By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Barnum starts off winless
Sophomore middle hitter Daron Mainville posted six and five kills, respectively, in Barnum’s first two matches this fall, but it wasn’t enough, as the Bombers were swept 3-0 on their home floor by both non-conference foes Rush City and Cloquet to open the season.
Senior setter Karianna Duesler has also aided Barnum (0-2) with her eight set assists against the Tigers and five more facing the Lumberjacks, including three ace serves.
Senior Allainie Hanek-Siltanen and junior Paige Rilea also had seven digs against Rush City, while Kelsey Wickstrom added a trio of ace serves on Cloquet.
Carlton opens Thursday
Although most area teams already had a few matches under their belts this fall, the Bulldogs have remained idle.
Carlton will open their 2011 season Thursday night when they host arch rival and historic nemesis Barnum in a Polar League clash at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs are a young squad with 11 freshmen and what coach Barb Soukkala said was a bunch of eighth-graders last week. Alanna Groth and Marita Yellowhammer are the squad’s only seniors, while freshman Grace Macor is the team’s only other returnee from a year ago.
Cloquet see-saws through schedule
Freshman setter Alex Oakes posted 22 set assists and 11 digs, while senior hitters Maddie Kiehn and Emily Fossen each had 10 kills in Cloquet’s 3-1 loss to Grand Rapids Tuesday night.
According to head coach Heidi Anderson, inconsistency has plagued her Lumberjacks thus far. This fall, Cloquet (1-2) has beaten only Barnum; their other loss came to Duluth East in their season opener.
In their win over the Bombers last Friday, Oakes had 18 more assists to go with six ace serves, while Kiehn added 10 digs and six ace serves.
Cardinals win a pair
Senior setter Brianna House tallied 17 set assists and five ace serves, as her Cromwell-Wright crew took a hard-fought 3-1 win home from Mountain Iron-Buhl Tuesday on the road.
Along with House, the Cardinals (2-1) were led by senior middle hitter MaKayleigh Cahoon’s seven kills, while junior middle hitter Ann Collman notched five digs in Cromwell-Wright’s second consecutive win.
According to head coach Lori Wester, the win was nice, as her Cardinals have now beaten MIB, Hill City and lost a 3-2 Polar League tilt at rival McGregor in their opener last Tuesday.
No surprise, Eskomos rolling
St. Cloud State University-bound Stephanie Bandelin carried the Eskomos with 17 kills, 13 ace blocks and eight digs, as Esko swept Hermantown 3-0 last Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s Section 7AA championship match.
Esko junior middle hitter Amanda Belden had 10 kills and eight digs, while fellow junior Kallyn Knutson posted 12 digs, three ace serves and senior Megan Reuer had eight kills and seven ace blocks last week.
Senior setter Stephanie Miller also tossed 45 set assists in her first full-time duty of the year. Esko (2-0) also added a 3-0 win over Polar League foe Wrenshall Tuesday.
FDL Ojibwe to open next week
Entering his 29th season coaching at Fond du Lac Ojibwe, Dale Sautbine is excited for the upcoming volleyball season for his Ogichidaa.
According to Sautbine, the Ogichidaa will open things up Tuesday when they welcome the Home School Hurricanes. Sautbine said roughly 20 girls are out for the program that will feature both varsity and junior varsity teams.
Heading a strong class of returnees include seniors Francene LaDeaux and Racquel White along with a loaded crew of juniors, featuring Jaelisa Northrup, Shana Peacock and Kaitlyn Miller, according to Sautbine.
Young Rebels start 0-for-2
First-year head coach Beckie Jackson is still searching for her first coaching victory. The Moose Lake-Willow River bunch has lost their open two matches of the fall at Hinckley-Finlayson and East Central.
Last Tuesday in Hinckley, the visiting Rebels (0-2) lost a 3-2 thriller, while last Thursday they were swept 3-0 against the Eagles.
Facing East Central, sophomore Hayley Johnson led ML-WR with 21 digs, while fellow sophomore Dana Olson added seven of her own. Junior Miranda Jacobson also had seven set assists with freshman Adri Jusczak smashed three kills.
Wrens lose two; are improving
Returning nearly their entire starting cast from a year ago has made the Wrens a much more competitive crew this fall. And although they’ve been swept by both Mountain Iron-Buhl and Esko, Wrenshall is hanging in there.
According to head coach Denise North, her Wrens (0-2) struggled returning the serve against the juggernaut Eskomos Tuesday, making things difficult. Last Tuesday night in their road opener at MIB, senior Natalie Peaney had four ace serves, while fellow senior Sam Oland record 100-percent serving on an evening where the Wrens scored 28 points in a losing set.