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Volleyball: Marquette wins Kingsford Invite

Kingsford's Brooke Kriegl dives for the ball during a Kingsford Invitational game against Forest Park on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Kingsford, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

KINGSFORD — Sophomore outside hitter Seiler Hruska puts plenty of time into her game during the off-season.

It showed in a season-opening volleyball meet here Friday as the Marquette Redettes captured the title in the Kingsford Invitational by handing the Calumet Copper Kings an 18-12, 18-13 loss.

Hruska collected 42 kills and held a .464 hitting average in the tournament, including four kills early in the first set against Calumet as the Redettes quickly built an 8-0 lead. Classmate Maria Millado recorded 10 blocks.

“Seiler played some summer ball in Chicago and was selected to go to a USA Volleyball Camp,” said Marquette coach Ann Crandell-Williams. “She’s all about volleyball. Our senior setter (Maya King) also did a great job and Maria had a phenomenal day.”

Marquette’s lead grew to 12-2 on another kill by Hruska before the Copper Kings got a sideout and back-to-back aces by Gloria Hendrickson to pull within 12-5.

Calumet trailed 14-5 following yet another kill by Hruska prior to a kill for a sideout by senior Molly Larson.

The Copper Kings fought back within 17-12 before the Redettes sealed the verdict.

Calumet, behind a five-point service run by Larson, gained a 12-9 lead in the second set before a kill by Hruska stemmed the tide and helped the Redettes finish with a 9-1 run.

“They (Marquette) do a lot of things well,” said Calumet coach Matt Laho. “They ran little bit of an uptempo attack which is fine with us. We’ll play whatever the other team plays. We just made too many mistakes on our side of the court. We lost both of last year’s setters to graduation. Now, it’s a matter of getting our girls used to new positions. On the day, we played very well.”

Calumet reached the title match by eliminating Escanaba (18-13, 18-12) and Marquette topped Kingsford (19-17, 18-13) in the other semifinal.

The Copper Kings scored the last five points of the first set against Esky and used a five-point service run by Larson to take charge in the second.

In pool play, Calumet beat Menominee (18-3, 18-12, 18-12) and North Dickinson (18-12, 18-9, 18-13) prior to its victory over Esky.

The Copper Kings resume in Thursday’s Cadillac Invitational.

Marquette dispatched Esky (18-10, 18-12), split with Carney-Nadeau (15-18, 18-13) and beat Iron Mountain (18-9, 18-14) in pool play before topping Kingsford.

The Redettes host Gwinn Tuesday.

“Overall, this was a big learning curve,” said Kingsford coach Jaclynn Kriegl. “We had basically five practices and were putting kids in different spots. It’s a matter them getting used to their new roles.

“Marquette has a great setter who runs their offense. Their kids are putting the time in and it shows. Seiler is very impressive. It’s exciting to have a team from our (Great Northern) conference playing at that level. I think they can do well in their (Division 1) district. Even having a chance to win the first set indicates we can compete with them. I’m glad we had a chance to play them.”

The Flivvers fell to Negaunee (19-17, 12-11, 18-13) and outlasted Forest Park (18-11, 14-18, 21-19) in pool play, then beat Negaunee in two sets in bracket play. The Miners ended pool play by sweeping past Forest Park (18-16, 18-10, 18-9).

Senior Maggie Strehlow collected 35 kills. Kay Cook hit 11 aces and Brooke Kriegl had 16 digs for Kingsford, which hosts North Dickinson Sept. 3.

The Nordics, who also fell to Menominee (12-18, 18-15, 18-14), travel to Rapid River Tuesday.

“Our serving let us down and our communication wasn’t where we needed it to be,” said Nordics’ coach Sandy Haustein. “Overall, we didn’t play that bad. Our setter did good, but mental mistakes hurt us.”

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