By John Vrancic
For The Daily News
IRON MOUNTAIN - Different year, different location, same results.
Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photo
North Dickinson’s Miranda Jacobson (left) and Forest Park’s Lexi Gussert meet at the net Saturday during the Kingsford Invitational at Iron Mountain High School.
The Calumet Copper Kings, following a methodical approach, retained their Kingsford Invitational volleyball title Saturday in a 25-20, 25-16 conquest of Menominee at Iron Mountain High School.
This year's event was moved from the Kingsford High School gym, which is being re-surfaced.
Menominee built a 7-3 lead in the first set, forcing the Copper Kings to use a time-out.
Following a sideout, Terilynne Budreau served for five straight points to send Calumet ahead to stay at 9-7.
"They were trying to trick us into sending the first ball over," said Calumet coach Lisa Twardzik. "We were trying to control the ball and play within our comfort zone.
They were tall at the net and forced us into working the ball away from the middle."
Calumet's patience continued to pay off as it eventually built its advantage to 18-12, with an ace by Catherine Frantti providing the Copper Kings with their largest lead of Game 1.
The second set was tied at 3 before the Copper Kings used another sideout to gain the upper hand.
Calumet then built its advantage to as much as 20-9 on an ace by Loretta Anderson.
Following that ace, the Copper Kings committed four consecutive hitting errors as Menominee pulled within 20-13.
Calumet scored the next two points for a 22-13 advantage before Menominee, in a last ditch effort, trimmed its deficit to 22-16. The Copper Kings, however, didn't allow the Maroons to get any closer.
"I think that shows the confidence our girls have in their ability," said Twardzik. "They kept their poise."
Calumet reached the title match with a 27-25, 25-11 triumph over an aroused Marquette team.
Menominee topped Kingsford 25-21, 25-17 in the other semifinal.
Calumet, which resumes in Thursday's Cadillac Invitational, swept Norway (21-6, 21-10), Kingsford (21-13, 21-12), Hancock (21-10, 21-8) and Negaunee (25-20, 25-15) in pool play.
Hancock opened pool play by splitting with Kingsford 21-17, 19-21. The Bulldogs then beat Negaunee 21-12, 21-14 before falling to the Copper Kings. They finished by splitting with Norway 21-17, 13-21.
In addition to its matches with Calumet, Hancock and Menominee, Kingsford beat Norway (21-13, 21-14) and split with Negaunee in pool play.
Iron Mountain fell to North Dickinson (21-14, 21-10), Menominee (21-10, 21-18), Forest Park (21-10, 21-11) and Marquette (21-15, 21-18).
Norway's day also included a loss to Negaunee in pool play, 21-10, 21-18.
North Dickinson also posted a split with Forest Park (22-20, 21-23) while falling to Menominee and Marquette.
Forest Park finished the tournament 1-1-2, also splitting with Marquette in addition to the matches already mentioned.
"Our communication and movement on the floor was lacking," Trojans coach Kim Bjork said. "We didn't play with any energy. I didn't expect that to be an issue for us but it was.
"When we did move to the ball we passed well. This was a big eye opener for us. We definitely have some things to work on."
Hannah Marinoff - 2 kills, 13 digs.
Maria Stankewicz - 1 kill, 30 assists, 6 aces, 14 digs.
Michaela Steiro - 2 kills, 3 digs.
Kendra Campbell - 8 kills, 2 aces, 13 digs.
Libby Shamion - 7 kills, 3 assists, 3 aces, 20 digs, 1 block.
Kelsie Hendrickson - 2 aces, 10 digs.
Susie Toivonen - 1 kill, 3 aces, 5 digs.
Lexi Gussert - 19 kills, 3 aces, 18 digs, 2 blocks.
Adel Isaacson - 2 kills, 5 assists, 3 digs.