IRON MOUNTAIN - Iron Mountain's practice paid off in a 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-20) volleyball sweep of Escanaba on Tuesday.
"Coming off the Kingsford Invitational, we worked on a couple things in practice," said Mountaineer coach Jeanne Newberry, referring to Saturday's opener.
Iron Mountain, who held a 13-0 lead in the first game, stressed getting lower for serve receive and being in position.
Theresa Peterson/The Daily News Photo
Niagara’s Maryellen Wagener (9) and Danielle Bennett (3) put up a block as Kingsford’s Margo Wittenbach fires during Tuesday’s volleyball triangular at Niagara. Flivvers Brooke Sanford (12) and Carlee Benzie (3) along with Niagara’s Abbey Bagnieschi (21) watch the play.
"We've been changing our defense depending on the hitting game or tipping game," said Newberry, whose Mountaineers faced the Eskymos' tipping tactics in the third game. "In doing so we had to change our defense around."
Escanaba also opened the season Saturday in the highly-competitive Sault Invitational. Petoskey pounded Houghton 25-5, 25-9 for a fourth straight Sault title.
"We are a very young team as far as varsity experience," Escanaba Coach Bron Harmon said. "Each time we're taking the court we're getting a little better."
Eskymos' Holly Ettenhofer and Sydney Gafner each chalked up four kills; Ashley Cook tallied five digs and Brittany Bruce had four, and Ettenhofer added six assists.
"Our serving and defense were very strong," said Harmon, whose Eskymos travel to Manistique on Monday. "Our hitters are just early so our timing is off and we're having trouble finishing points.
"But other than that I'm happy with the way they're playing."
Newberry figures, "technically," her Mountaineers have practiced for just seven days.
"It's nice to see the whole team come out strong," she said. "I think I have a good rotation where I can utilize everybody."
Mountaineer floor leader Katelynn Johnson tallied eight assists; Abby Gerhard accounted for five kills, and Sarah Girard and Kari Sanford notched six digs apiece.
Newberry cited her younger players, crediting freshman "libero" Susie Hagan (5 digs) for "settling in every day. She is going to be a good asset for years to come."
Sophomore Marti Pirkola (4 kills) is "is learning outside hitting coming from the middle position."
Kari Sanford posted two ace serves with six digs.
"I give credit to Kari Sanford," Newberry said. "She had a nice stretch of serving.
"They're confident in their serving."
Iron Mountain competes Saturday in the Great Eight Invitational at Kingsford.
Iron Mountain's junior varsity, coached by Lori Cevigney, defeated Escanaba 2-1.
Mountaineer summary follows:
Assists - Katelynn Johnson 8.
Kills - Abby Gerhard 5, Maria Pirkola 4, Marti Pirkola and Gianna Hill 3 each.
Digs - Sarah Girard and Kari Sanford 6 each, Susie Hagan 5.
Ace serves - Abby Gerhard, Katelynn Johnson and Sarah Girard 2 each.
Flivvers take two
NIAGARA, Wis. - Kingsford pulled off a sweep of a volleyball triangular here Tuesday, defeating Niagara 25-18, 25-13 (16-25) and Norway 25-20, 25-18 (25-10).
Niagara knocked off Norway 25-15, 24-26, 25-23.
For Niagara it was the first action of the season.
"I didn't know what to expect," Lady Badgers coach Carol St. Arnauld said. "I'm happy with the way we played. There are things we have to work on,
mainly keeping the ball in play. If we can do that, we'll be alright. We'll get better."
Knights coach Nicole Anderson, despite losing, was pleased her club's effort.
"We have made improvements from where we started on Saturday," she said. "The girls played with a lot of heart tonight and that was wonderful to see.
"Bailey Grayvold had a great all-round game for us tonight. She is a great leader and is my voice on the floor. Our seniors also stepped up tonight and did great things with the ball. I look forward to watch this team grow and improve through the season."
Kingsford and Niagara play again Thursday, the Flivvers hosting Stephenson and Niagara staging a M&O Conference triangular against Suring and Gillett.
Norway plays Saturday at the Great 8 Classic in Kingsford.
Danielle Bennett - 1 kill, 2 digs, 18 assists, 1 ace; Maryellen Wagner - 15 kills, 4 blocks, 3 digs, 1 assists, 2 aces; Shelby Borchardt - 6 kills, 4 digs, 1 assists, 3 aces; Kaitlyn Lundin - 10 kills, 1 block, 1 assist; Abbey Bagnieschi - 1 kill, 17 assists; Shanna Nordell - 9 kills, 2 digs, 2 aces; Paige Lindlbauer - 1 dig.
Keerstin Hewlett - 11 digs; Krista Urbanc - 1 dig; Lexi Negro - 19 digs, 4 assists, 1 ace, 1 kill; Hannah Anderson - 14 digs, 2 assists; Leah Mattson - 6 kills, 1 ace, 3 digs; Heather Eveosevich - 19 digs, 8 kills, 1 assist, 2 aces; Melanie Kurth - 7 kills; Bailey Grayvold - 18 digs, 15 kills, 3 aces; Brandi Strong - 1 kill, 2 aces, 1 dig.