Esko falls to Hibbing in title matchup
It was a rough start for the Esko volleyball team on Saturday. Playing in the Section 7AA championship against perennial power Hibbing, the Eskomos stalled out in their first two games before finally getting a stronger performance in game three. ...
It was a rough start for the Esko volleyball team on Saturday. Playing in the Section 7AA championship against perennial power Hibbing, the Eskomos stalled out in their first two games before finally getting a stronger performance in game three. In the end, it resulted in a 25-16, 25-11 and 26-24 loss to the Bluejackets.
"We were disappointed in our loss," said Esko coach Desiree DeLeon. "We felt we could have been competitive at a higher level, as we [were] in the third game. It was tough to end the season with a loss like that."
The Eskomos advanced with a section semifinal win against Virginia and there were expectations for an exciting championship match with Hibbing. The Bluejackets were able to score off some strong jump serves and they also were strong at the net.
"We worked hard on our serve-receive and we did a decent job with that," mentioned DeLeon. "We expected Hibbing to get a couple aces per game because of their tough jump serves."
While the Eskomos didn't come into the game intimidated by the Bluejackets, it appeared as though the tenuous start had a mental affect on the team.
"We didn't go into the game nervous, but it wasn't long into the game before we became intimidated by their tough net play," stated DeLeon.
"In practices before the game, we stressed hitting down the line or around the block, which we knew they would have, but we were unable to adjust."
Hibbing was led by Kate Lange who hammered home 12 kills and four ace serves as well as contributing three blocks. Melissa Nyberg added six kills and a pair of blocks for Hibbing and Kesley Wirtanen finished with 19 set assists and seven ace serves.
DeLeon singled out seniors Kayla Deadrick and Erin Emanuel as players who were strong for the Eskomos along with sophomore Lydia Pelletier.
"Overall, the season was a very successful one and it was fun to coach this bunch of girls," suggested DeLeon. "They are a great group of young ladies. We will miss our five seniors and we wish them luck in the future. We also look forward to next season with a good group of underclassmen returning."
The Eskomos who finished the season at 26-7, will graduate Emanuel, Deadrick, Jamie Rust, Farrah Wirtz and Roz Chromy.