MOUNTAIN IRON — In a volleyball game where both teams came out flat, Tuesday’s contest between Mountain Iron-Buhl and Chisholm came down to who could keep momentum the longest.
When all was said and done, it was the Bluestreaks who accomplished that goal as they came away with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17) over the Rangers.
Chisholm head coach Pam Pioske said that although her team got the job done, it was far from pretty.
“We came out flat tonight,” Pioske said. “All three games we were flat. We were just slow and flat footed. Our setter was struggling tonight and she normally doesn’t struggle like that. Our girls were hitting a lot out tonight and hitting some into the net. It didn’t quite flow tonight like it should have. I know we could have played better.”
Mountain Iron-Buhl head coach Jesse White felt the same about his team, saying the Rangers started the game without energy and never found it.
“We came out extremely flat from the get-go,” White said. “We never picked it up or brought the energy. It’s a game of momentum so once we gave it up, Chisholm was able to run with it. Chisholm did a fine job, but I felt they were beatable tonight.”
The first four points of the match all came off of errors with Chisholm committing a few less than the Rangers to take a 3-1 lead. MI-B’s Gabby Lira put down a kill but Chisholm’s Lola Huhta grabbed a quick point before Olivia Hutchings served up an ace, 5-3.
Two straight Chisholm errors knotted things up but the ‘Streaks secured a lead after that they wouldn’t surrender.
Ava Silvestrini won a tip point to make it 9-7, but the Rangers’ Sage Ganyo got within one at 10-9 with a kill. Lira kept MI-B in the set with a kill and then a block to make it 14-11 Chisholm, but the ‘Streaks went on a quick run with Hutchings grabbing a kill before Huhta added a block and another point to make it 19-12.
Two straight points from Lira on a kill and an ace made it a five-point set, but the Bluestreaks closed things out with Abigail DuChene and Hutchings grabbing two late kills, 25-17.
The second set was all Chisholm. After a number of early errors from the ‘Streaks, Huhta and Hutchings were able to piece some solid plays together on the set from Silvestrini. Left side Hannah Kne and middle blocker Jaicee Koehler got in on the action as well with a tip point and kill, respectively. Up 7-5, three kills in a row from Huhta, Silvestrini and Koehler made it a 10-5 game.
From there, Chisholm stretched out their lead and despite a number of timeouts from White, the Rangers couldn’t find a groove as they dropped the second set, 25-14.
The Rangers had their best showing of the match in the third set, taking an early 2-0 lead and leading again at 4-3 as well as 10-7. The Rangers’ Sam Hoff got in on the action with Lira continuing to excel. During the first 10- Ranger points, Lira owned three of them aces from the service line.
Pioske took a timeout with her squad trailing by three and they managed to work their way back in and eventually took the lead after knotting things up at 12. Koehler and Huhta helped close out the set and, despite a few more errors from both sides, the ‘Streaks came away with the set 25-17 and the match 3-0.
Pioske said her squad managed to play some of their better volleyball after that third set timeout, but questioned if her team was feeling fatigued after a tough five-set loss to Greenway the night before.
“We had to call that timeout and regroup and just talk about how we need to move faster on the floor and the girls did pick it up. There were some good things by the end of the match but maybe there was some mental fatigue from last night. We played really well going five games with Greenway and tonight we just didn’t have that.
“The girls will need a bit of a wakeup call at practice tomorrow. We’ll do a bit of running. We were missing too many serves, playing too slowly and everything just felt lazy. We have to address that tomorrow.”
For the Rangers, the loss stung extra hard after taking a tough loss to Cromwell-Wright, a game in which White thought his team came out and performed much stronger.
“If we had the energy tonight like we did against Cromwell, we could have won this game tonight. They were a good team and we brought it to them but came up short. Tonight, we didn’t bring our A game.
“Chisholm was hitting the ball hard and we were setting them up with our own bad passes. We didn’t give our setters a chance and that means our hitters don’t have a chance. At practice we’ll have to talk about being ready to go from the start. It’ll be a hard practice but they have to work and know how important it is to play prepared.”
Both teams are back in action tonight when Chisholm travels to Bigfork and Mountain Iron-Buhl hosts Cherry.
Mesabi East 3,
Deer River 0
DEER RIVER — The Mesabi East volleyball team put together a complete game on Tuesday, downing Deer River 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-12) thanks to a varied offensive attack.
Gianna Lay led the Giants in the kill column in the win, finishing with seven to go with four aces. Allie Lamppa put up 26 set assists to go with two aces. Maija Hill finished with six kills, six digs and a block.
Isabella Ruotsalainen and Marta Forsline both put down four kills and a block while Hannah Sahr did a bit of everything with three aces, three kills, a block and six digs. Olivia Sahr tallied four aces to go with three kills.
Mesabi East head coach Sara Baribeau noted her team passed and served well in the sweep of the Warriors.
Mesabi East will return to the court tonight when they host Duluth Marshall.
International Falls 0
ELY — The Ely volleyball team moved to 9-0 on the season Tuesday night, downing International Falls 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16).
Rachel Coughlin led the Timberwolves in kills with 12 to go with a block and seven digs. Hannah Penke had 10 kills, a block and two aces while Lilli Rechichi added seven kills and three blocks.
Kate Coughlin had five kills, nine digs, a block and two aces with Clare Thomas adding four kills and a block. Madeline Kallberg and Sarah Visser handled the setting duties with 17 set assists each. Kallberg added four kills, two blocks and an ace while Visser added six digs and two aces.
Courtney Eilrich had eight digs, Natasha Fulkrod had two aces and Audrey Thomas had two kills.
Ely head coach Megan Wognum said she was most pleased with her teams’ block in the win Tuesday.
“We stepped up our blocking game today which was really nice to see,” Wognum said. “We have a couple of big practices ahead of us this week to gear up for the game on Thursday and the tournament on Saturday.”
Ely will travel to North Woods tonight before playing in the Rock Ridge tournament on Saturday.
North Woods 3,
COOK — The North Woods volleyball team defended home court and pushed through a tough third set from Cherry on their way to a 3-0 (25-8, 25-15, 26-24) win Tuesday night.
Skyler Yernatich led from the front row with 13 kills and two blocks to go with 10 digs. Hannah Kinsey added seven kills and two blocks while Addy Hartway had six kills and two blocks.
Lauren Burnett had 10 digs and Tori Olson added six digs and two aces. On the setting front, Talise Goodsky had 20 assists to go with eight digs while Madison Dantes had six assists.
North Woods plays host to Ely tonight.