ISHPEMING - There's nothing like a little adversity to make you play well.
Count the Ishpeming High School varsity volleyball team in that group as the Hematites, who play at Iron Mountain tonight, prevailed over visiting Norway on Tuesday night.
The Hematites (6-2-4 overall, 2-1 Mid-Peninsula Conference) only needed the minimum three games, though the outcome of all of them was in doubt most of the way.
"When we get in really tight games and we know we need to get it going, we seem to know we can get there," Ishpeming senior libero Caitlin Korvela said. "When we get down, we play together as a team better."
Ishpeming raced to a 12-7 lead in Game 1 as the mistake-prone Knights kept failing to make big plays. But Norway came back several times, tying the score twice but never taking the lead before Ishpeming prevailed 25-21.
"We're going through some adversity right now," Norway coach Nicole Anderson said about a team with two starters back from last season. "We've had a lot of illness and injury knocking some of our players out, and we're just trying to weather this storm."
Norway turned the tables in Game 2, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and staying ahead until Ishpeming senior Brittany Doney tied the score 20-20 by using one of her four blocks in the match and tipped the ball to the floor.
Ishpeming didn't take the lead for good until 24-23 when Spencer hit a smash that a Norway defender couldn't handle, winning the game on the next point when the Knights illegally hit the antenna at one end above the net with the ball.
The Hematites never trailed in Game 3, though the score was tied five times in the early going. Spencer then served six straight points as Ishpeming really became the aggressors in winning 25-17.
Norway won the JV match, 25-16, 25-20.
Knights host Manistique tonight.