Volleyball: Norway survives Mid Peninsula, 3-2

Norway's Haley Clifford (2) bumps up a serve in Tuesday's Skyline Central Conference volleyball match with Mid Peninsula. Coach Steve Andrews along with Knights teammates Ada VanHolla (11) and Danae Anderson (8) look on. (Burt Angeli/The Daily News)

NORWAY — Norway outlasted Mid Peninsula 3-2 in a roller coaster Skyline Central Conference volleyball match Tuesday.

The Knights (1-7-2 overall, 1-0 conference) tallied 10 straight points in the fifth set to seal the match 15-8. Norway took the first, 25-20, and third sets, 25-18, while MP triumphed 25-18 and 25-23 in the other two.

“It wasn’t a pretty win by any means but if you’re going to go five and play not stellar volleyball, you better come out of here with a win,” said Norway head coach Steve Andrews.

In the final set, MP maintained momentum from the fourth set when Norway yielded a 10-point lead. The Wolverines held a 7-3 lead in the fifth set before back-to-back kills from a determined Haley Clifford sparked the Knights.

“Haley said we’re going to side out, push it, tip it, find a hole, keep the serve and win it,” Andrews said of the fifth-set streak.

Jaclyn Bal was at the service line for the run, helping the Knights with three aces.

“This was Jaclyn’s first match back (from injury),” Andrews said. “She was solid, moved the ball well and served well.”

Norway jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set but later trailed 18-16. Aces from Clifford and Ada VanHolla, a two-hand kill from Danae Anderson and MP miscues turned the tide for the Knights.

Consecutive kills from Kennedy Englund keyed the Wolverines in the second set. Norway had little trouble in the third as an Allie Sheski kill closed the set.

Five straight points gave Norway a 21-11 lead in the fourth set. MP evened the score at 23 after three straight points from Kennedy Englund (ace), Allison Lancour (block) and Daisy Englund (tip kill). Two more of Norway’s many errors then forced the fifth set.

“Mid Pen is a tough team to play because they were real pushy,” Andrews said. “They pushed, pushed, pushed and didn’t swing a lot, so they kept the defense on their toes.”

Andrews also cited lack of experience for his Knights stumbling in the fourth set. Injuries this season have some young Knights in different spots.

“Our middles are new but they just need reps,” Andrews said. “Varsity volleyball is a different speed than JV.”

The Knights host Iron Mountain on Tuesday.

“Our passing was pretty good all night and our defense was solid,” Andrews said. “But we pushed the panic button a lot.”

COMMENTS