By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Bombers get their first win
Hey, a win’s a win.
Although it took Barnum longer than usual to post its first victory this fall, the volleyball team did the job last Thursday sweeping visiting Wrenshall 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-22) in a Polar League clash in Barnum.
Despite missing big middle hitter Daron Mainville, the youth-filled Bombers (1-4) were effective with their serves last week, recording over 20 ace serves.
Senior setter Karianna Duesler paced Barnum with 20 set assists and six ace serves, while Allainie Hanek-Siltanen, MJ Anderson and Kelsey Wickstrom chipped in nine, seven and seven kills, respectively. Anderson and Janna Madden each had five service aces in the routing.
Wrenshall was led by freshman Chloe Swanson’s 100-percent (6-for-6) serving night.
Bulldogs fall, respond to win a pair
Losing in a quick sweep at Silver Bay last Thursday, the Carlton volleyball team was seemingly out-of-sync.
The Bulldogs fired off a pair of wins Monday in a sweep of Mountain Iron-Buhl, as well as a thrilling 3-2 (19-25, 26-24, 25-15, 12-25, 15-4) come-from-behind Polar League victory over visiting McGregor Tuesday night in Carlton.
“We started kind of slow and I thought ‘Oh no, it’s going to be a long night,’” recalled Coach Barb Soukkala. “But we picked it up and took it to them.”
The win kept Carlton (4-4) unbeaten on their home floor this fall. They were led by senior Marita Yellowhammer’s 12 kills. Senior Alanna Groth and freshman Grace Macor had 10 kills each, while freshman Brianna Walton and eighth-grader Hannah Benson combined for 29 set assists in the lengthy conference win.
Cloquet falls to Superior, Hibbing
For the Lumberjacks, things haven’t been easy.
Cloquet has lost six of its past seven sets, including the previous five straight, in a loss last Thursday against visiting Superior, as well as a quick 3-0 (25-11, 27-25, 25-12) sweeping defeat at Hibbing on Monday.
Against the Spartans, a Lake Superior Conference foe, the Lumberjacks (6-5) were plagued by unforced errors. As last year’s unbeaten LSC champs, Cloquet is already 0-for-1 in conference play. Against Hibbing, things didn’t take long either.
Although led by senior Maddie Kiehn’s eight kills, sophomore Olivia Mayasich’s three ace serves and freshman Alex Oakes’ 13 set assists, the Lumberjacks couldn’t contain the Bluejackets’ Ebony Gray and her 12 kills, six digs and three blocks.
Eskomos waste no time with Cardinals
In 31 Polar League sets a year ago, Esko only lost one – to Cromwell-Wright. But not this fall.
The host Eskomos breezed past Cromwell-Wright 3-0 (25-18, 25-9, 25-11) Tuesday in Esko, remaining unbeaten in conference play this fall.
Senior standout Stephanie Bandelin paced the Eskomos with 11 kills and three ace serves, while junior Amanda Belden added five kills and five digs. Senior setter Stephanie Miller had 19 set assists and junior Kallyn Knutson – who won a cross country meet earlier that day in Lake Nebagamon, Wis. – also added nine digs.
“Things went pretty well tonight, but we need to gel more,” said Coach Desiree DeLeon of her Eskomos (9-1), which placed second at the North Branch Tournament last weekend with three wins, losing only to Roseville for the title.
“We played right with them the first game,” said Cromwell-Wright Coach Lori Wester of her Cardinals (4-3), who she said have been led by senior starters Brianna House, MaKayleigh Cahoon and Marlene Wester. “Esko stepped up, and we didn’t step with them.”
Rebels improving, continue struggles
Losing all eight of their sets over a four-match span in last weekend’s North Branch Tournament, Moose Lake-Willow River wasn’t looking so hot.
They got swept again Tuesday, but Coach Beckie Jackson was far from disappointed.
“We finally decided to show up and play to our potential,” said the first-year coach for the Rebels. “And that was really great for our fans to see.”
ML-WR lost 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-7) to visiting Polar League rival Cook County Tuesday, as Jackson said her girls dug an early hole, dug out, but couldn’t quite finish things off. Their 29-27 set loss was – by far – one of their most competitive of the season.
Sophomore libero Haley Johnson led the Rebels (1-12) with 22 digs, while junior setter Miranda Jacobson had nine set assists. Freshman Adri Jusczak had three kills and sophomore Kayla Radel posted a pair. The Rebels only win so far was over Hinckley-
Wrenshall falls in Polar League play
The Wrens are pesky and always improving. They just can’t put a full match in place.
Last Thursday, Wrenshall was swept at Barnum, while Monday they fell at Hill City and Tuesday they lost 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-7) against visiting Silver Bay. The pair of Polar League losses kept the Wrens (0-6) winless overall and 0-for-3 in conference play this fall.
“Silver Bay had excellent serving,” said Coach Denise North, whose Wrens have won sets over Lakeview Christian Academy and Hill City this season. “We struggled getting our offense going. We’re a young team struggling to put three solid sets together.”