HIBBING — During the first half of the Northern Division schedule, the Hibbing Community College volleyball team lost to both Mesabi Range and Vermilion.
The Cardinals avenged that first loss to the Lady Norse, and now, they can get revenge on the Ironwomen.
Hibbing travels to Ely today to take on Vermilion in an MCAC Northern Division contest, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The Cardinals are 4-3 in the division and in fourth place, one game ahead of Mesabi Range.
Vermilion is 4-2 and in second place. Northland, which Hibbing plays this weekend, is 5-3 and in third place.
“It’s an important week for us,” Hibbing coach Kasey Palmer said. “We go to Vermilion, a team we lost to in five, and one of the three teams above us. If we want a two or three seed, we’ll have to beat them.
“It might not come down to that, but it will come down to one of the games this week.”
In the first meeting, Palmer said she knew what to expect from the Ironwomen, and she’s expecting the same thing this time around.
Palmer expects Kaelyn Kudis to have a big impact on the match.
“She’s kind of all over,” Palmer said. “She’s the spark to that team. She does a lot of good things. They have a decent outside hitter, so we’re hoping to match up Jordan (Steward) with her on the outside.
“We want to bring the block to her.”
Trying to neutralize Kudis will be difficult.
“It’s never easy because she’s quick, and she goes all over,” Palmer said. “She likes to run three's a lot, so we’re hoping to bring a right-side block in a little bit quicker than we did the last time to get some touches.
“When she’s swinging, she can hit the 10-foot line, which is hard to dig.”
Palmer knows that the first game was a winnable match, but the Cardinals will have to clean up some mistakes if they want to reverse that first decision.
“We’re going to work on serving, keeping our serves in,” Palmer said. “Our hitting errors, at that time, we were having a lot of errors on our own side, which we’ve, hopefully, cleaned up.
“The way we were able to beat Mesabi was less serving errors, and less hitting errors.”
Sometimes, those serving errors run hot-and-cold.
“It’s hit-and-miss,” Palmer said. “In some games, we have bad serves and it continues. Some days, they realize that this is important, so they have to focus on getting their serves in.
“We’ve worked on serving and the importance of keeping, at least a playable ball in. Not necessarily a hard serve, but a playable one.”