By STEVE BROWNLEE
For The Daily News
GWINN - Students who talk in class often get sent to the principal's office.
Matt Keiser/Mining Journal Photo
Norway’s Leah Mattson goes for the kill as Gwinn’s Bella Wedig and Shelby Taisma attempt a block during the second set in Gwinn Thursday.
But volleyball players who talk a lot get a gold star from their coach.
That was a key for the Gwinn varsity team on Thursday night in a 3-1 Mid-Peninsula Conference victory in the Modeltowners gym. GHS (5-2 in the M-PC) prevailed 25-16, 25-18, 18-25, 25-17.
"One of our problems in the third game is that we weren't communicating," said junior hitter Chelsea Moton, who led Gwinn with nine kills while adding two blocks. "Coach has had us doing talking drills."
The coach, Stephanie Bahrman, agreed.
"I really stress talking on the court," she said. "A lot of girls will call the ball for themselves, but I stress to our setter to be the quarterback on the court, getting her to tell people to keep being vocal."
Shelby added eight kills, two blocks and a service ace as they were among a half-dozen Gwinn girls to chalk up multiple kills.
"We've got a very well-rounded team," Bahrman said. "I'm happy with how we've improved during this season, though there's still a few things we're working on.
"We want to be at the top of our game when it's time for the districts."
For Norway, coach Nicole Anderson was concerned about her team's errors.
"We need to play cleaner ball," she said. "Our unforced errors took us out of the game in sets 1, 2 and 4.
"Leah Mattson was strong up front for us and Bailey Grayvold was scrappy on defense."
Mattson, a junior middle hitter, led all players with 11 kills while adding two aces, a block and a dig. Grayvold, a senior outside hitter, made nine kills while adding 13 digs and a block.
In game 1, the teams traded leads early on before Gwinn went ahead for good at 9-8 when senior left hitter Morgan Bruce collected one of her five kills on a directional tip to a hole in Norway's defense.
The home team raced to a 9-1 lead in game 2 on the strength of three straight aces by Bruce, keeping the advantage at five points or more after that.
Then the Modeltowners seemed to lose their energy, trailing for all but a few points in game 3. Norway took the lead for good at 13-12 when senior outside hitter Heather Evosevich made one of her nine kills on a severe cross-court hit that caught the Gwinn front row off guard.
The Knights parlayed their momentum into an early lead in game 4, but a number of unforced errors turned Norway's 5-1 lead into a 7-7 tie a few minutes later.
Gwinn took the lead for good at 9-8 when Moton blocked a kill attempt by Grayvold back into the Norway floor.
In the JV match, Norway won 25-10, 25-18. Knights play at Westwood Tuesday.
Norway Summary (kills-aces-solo blocks): Bal, 0-2-0; Negro, 2-3-0; Anderson, 1-0-0; Mattson, 11-2-1; Evosevich, 9-1-1; Kurth, 5-0-1; Grayvold, 9-0-1; Strong, 1-3-0. Totals, 38-11-4.
Assists: 35 (Negro, 18); Blocks: 4; Digs: 44 (Grayvold, 13).