Volleyball: PR-B core returns after state berth
The Pine River-Backus volleyball team returns five seniors from a squad that finished 24-8 on the season (7-1 in the conference) and advanced to the Class A state tournament last season.
Those seniors are Gabby Rainwater and Anna Downie, outside hitters, Bailey Wynn and Alyssa Semmler, middle hitters, and Ellie Smith, defensive specialist. Others on the roster are juniors Anna Felthous and Katie Hanneken, outside hitters, and Emma Barchus, defensive specialist; sophomores Jaime Johnson and Olivia Adkins, outside hitters, and Rylie Hirschey, setter; and freshman Emily Hanneken, outside hitter, and Claire Dahl, defensive specialist; and eighth grader Hannah Barchus, middle hitter.
Josh Hirschey is in his fifth season as head coach. Assistant coaches are Lisa Toft and Nicole Hirschey, along with Naomi Horn and Jen Travis. PR-B competes in the Northwoods Conference and in Section 5A.
Last year, the Tigers reached the Class A state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul after defeating Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 3-1 in the section title game. PR-B lost to Bethlehem Academy 3-1 in the quarterfinals and then fell to New Life Academy 3-1 in the consolation round. The Tigers finished 24-8 overall.
"We hope to have a team that competes and plays the right way every night at practice or in games, and then see where that takes us as the season unfolds," Josh Hirschey said.
25 - Cannon Falls vs. Pine River-Backus (Hopkins Invite), TBD
28 - Laporte at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
30 - Pequot Lakes at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
6 - Nevis at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
8 - Pine River-Backus at Pequot Lakes tourney, 9 a.m.
11 - Pine River-Backus at Park Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
15 - Pine River-Backus at Crosby-Ironton tourney, 9 a.m.
24 - Clearbrook-Gonvick at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
25 - Verndale at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
27 - Pine River-Backus at Crosby-Ironton, 7:30 p.m.
2 - Pine River-Backus at Sebeka, 7:30 p.m.
4 - Cass Lake-Bena at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
5 - Pine River-Backus at Northome-Kelliher, 1:30 p.m.
9 - Pillager at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
11 - Pine River-Backus at Blackduck, 7:30 p.m.
13 - Pine River-Backus at Brainerd tourney (Forestview), 9 a.m.
16 - Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at Pine River-Backus, 7:30 p.m.
25 - Section playoffs open, TBD