It starts with a serve.
Because of the serve things never got started for the Brainerd Warriors in game five of a 3-2 Central Lakes Conference loss to Little Falls on Tuesday.
The Warriors pushed the Flyers to five games, but Little Falls jumped to a 6-2 lead in the final frame and never trailed.
"We needed to take care of the ball and do our part to get the job done," said Flyers head coach Becky Abbott. "We can't control what Brainerd is going to do, but we can control what we're going to do with the ball. If we pass well and serve well those are two key fundamentals to the game that you need to be successful."
Little Falls won Game Five 15-8 to win the match 25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-8.
Little Falls 3, Warriors 2
Conf: Brd 0-8, LF 2-6
Overall: Brd 2-15, LF 7-11
Next: Brainerd at Alexandria 7 p.m. Thursday; Little Falls hosts Sauk Rapids 7 p.m. Thursday.
Brainerd committed 17 service errors on the night, which hindered any momentum. Little Falls racked up 14 ace serves.
"We even had a service error on a game point," said Warriors head coach Jared Diem. "Unfortunately you can't simulate that in practice. You can serve all day long, but it's when you have fans, a scoreboard and the game is on the line, it's 100-percent mental.
"We're a good serving team and that's the disappointing thing about it. We just couldn't get a serve in. We were an evenly matched team, but service errors were the deciding factor."
The play of Alice Widmark and Hallsey Olson off the bench that sparked the Warriors to a Game Four win.
Widmark finished with four kills and a dig and Olson tallied four kills and three digs.
"We needed some fresh legs in there and Hallsey and Alice can really elevate," said Diem. "They have good snap and it was just an off the hip change that I thought would add a little spark to the team."
Katie Hochsprung sparked the Flyers most of the night as she finished with 16 kills, 12 digs, three blocks and two ace serves. Paige Saulter added six kills and 17 digs and Lindsay Kapus had five kills.
Lexi Hirsch finished 24-of-25 serving with four ace serves, 14 set assists and eight digs.
"We were kind of streaky tonight, but overall, and especially in Game Five, it was our passing and our serving," said Abbott. "We came out on the offensive and the attack. We didn't give up."
Little Falls 25 21 25 18 15
Brainerd 19 25 19 25 8
Emily Thesing 1 block assist, 2 kill, 3 digs
Bethany Luckemeyer 1 block assist, 1 dig, 1 ace serve
Carlie Kramer 1 set assist, 12 digs, 2 ace serves
Nicolette Graumann 3 block assist, 3 kills, 28 set assists, 2 digs, five ace serves
Kendra Rehnblom 6 digs, 5 ace serves
Ally Mueller 3 block assists, 2 solo block, 4 kills
Tess Rahto 9 block assists, 1 solo block, 7 kills
Carlie Sweet 6 block assists, 3 kills
Hallsey Olson 4 kills, 3 digs
Alice Widmark 4 kills, 1 dig
Suzette Dahlman 1 kill, 5 digs
Little Falls statistics
Megan Rakow 25 digs
Breanna Arndt 2 kills, 2 ace serves, 5 digs, 2 blocks
Hannah Cotton 2 kills, 3 ace serves, 15 set assist, 9 digs
Paige Saulter 6 kills, 1 ace serve, 17 digs
Lindsay Kapus 5 kills, 2 ace serves, 7 digs
Lexi Hirsch 4 ace serves, 14 set assists, 8 digs
Katie Hochsprung 16 kills, 2 ace serves, 12 digs, 3 blocks
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