Carney powers past Forest Park in three sets to open the season for the Lady Trojans

(Justin St. Ours | Escanaba Daily Press) Forest Park’s Ashlynn Kannich tips the ball past Carney-Nadeau’s Liana Blahnik (9) Thursday at Carney-Nadeau. Looking on for the Trojans are Aubrianna Ahola (center) and Elaina Perry (right).

By Justin St. Ours

For the Daily News

CARNEY — The Carney-Nadeau volleyball team continued rolling at home Thursday night as the Wolves put their experience to use and finished off the Forest Park Trojans in straight sets, (25-6, 25-9, 25-11).

The Wolves (2-0) proved their season-opening win over North Central wasn’t a fluke as they continued with dominant runs and serving.

“Our serving was on tonight,” Wolves coach Steve Kedsch said. “We were serving hard, nice driving balls. I think Liana (Blahnik), Haley (Ernest) and Mary (Sivula) all had big serving nights and long runs. If we continue serving like that, we’re going to get some teams in trouble off of serve-receive, which then plays into our offense. We can get that free ball over, and then we can get our offense going.”

In the first set — after an opening point from the Trojans — Sivula went on a five-point run to make it 6-1.

After a short back and forth — including a spike from the Trojans’ Elaina Perry that reduced their deficit to 7-3 — Blahnik put together an eight-point run to increase the Wolves’ advantage to 14-3 and put Taylor Kedsch in position for a five-point run to seal it at 25-6.

In the second set, the Trojans (0-1) tied it at 5 thanks to an ace from Gracie Peterson and took a 6-5 lead after a hard spike from Ema Stepien.

“I was happy with our back row digging up that ball,” Trojans coach Bobbie Jo Anderson said. “Carney, no doubt, has some strong hitters, and our back row got a lot of good touches on those balls. We had a lot of good touches on the ball in the front row, we had some good blocks and we had some really good serves.”

However, falling behind ignited a 14-point run from Ernest — who finished with 16 assists — to put the Trojans out of striking distance.

At that point, the Trojans started to find their feet and began returning more volleys, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

Sivula notched another seven-point run to begin the third set, and Forest Park couldn’t slow down the Wolves until it was facing an 18-5 deficit. The Trojans’ Maddie Divine contributed a short run to break up the Wolves’ flow, but it still left them nine points behind.

Despite a few more tough volleys, the Trojans couldn’t make any headway, and Carney took the match when a serve landed out-of-bounds, 25-11.

“I just want to say that I’m proud of the girls,” Anderson said. “I think they worked hard. Carney’s an unbelievable team. They have some seniors that have been on varsity for years now, and it shows. We just have a lot to work on, but my girls put up a good fight. I’m happy with the effort they gave.

“(We have some) communication issues. We have a freshman playing our middle this year, and we have some communication issues between her and our setter that we need to work out.”

Coach Kedsch was happy with the team’s game-to-game.

“After North Central, we had a practice on what we need to work on,” he said. “We did better in those areas. Obviously, we have a ways to go like any other team, but I’m happy to see constant progress with this team.

“Against North Central we had that middle attack going, and tonight we had that outside attack going. It’s good to see that we can be versatile. Taylor did a great job hitting tonight. Defensively, MacKenzie (Walcher) is starting to pick it up, knowing where she needs to be. It’s all just getting better little by little.”

Carney visits Bark River-Harris Tuesday, while Forest Park travels to Norway Thursday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today