Fall Sports Preview: PR-B volleyball returns 12 letterwinners

Pine River-Backus Volleyball

PRB Tournament.JPG
The 2022 Pine River-Backus volleyball team. Front row, from left: Averie Sawyer, Brianna Hanneken, Ella Dahl, Maddy Knapp, Caylei Johnson, Kaitlin Rilea and Coach Ben Kinser. Back row: Coach Liz Dahl, Manager Ayla Richards, Alaura Dahl, Maegan Irish, Raena Hanneken, Hannah Barchus, Cate Travis, Ashley Shamp, Kassidy Bristow, Debren Popkes, Ariana Burns and Head Coach Josh Hirschey.

PINE RIVER โ€” The Pine River-Backus Tigers volleyball team is banking on hard work over the offseason to help them be a factor in the Section 5A tournament this year.

โ€œWe love the dynamics of this team and their willingness to put in some real sweat equity,โ€ said PR-B coach Josh Hirschey, who has an admirable 167-56 record coaching the Tigers the past eight seasons. โ€œWe expect to build upon a solid offseason of work, and be a factor in the section tournament. In order to do that, our team will need to continue to make the necessary sacrifices, and each individual will have to genuinely accept and flourish in their roles.โ€

PR-B does have 12 letterwinners to build around - Hannah Barchus, Cate Travis, Debren Popkes, Ashley Crawford, Alaura Dahl, Meagan Irish, Brianna Hanneken, Kassidy Bristow, Averie Sawyer, Madelyn Knapp, Kaitlyn Riley and Ashley Shamp.

Others who could contribute for the Tigers are Caylei Johnson, Ariana Burns, Ella Dahl and Raena Hanneken.

Last year, PR-B finished 24-8 overall after losing to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 3-0 in the Section 5A final. The Tigers also finished 5-2 in the Northwoods Conference.


PR-B graduates Alaura Dahl and Hannah Barchus both were first-team All-Brainerd Dispatch selections while Claire Dahl made the second team.

Liz Dahl, Ben Kinser, Nicole Hirschey, Leah Freeman and Chelsea Eveland are assistant coaches for the Tigers, who were scheduled to open the season against Crosby-Ironton Thursday, Aug. 25.


25 - Crosby-Ironton at Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m.

26 - Pine River-Backus at Rush City tournament 9 a.m.

30 - Pine River-Backus at Staples-Motley 7:15 p.m.


13 - Pine River-Backus at Verndale 7:15 p.m.


15 - Pine River-Backus at Nevis 7:15 p.m.

17 - Pine River-Backus at Crosby-Ironton tournament 9 a.m.

20 - Pine River-Backus at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 7:30 p.m.

22 - Pine River-Backus at Cass Lake-Bena 7:15 p.m.

27 - Clearbrook-Gonvick, at Pine River-Backus 6:30 p.m.

29 - Pine River-Backus at Blackduck 7:30 p.m.


1 - Pine River-Backus at Bertha-Hewitt tournament 9 a.m.


4 - Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m.

6 - Pine River-Backus at Upsala 7:15 p.m.

11 - Sebeka at Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m.

13 - Pine River-Backus at Northome Kelliher 7:30 p.m.

18 - Barnesville at Pine River-Backus 7:30 p.m.

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