NASHWAUK — The Nashwauk-Keewatin High School volleyball team has started 1-4 this season, but the Spartans haven’t been at full strength.

Last week against Deer River, Nashwauk-Keewatin finally had a full contingent of players in a victory over the Warriors.

Spartan coach Jessica Noonan is hoping that carries over into today when Nashwauk-Keewatin hosts Northland in Spartan Gymnasium, beginning at 7 p.m.

Noonan was missing her two middle hitters, Addy Gangl and Samantha Woodman, and that threw off the Spartans’ attack.

“I had one out in each game, and that affected us not being able to get our blocks up, and our hitting wasn’t as strong,” Noonan said. “Now that they’re back in the mix, I’m hoping it gets us more wins, and gives us a stronger offense.

“They’re both strong at the net, and they bring a lot of firepower. They're a good dynamic on the team.”

Defensively, Noonan said she pulled up sophomore Jacie Rebrovich, and she’s using her as the libero,

“She’s a good passer,” Noonan said. “She was the libero for the JV team last year, and I’ve been watching her for awhile. She was playing off-and-on for the varsity, but now I’ve brought her up permanently.

“She is a strong passer in the back row.”

With both Gangl and Woodman back in the fold, Nashwauk-Keewatin was able to beat Deer River last Thursday, and they’re looking forward to taking on the Eagles.

Northland is 0-2, with one score not reported.

“If we play as a team, have high communication and try not to get too down on ourselves, we should have a good game against them,” Noonan said. “It feels like we’re strong and excited to play hard against them.”

Noonan isn’t quite sure what the Eagles have this season, so she’s going on past experiences against them.

“They’ve always had a scrappy team,” she said. “We have to stay confident. They have been up-and-down with their confidence level. I want them to stay up.”

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