Rapids rallies past ’JacksThe Grand Rapids Thunderhawks defeated Cloquet 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 15-25, 25-10) in a non-conference girls volleyball clash Tuesday night at the Cloquet High School gymnasium.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CLOQUET — The Cloquet volleyball team played well. Grand Rapids was just better.
Behind their much-larger size and scrappy defense, the visiting Thunderhawks defeated Cloquet 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 15-25, 25-10) in a non-conference girls volleyball clash Tuesday night at the Cloquet High School gymnasium.
Standing on the end line during introductions it was easy to notice the definite size advantage that Grand Rapids had. Although they used it at times Tuesday, it was the Thunderhawks’ well-oiled defensive scheme that was most evident, as they kept the ball off the floor and the Lumberjacks on their toes all night.
Rapids came out taking the first game quickly, forcing Cloquet head coach Heidi Anderson burn an early timeout, but the bleeding never stopped. On a roll, Rapids rallied their way to a game two victory as well, hardly missing a beat.
The Lumberjacks responded in the third game, however, scoring the first 12 points behind the nifty service game of junior Abbie Anderson. All in all, Anderson notched 15 service points in the game, as Cloquet won by 10 points total.
The Thunderhawks then answered with a streak of their own in the final game, capitalizing on a number of Cloquet’s late miscues.
“Grand Rapids played well, they’re a well-disciplined team and did a good job of keeping the ball off of the floor,” Anderson said afterward. “I think we’re continuing to improve, but we need to work on our passing and defensive consistency. But I thought we served well tonight and had some nice spots in our game.”
Freshman Alex Oakes paced Cloquet with 22 set assists and 11 digs, while seniors Maddie Kiehn and Emily Fossen each had 10 kills. Freshman Sami Westendorf also recorded eight digs in the defeat.
Sophomore middle hitter Angela Gareri led Rapids with her eight kills.
Cloquet now sports a 1-2 record this fall, as they have beaten Barnum, while also losing to Grand Rapids and Duluth East in their season opener last week.
They travel to Eveleth-Gilbert today (Thursday) for a night game set for 7 p.m.