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Volleyball: PR-B core returns after state berth

The state-qualifying Tiger volleyball team's entire core remains in tact as they prepare for the upcoming season. Dan Determan / Echo Journal 1 / 2
The 2018 Pine River-Backus volleyball team. Front row, from left: Anna Downie, Ellie Smith, Alyssa Semmler, Bailey Wynn and Gabby Rainwater. Back row: Anna Felthous, Katie Hanneken, Emma Barchus, Olivia Adkins, Jaime Johnson, Rylie Hirschey, Emily Hanneken, Hannah Barchus and Claire Dahl. Dan Determan / Echo Journal2 / 2

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.

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August

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.

September

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.

October

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

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.

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