KINGSFORD - Calumet turned back the host Flivvers 2-0 (21-10, 22-20) to capture the season-opening Kingsford Invitational volleyball tournament on Saturday.
A net violation enabled Calumet to snap a 20-20 deadlock in the second set, moments before the Copper Kings secured the decision on a kill by Kristy Lasanen.
Calumet scored the first three points in the finale. A six-point service run by Marissa Menghini, however, helped the Flivvers gain a 6-3 lead.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photos
Kingsford’s Margo Wittenbach attempts to knock the ball past Calumet’s Molly Loukus (12) in the finals of the Kingsford Invitational volleyball tournament on Saturday. Flivvers’ Carlee Benzie (3) and Andrea Roell (8) along with the Copper Kings’ Ellen Twardzik (11) and Kayleen Anderson (5) look on.
The Copper Kings responded with a 7-1 run for a 10-7 advantage, forcing the Flivvers to use a time-out.
"I'm happy with how our girls played," said first-year Kingsford coach Amanda Meyer. "They played with a lot of passion. The kids were diving for balls. Carlee Benzie played smart and was flying all over the place, and our setter (Brooke Sanford) impressed me.
"Calumet has a very strong program. Lisa is a great coach who always finds a way to get the most out of her players. They keep you guessing and make you work on defense."
Twardzik was also impressed with the Flivvers and how Meyer handled her coaching debut.
"Mandy is doing a great job with that team," she said. "They're well trained. We look forward to seeing them again."
Calumet made the final by rallying past Menominee 14-21, 21-9, 15-8.
In pool play, Calumet topped North Dickinson (21-5, 21-12), defending champion Forest Park (21-19, 21-13), Marquette (21-15, 21-14) and Iron Mountain (21-13, 21-12).
Kingsford reached the final by outlasting Forest Park 21-18, 10-21, 18-16 in the other semifinal.
"We had a good day overall," Trojans coach Kim Bjork said. "We seemed to play better as day went on. Our biggest downfall was unforced errors. We gave up too many points especially at crucial times in matches.
"Our team is young and inexperienced, but we put together a solid performance. I see a lot of potential in this group of girls."
"I think the Forest Park match took a lot out of us," said Meyer. "We wanted to see that momentum carry over into the Calumet match and we hung with them in the second set. There were glimpses of greatness."
Area volleyball resumes Tuesday as Escanaba heads to Iron Mountain and Norway and Kingsford compete at Niagara.
(John Vrancic of the Daily Press contributed to this report.)