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Mountaineers seize MPC lead

Earn 3-1 volleyball win over Manistique 3-1 to take sole possession of first

September 21, 2012
John Vrancic , The Daily News

MANISTIQUE - The Manistique Emeralds left everything on the volleyball court Thursday night.

Iron Mountain did likewise as it earned a 3-1 (13-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-22) triumph in a key Mid-Peninsula Conference match.

The victory enabled the Mountaineers to take over sole possession of the M-PC lead at 4-1. Manistique is 4-2.

"I don't think there's anything we could have done different to prepare for this match," said Emeralds' coach Amy Nixon. "The girls were really pumped up. Their warm-ups were awesome. They really wanted it so bad, and they proved how bad they wanted it in Game 1."

Abby Gerhard's tip for a kill pulled the Mountaineers within 13-11 in the opener.

The Emeralds, much to the delight of their hometown fans, then got a sideout and extended their advantage to 23-11 behind a nine-point service run by senior right-side hitter Kelsey Gonyea.

"Kudos to their No. 12 (Gonyea)," said Mountaineers' coach Jeanne Newberry. "Talk about gaining momentum. She played smart. She served the ball all over the court. Fortunately, we caught our balance in Game 2."

Gonyea finished with five aces, including four during her longest run.

The Mountaineers, fueled by Gerhard's nine-point run, turned tables in Game 2.

Manistique was within 14-11 before Gerhard's run, which included three aces, helped Iron Mountain gain a 23-11 advantage.

"Iron Mountain caught their stride and serving errors killed our momentum," said Nixon. "Although, our girls did a good job not letting each other get down. They showed they had some fight in them. I'm very proud of their effort. They didn't want the ball to drop."

In the finale, Manistique took a 21-19 lead on a kill by senior outside hitter Raeanne Robinson, forcing the Mountaineers to use a time-out.

Moments later, a serving error enabled Iron Mountain to get a sideout and trim its deficit to 21-20.

The Mountaineers then secured the decision on a five point run, including two aces, by Sarah Girard.

Girard also hit a six-point run to put Iron Mountain up 13-7 in the third set.

"Sarah served real well and Abby's gave us momentum in Game 2," said Newberry. "A lot of compliments to (senior) Maria Pirkola. She plays a good back row and started reading their big hitters. Once we got our composure, we earned our points. Sarah also placed her kills real well, which was a key to us finishing the fourth set.

"Also, Alena Herman came off the bench and did a nice job serving and in the back row and Kristen Gendron and Mandy Haferkorn gave us some big points. They're developing into good back row players. It's nice that we have that kind of depth."

Senior Monica Giles collected 10 kills, four blocks and 17 digs. Robinson added eight kills, a block and 28 digs.

"Amy has a strong team," said Newberry. "I think they'll do well in their (Class C) district. This was a hard-fought match. Neither team let the ball hit the floor."

Girard led IM with 10 kills. Gerhard and Johnson had 15 digs.

Mountaineers, who also won the jayvee match (23-25, 25-12, 25-20) host Westwood Tuesday.

Abby Gerhard - 15 digs, 4 kills, 4 aces; Alena Herman - 12 digs, 5 aces; Katelynn Johnson - 15 digs, 13 assists, 2 kills, 2 aces; Mandy Haferkorn - 2 aces; Sarah Girard - 11 digs, 1 assist, 10 kills, 4 blocks, 3 aces; Gianna Hill - 2 assists, 5 kills, 4 blocks; Kari Sanford - 3 digs, 3 assists, 2 kills, 1 block; Maria Pirkola - 10 digs, 1 assist, 7 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace.



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