Volleyball Playoff Preview
BARNUM -- Before the start of Monday's volleyball match, all 15 Barnum players sang the national anthem.
In their match -- like their in-tune performance -- the Bombers didn't miss a beat.
Barnum beat up Lakeview Christian Academy 25-9, 25-15, 25-18, sweeping their way to a Section 7A prep volleyball play-in victory Monday night in Barnum.
Starting seven seniors, the sixth-seeded Bombers were never in question against the lesser-skilled 11th seed Lions in a lopsided contest that took a mere 57 minutes to finish.
Barnum (7-15) finished the match on an Olivia Angell ace -- one of the team's 16 recorded -- and never trailed in both the first and second sets, scoring 50 of the 74 total points.
First-year Bombers Coach Brooke Anderson pointed out that she played her entire roster Monday, in a full team effort.
"We've been a hot and cold team this season, but you always hope by the end of the season you're playing your best volleyball," Anderson said. "And we have a lot of girls who don't want their season to be over."
Those girls, all seven senior starters, are the foundation for the Bombers. Angell has been on the varsity for several years like her classmates, including court-congesting mainstays Megan Nelson, Lauren Hultgren, MJ Anderson, Alexis Kettelhut, Daron Mainville and Sage Miletich.
"It's go-time for us, especially us seniors," said Miletich, a libero. "There is no other time. We just have to bring it."
Angell, an outside hitter, agreed the clock is ticking fast.
"This is it, these are our last games," said Angell "We have to come to play, because if we don't, it'll hit us. There are no second chances."
Barnum advanced with the win and travelled to third-seeded McGregor Wednesday as the Pine Journal went to press.
Top-seeded Carlton (22-5) has a likely chance to return to the finals, a place they lost to North Woods last season. A state berth would add to trips taken in 2003 and 2004.
"We have the ability," said junior hitter Grace Macor.
"But it's anybody's game" added Coach Barb Soukkala of the topsy-turvy section lineup ahead. "That's why you play."
South Ridge (17-8) could play for a while still, yet Fond du Lac Ojibwe and Wrenshall are already out.
Cromwell-Wright (8-10) is alive, as is Moose Lake-Willow River (16-10) in Section 7AA, with Cloquet (19-7) and Esko (18-8).
The Lumberjacks and Eskomos could meet Friday, already, as both teams played Wednesday night as the Pine Journal went to press.
Both coaches, Heidi Anderson of Cloquet and Desiree DeLeon of Esko, are poised for a match that Cloquet won Sept 23.
"I think our girls want a little re