Flivvers post GNC sweep

GLADSTONE — In a preview of two teams who will be attending the Great Northern Conference volleyball tournament Saturday, it was Kingsford coming out with the upper hand in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 26-24) sweep over conference foe Gladstone here Thursday.

The Flivvers got off to a strong start behind a four-point service run from Maggie Strehlow to build a 7-4 lead in the opening frame. The Braves (4-7) kept within striking distance and eventually tied the score at 16 after a tip-kill by Anna Larson, who was playing as a left hitter instead of her normal libero position.

Kingsford pulled ahead 21-16 after a four-point run by Kate Cook, but Larson served for three straight points to bring the Braves within 21-19. However, a service error gave possession back to the Flivvers and Lexi Roberge finished the set with a three-point run.

“In the first set it was kind of neck-and-neck,” Braves’ coach Bill Lawrence said. “We were playing a rotation that we typically wouldn’t play, where we kept a couple players out. We kept Megan Crow and Amber King-Rabitoy out because we’re preparing for Saturday’s tournament and neither of them can make it, so that whole rotation was based around getting practice for that. I thought it worked well.”

The Flivvers had little trouble in the second set, building a 15-7 lead and then expanding it to 23-7 behind an eight-point run by Katherine Erickson to put it out of reach. Gladstone briefly responded with a four-point run by Chloe Grenier to make it 23-12, but that’s as close as it would get.

“I think we struggled a little bit in terms of our discipline (in the first set),” Flivvers’ coach Jaclynn Kreider said. “We started cheating off the net, we were having a lot of net errors in terms of blocks off of our hands and watching it roll down in front of us, so then we started focusing on staying disciplined and not cheating in set No. 2, and making sure that we keep doing what we need to do to get better towards the end of the season, and not allowing ourselves to slow down.”

The Braves went up 24-23 in the final set to force a Kingsford timeout. Out of the timeout, the Flivvers scored three straight points and finished the match with a kill by Christy Glodowski.

“We try to practice (being resilient) a lot in practice, and make sure the girls are running drills so that they can play from behind or be in tight games and still feel like we can pull it out in the end by just focusing on the fundamentals and doing the things we’ve been asking them to,” Kreider said. “In the end, if we do that, we’ve got a good team this year and we’re tall and athletic at the net. If we can stay disciplined and get through it, we’ve got the confidence we can pull it out.”

Strehlow led the Flivvers with eight kills seven digs and one block; Glodowski added six kills, two aces, two digs and one block; Erickson had 14 digs and three aces; Brooke Kriegl had 12 digs and three aces; Alli Doolittle had seven kills, two digs and one block; Cook had three kills, three blocks and an ace; Hannah Strutz had three kills; Roberge had six digs; and Kali Dooley chipped in with five digs.

Kingsford also won the jayvee match 2-0.

Each team returns to action in the GNC tournament Saturday at Gladstone at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

WIC sweeps IM

IRON RIVER — West Iron County downed Iron Mountain 3- 0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-23), in a West PAC match.

Annslee Runsat led the Mountaineers with eight kills and four blocks. She also had seven digs and an ace. Kalli Balmes totaled 16 digs, and McKenna Smith notched three blocks.

Both teams head to Westwood Saturday morning for the West PAC Conference Tournament.

In the JV Match, West Iron won 2-0 (25-17, 25-17). Iron Mountain took the frosh tilt 2-0 (25-17, 25-11).

Niagara dominates

LENA, Wis. — Niagara swept a M&O triangular to wrap up regular-season play Thursday, downing Lena 25-8, 25-19, 25-17, and beating Gillett 25-21, 25-19, 25-18. The Badgers finished second in the conference.

Cassie Gill led Niagara with 23 kills. Jasmine Racine and Alyssa Cretton added 18 and 17, respectively.

Morgan Borchardt (7 aces, 45 assists) and Julia Brown (6 aces) and Faith Borchardt (22 digs) were also key contributors in the wins.

“We started out against Lena by dominating the first set. We relaxed a little the next two sets but took the win in three sets,” Niagara coach Carol St. Arnauld said. “We had something to prove against Gillett after losing to them earlier in the season when we went five sets and lost. Tonight the girls were ready to play and were able to take the win in three sets. I’m proud of my girls with the way they ended their regular season.”

With the post season for Wisconsin Girls Volleyball beginning next week, St. Arnauld noted her team has been through a lot this season and they want to continue to play well and up to their potential next week in their first round sectional game versus Florence, set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Niagara.

ND wins in three

ST. NICHOLAS — The Mid Peninsula Wolverines had trouble matching up with North Dickinson’s front line at times here Thursday as they dropped a 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-16) volleyball decision to the Nordics.

“We told the girls they had to come to play and they did that,” said Nordics’ coach Sandy Haustein. “Mid Pen won at Forest Park (Tuesday). We knew they had a good team. Those girls have played together a long time.

“We were able to play off the block. Our serving was a little off, but we had some nice passes to the setter and she was able to set up our hitters. I’m just proud of every one of them tonight.”

Briana Smith, Kylie Gustafson and sophomore Chrislyn Inglese had an ace apiece for the Nordics.

“We had a hard time stopping their big hitters,” said Mid Pen coach Emily Kayser. “North Dickinson had some hard hitters and we were constantly playing catch up. Lack of communication also hurt us.”

The Nordics, who also won the jayvee match 2-1 (25-16, 24-26, 15-10), visit Forest Park Thursday.

(Escanada Daily Press sports writer John Vrancic contributed to this report.)


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