, 25-8 win.

Brinda Wallis led the way on offense for the Pirates. The senior had seven kills against the Broncos. Magan Kraetsch had five kills on the night, Katie Armbrecht three and Gabby Pajak two.

Breezy Bryant put up seven assists, Wallis three.

One aspect of Pagosa’s game that stood out was the serve, with eight total aces during the match. Brooklynn DuCharme served three of those aces, Bryant and Wallis each had two.

The team also had a good night blocking at the net, on defense, Kraetsch had two solo blocks against Kirtland. All told, the team logged 16 tandem blocks against the Bronco offense.

“Blocking is one aspect of our game that continues to improve,” said Coach Connie O’Donnell.

The coach was concerned, however, with the way the team went flat in the third game of the match. “Kirtland was pretty scrappy,” she said, “but we had trouble with our motivation. As a result, we took Friday and Saturday off. I think we needed a break. Maybe after that break, with just one game this week, we can use that rest to our advantage. We don’t want to play the way we did against Kirtland.”

The Pirates need to be at their best as they go to Intermountain League play tonight. Monte Vista makes the trip over the pass for the first of five crucial IML matchups for Pagosa. The home team is currently 1-2 in league action and needs to put together a strong record in the final five matches in order to be positioned well for the playoffs. Only the top four teams in the five-team league qualify for the district tournament.

“I really look forward to playing Monte Vista,” said O’Donnell. “It’s good to have this game to focus on. We need to find a way to come together, to keep each other motivated on the court and get away from whatever virus hit us last Thursday.”

Following tonight’s match with Monte, the Pirates face each of their four IML foes in a second go-round, with three of the four matches in the opponent’s gym.