Volleyball Roundup...News about Cloquet and other area teamsHeidi Anderson had the perspective that comes with wisdom. For that, the coach at least could speak after the 3-2 Cloquet match loss to Hermantown, Tuesday (25-21, 25-19, 18-25, 22-25, 6-15).
By: Brady Slater, Pine Journal
HERMANTOWN — Heidi Anderson had the perspective that comes with wisdom. For that, the coach at least could speak after the 3-2 Cloquet match loss to Hermantown, Tuesday (25-21, 25-19, 18-25, 22-25, 6-15).
It was a loss that slipped Cloquet like a fall from bed to 5-1, and lifted the Hawks to the Lake Superior Conference title at a perfect 6-0. The Lumberjacks were mostly speechless after having a 2-0 game lead slip away like a daydream gone Poof!
“You have two big goals to start the season,” Anderson said. “Winning the conference is one of them.”
Getting to State is the other.
Cloquet (20-6) will likely host, as No. 2 seed, a section playoff game against a prospective seventh-seeded Crosby-Ironton next week to begin a state march. But a whole lot of good that did Anderson trying to explain it to her players while they could hear the Hawks squealing with comeback delight in the background. The air was out of Cloquet’s balloon. Would it return?
“We’ll know tomorrow,” said Anderson.
Anderson was worried about lasting effect.
Hard to figure the way things started. Cloquet was so fluid and moving like some single-celled organism throughout the first two games — getting to everything; forming for digs then morphing for attacks. Cloquet’s full-section traveling pep crowd, all wearing black, came to party and was being rewarded.
Hermantown’s epic comeback was stitched together in rallies, Nadal-Federer-type rallies, that saw 25-35-even-45-touch rallies start to fall the way of the Hawks. Their swaggering sophomore Hailey Menzel started pounding winners. Their support players started to launch volleys to the back corners, getting outside Cloquet’s organism. What haunted the Hawks early, suddenly turned back on Cloquet. And for the final three games Cloquet was the one being chased.
By the time junior Alexandra Oakes extolled her team in Game 5 “Right here!” the score was Cloquet trailing 12-4 and the line they’d have to prevent the Hawks from crossing was already overcome. Oakes and fellow blockers Kassidy Steen and Olivia Mayasich played valiantly, but were doing so in someone else’s fairy tale.
Cloquet’s service game coughed up too many unforced errors to help arrest its three-game slide. Certainly, that’ll be a takeaway from this one.
Otherwise, Anderson is left to convince her players that a state run can happen without the fuel of a conference championship.
“We came as close as you can without winning it,” Anderson said. “We’ve got new things coming up; we’ll have to focus.”
Barnum (6-15) battled but lost 18-25, 16-25, 19-25 to visiting Esko (18-8) in a Polar League lashing Tuesday. The Bombers, losers of six of seven, were led by Olivia Angell and Maddy Hlavka’s nine-kill combo. For Esko, Christaia Houser’s 10 kills, backing Courtney Johnston’s 30 set assists, helped elevate them to the sweep.
Carlton (22-5) creamed host Cromwell-Wright (8-10) in three sets, 25-12, 25-12, 25-10, in a Polar League trampling Tuesday. The Bulldogs were boosted by Macy Belich 12 kills and Grace Macor’s 11 in closing their schedule. The Cardinals were carried by Kiiera Anderson and Rachel Hutar’s 18 combined digs.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe (11-3) was on hold Tuesday against visiting Lakeview Christian Academy due to a water leak in their gym. The Ogichidaa, winners of three of four, host the Lions tonight (Oct. 17) in Cloquet.
Moose Lake-Willow River (16-10) romped past Wrenshall (6-13-2) in three sets, 25-9, 25-11, 25-21, in a Polar League landslide Tuesday at home. The red-hot Rebels relied on Adri Jusczak and Jodi Michalski’s 16-kill sequence. The much-improved Wrens were guided by Tatum Swanson’s seven kills.
South Ridge (17-8) ripped by Proctor 25-15, 25-15, 25-17 on the road Tuesday, as Krystal Karppinen and Mikayla Olesiak combined for 21 kills.
FDLTCC (0-14) fell to Itasca 13-25, 10-25, 7-25 in a Minnesota College Athletic Conference clubbing Tuesday in Grand Rapids. The Thunder, losers of all 42 sets, was maintained by MaKayleigh Cahoon.