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Manistique knocks off Iron Mountain

MANISTIQUE — Despite two close sets, the Manistique girls volleyball team pulled off a 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-21) win over Iron Mountain here Monday in Mid-Peninsula Conference action.

After a mild first set, 25-18, the Emeralds slowed down in the second set and had to fight their way back up.

“We came out hot in the first set, and we just did well,” Emeralds coach Amy Nixon said. “In the second, we slowed down our movement and communication a little bit. As soon as we took a time out and reminded them of that, they overcame it.”

Manistique fell behind the Mountaineers in the second set, but Nixon believes it was defense that allowed the Emeralds to fight back.

“Our defense really stepped it up,” she said. “They were making accurate passes and digging balls to keep it alive after the second set.

“We had a big presence defensively at the net. Our defense kept a lot of balls alive and gave us a chance to get the balls to our hitters.”

“Our game in Manistique was a game of momentum. We gave up a lot of points on unforced errors,” said veteran Iron Mountain head coach Jeanne Newberry.

Newberry praised the play of Andie Ellis and Lulu McCash for a combined 16 assists, as well as Anslee Runsat’s 100% 14 of 14 serving on the night. Bella Rosenthal and Alyssa Medini were also 100% serving in the match. Leah Larsen, playing the libero position, led the team in serve receives with 16.

After Manistique regained its footing in the second set, they held back the Mountaineers in the third set (25-21) to seal the match.

“Our defense played really well,” Nixon said. “We did get down in the second, but the girls didn’t get down about it. They had a great fighting spirit. I was really proud of them for fighting through it.”

Madison Zellar and Brooke Richey both led the Emeralds in aces with three apiece. Zellar also topped digs with 18 and was followed by Richey with 10. Nora Cunningham and Emma Jones finished with eight assists apiece, and Ella Shooter led the team in kills with nine. Kayla Muth notched seven blocks as well as seven kills.

Newberry said that Zellar and Muth played excellent for the Emeralds.

Iron Mountain, who won the JV match 2-1, returns home to host Twin City rivals Kingsford tonight. IM hosts Hancock on Thursday in a West PAC Conference matchup.

The Escanaba Daily Press contributed to this story.

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