By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Cloquet crumbles against rival Esko
CLOQUET – The Eskomos fought off an early scare and numerous deficits Monday evening to sweep host Cloquet 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-15).
Esko’s Stephanie Bandelin guided her team with 12 kills, while Megan Bergstedt chipped in seven. Stephanie Miller tossed 26 set assists and had three blocks, while Kallyn Knutson had a match-high 11 digs and Amanda Belden added five ace serves.
“We’re a little up-and-down, but we’re playing a little better,” said Esko Coach Desiree DeLeon. “We’re still working on our consistency.”
Cloquet (7-6) was led by Maddie Kiehn’s match-best 13 kills, which Cloquet Coach Heidi Anderson said makes her the school’s unofficial kills leader at 585. The record is still being confirmed. Alex Oakes and Sami Westendorf also had 12 and 10 set assists, respectively, and Katie Zezulka had eight digs in the loss.
“We got some nice looks and had some options tonight,” Anderson said of their new two-setter offense. “We’d get within two or three points and then give up a couple. And you can’t do that against a good team like Esko.”
One-win Barnum continues to struggle
Barnum was swept by Polar League foe Silver Bay 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-14) Tuesday night at home. The quick loss was the fifth time that the Bombers (1-6) have been swept this fall.
Despite the return of middle hitter Daron Mainville, Barnum was sluggish Tuesday. Allainie Hanek-Siltanen recorded seven kills and six digs, while Karianna Duesler had nine set assists and Sage Miletich six digs.
“Now we head into battle,” said Barnum Coach Corina Newman about a grueling upcoming schedule. “Tonight just wasn’t a good night.”
Carlton falls to Two Harbors
The Bulldogs took a stinger Tuesday night. Following two grueling set wins against Polar League nemesis Two Harbors, Carlton let the next three sets fall away into a disappointing 3-2 (25-23, 25-22, 13-25, 9-25, 8-15) loss Tuesday evening on the North Shore.
Carlton couldn’t counter Two Harbors’ 20-kill night from Kaley Peterson and 10-kill performance from Maddy Olson. Sasha Fjeran also had 30 set assists for the victors. In regular season play, the slumping Bulldogs remain winless on the road.
However, Carlton (7-7) posted a 3-1 weekend at the Bagley Invitational Saturday, topping Blackduck, Bagley and Clearbrook-Gonvick, and falling to Red Lake Falls.
Cromwell-Wright falls to Floodwood
Cromwell-Wright has been like a light switch lately: they’re on, then off.
Following a quick sweep of Polar League foe Barnum last Thursday, the Cardinals were on the receiving end of a 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-17) loss against longtime league rival Floodwood Tuesday night.
According to Coach Lori Wester, her Cardinals (5-4) gave the Polar Bears too many unearned points, leading to their third sweeping loss of the fall.
Brianna House recorded 12 set assists for Cromwell-Wright, while Marlene Wester added seven digs and four kills and MaKayleigh Cahoon six kills.
Esko cruises past aching Rebels
The Eskomos didn’t take long to dump the Rebels.
Esko rolled past Moose Lake-Willow River 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-11) Tuesday night in a Polar League engagement in Moose Lake.
The win was the fourth straight for Esko (12-1) who have now swept 10 of their 13 opponents this season. Stephanie Bandelin paced the Eskomos with nine kills, six digs and four ace serves, while Stephanie Miller added 25 set assists and Amanda Belden seven kills in the win.
According to ML-WR Coach Beckie Jackson, the Rebels (1-16) were paced by the efforts of Miranda Jacobson, Haley Johnson and Adri Jusczak. Jackson also said Kayla Radel, Olivia Bennett, Joelene Eaton and Chloe Maloney also contributed for ML-WR, losers of now 11 straight.
Ogichidaa post another victory
Mark three wins for the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School.
Adding to their previous wins over Indus and Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, the Ogichidaa swiftly swept non-conference host Maranatha Academy 3-0 (25-10, 25-11, 25-19) Tuesday night in Superior.
The victory was the second in three matches for FDL (3-4).
According to Coach Dale Sautbine, things are starting to come around for his girls, who are starting to gel more on the court these days.
Sautbine noted that Francene LaDeaux, Jaelisa Northrup, Taylor Drift and Shana Peacock all had multiple kills and ace serves throughout the evening, while Samantha LaDeaux, Keeli Bennett and Tia King all added ace serves as well.
Cook County defeats Wrenshall
Enduring an entire winless season a year ago, Wrenshall still sports a goose egg in the win column this fall. The Wrens fell to Cook County 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-14) in a Polar League exchange Tuesday night in Wrenshall.
Despite their struggles, the Wrens (0-8) have been more competitive this season. Yet, according to Coach Denise North, serve-receive errors have been the key to their season-long woes. The same was the case Tuesday.
Against the Vikings, Wrenshall was led by Chloe Swanson’s (11-for-11) and Delaney Kittle’s (7-for-7) perfect night serving. Basketball star Maria Burcar also had four kills in home floor
College: Thunder post first victory
Well, they got one!
Following their 0-for-11 start this fall, the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College women’s volleyball team notched its first victory over Oak Hills Christian College Saturday afternoon in the St. Cloud Invitational.
Facing the Bemidji, Minn.-based college in the closing round, the Thunder – which went 1-3 in the day’s action – quickly swept past Oak Hills 2-0 (25-7, 25-9) in shortened tournament play. It was FDLTCC’s third win in school history.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Thunder Coach Loran Wappes. “We finally played through the whole match. We were strong all the way through.”
Against Oak Hills, FDLTCC (1-11) was led by Dayna Elmer’s 11 digs and three ace serves, while Holly Nelson posted seven kills and a pair of blocks. Rita Aspinwall also had 14 set assists and two ace serves, while Amber Gregg had an impressive nine ace serves and five kills in the win.
Gregg, Aspinwall, Nelson and Rachel Sanda all had team-highs overall.