VIRGINIA — The Mesabi Range volleyball team shook off an up and down first game against Rainy River on Saturday, and came back to win the next three to pick up a 3-1(27-29, 25-16, 25-16, 25-19) win against the Lady Voyageurs.
“It was a slow start for us,” Lady Norse coach Sara Matuszak said. “We went five games last night so that could have been part of it.”
The teams traded points throughout the opening game with neither team grabbing anything bigger than a four point lead. The Lady Norse took a three point lead at 11-8 on a RayAnna Wolden kill, but the Voyageurs were right back in the game when their front row size took over at the net.
A Janet Humbert block at the net gave Rainy River the lead at 17-16. The teams then traded points before a Humbert ace serve gave the Voyageurs a 20-18 lead.
The Lady Norse were not going to go away quietly. They battled back and tied the game at 23-23 on a big block from Winter Sainio at the net.
The teams continued to trade points until Rainy River had a 28-27 lead as Emma Jones unleashed a tough ace serve to give the Voyageurs the opening set, 29-27.
“We battled in that first game,” Matuszak said. “We didn’t just roll over and I liked that from us.”
The Voyageurs raced out to a quick 7-3 lead in the second set, forcing Matuszak to take a time out. Coming out of the time out the Lady Norse picked up some points and battled all the way back to take a 14-13 lead that they would never give up.
Mesabi Range cruised from here in the second with a pair of kills from Camryn Olsen and an ace serve from Carlee Maly bringing the Norse lead up to 20-13.
The Lady Norse closed out the game 25-16 to even the match at one set apiece.
Game three was all Mesabi Range. The serving of Wolden proved vital again as she gave the Lady Norse an early 10-5 lead.
They added to the lead when Olson collected some aces or her own. Mesabi Range held a 19-12 lead when Sainio unleashed a big kill that put Mesabi Range within five points of the set.
The Voyageurs tried to get back in the game but the Lady Norse took back serve back and closed things out with another Wolden ace, 25-16.
Rainy River started the fourth set with a 4-0 run, forcing an early timeout from Matuszak. Mesabi Range battled back to tie the game at 11-11.
A key block from Mesabi Range’s Lara Poderzay and Sainio gave Mesabi Range a lead they would not lose the rest of the game to close out the match.
“We haven’t had too many wins this season but coming out like we did today was nice,” Matuszak said. “We have a couple games left and want to come out ready to play.”
Olsen led the way with 13 kills, while Maly and Sainio each had nine. Poderzay finished with 16 set assists while Sophie Christofferson chipped in with 15. Wolden collected 27 digs and Olsen had three ace serves.
The Lady Norse will be back in action on Wednesday, when they host Vermilion at 5 p.m. and Oak Hills Christian at 6:30 p.m.
Mesabi Range 2
At Virginia, the Lady Norse fell in their weekend opener to the Northland Pioneers 3-2 (15-25, 26-28, 25-21, 25-20, 15-13).
Winter Sainio took over at the net for the Lady Norse, putting down 22 kills to go along with 15 digs, four aces and a block. Camryn Olsen finished with 15 kills, 17 digs and two blocks.
Lara Poderzay and Sophie Christofferson split the setting duties with 24 and 17 assists, respectively. Christofferson also led the team in digs with 35.
RayAnna Wolden finished her night with 25 digs