Nordics win Fall Classic tourney

North Dickinson takes title for first time in tournament’s 10-year history

North Dickinson celebrates after winning its first Great Eight Fall Classic volleyball championship in the 10-year history of the tournament. (Burt Angeli/The Daily News)

KINGSFORD — The Great Eight Fall Classic volleyball tournament has been around for 10 years without North Dickinson on top.

That ended Saturday at Kingsford High School.

Coach Sandy Haustein’s Nordics posted a 11-3 record to convincingly win the area tournament for the first time. Iron Mountain and defending champion Kingsford shared second at 8-6.

The Nordics reached the semifinals of last weekend’s Kingsford Invitational. Haustein cited improvement in communication, passing and serve receive from a week ago.

“They were a lot a better than last week,” Haustein said. “We really worked on it, looked a lot better and came out victorious.”

Playing two-game matches up to 18, North Dickinson beat all but Kingsford and West Iron County. The host Flivvers won 18-14, 18-16 while the Wykons split with the Nordics.

Haustein added that court positioning was another factor.

“We were dropping way back a lot of times (last weekend) and not challenging the hitters to come at us,” Haustein said. “We have to be consistent. That’s the thing. If we can bring our game every time we step on the floor we’ll be alright.”

North Dickinson returns two All-Skyline Central Conference players from last year in Sami Borvan and Juliann Wickman.

The Nordics, with a 7-1-3 record on the season, host Kingsford on Tuesday. They start the conference schedule Thursday, Sept. 7, with highly-regarded Carney-Nadeau at Carl F. Lemin Gymnasium.

“That’s a big one,” Haustein said of the Wolves, who beat Forest Park in Crystal Falls to begin the season.

Norway, Florence and West Iron County shared fourth-place in the Great Eight with 7-7 marks.

Three-time champion Forest Park, 6-8, and Niagara, 2-12, rounded out the field.

“We just fell short of really competing as we were in almost every game,” said Niagara coach Carol St. Arnauld, citing service (34) and reception (27) errors in the tournament. “It’s hard to get a win when you can’t keep the ball in play.”

The veteran coach did acknowledge “impressive moments throughout the day.”

“Our team is only going to going to get better as our serving and passing improves,” St. Arnauld said. “We have some power at the net and capitalized on that throughout the day. We just need to work on our serving consistency and keeping the ball in play.”

Abi McCarthy’s 13 service aces and 22 assists, Jasmine Racine’s 10 kills and 15 digs, and Cassie Gill’s nine blocks led the Badgers on Saturday.

Next year’s Great Eight Fall Classic will be held in Norway.

Iron Mountain (5-4-5, 0-1) resumes Mid-Peninsula Conference play tonight with Negaunee.

In addition to Kingsford (1-0-10) visiting North Dickinson, Tuesday’s other area matches have Norway (2-3-6) making its Skyline Central debut at Mid Peninsula and Niagara (2-6-2, 1-1) hosting Oneida Nation.

Haustein said the key to this season is to be consistent.

“If they can do that I think they will have an all right season,” she said.


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