Strong Cloquet team ices Eskomos
Cloquet breezed to a 3-0 volleyball win over Esko on Monday night -- a frustrating setback for an Eskomo team that is struggling to find its form. "We concentrated on serving, passing and running the sets we wanted to run," Cloquet Coach Heidi An...
Cloquet breezed to a 3-0 volleyball win over Esko on Monday night - a frustrating setback for an Eskomo team that is struggling to find its form.
“We concentrated on serving, passing and running the sets we wanted to run,” Cloquet Coach Heidi Anderson said. “I think Esko had a little trouble with our speed and we took them out of their offense a little bit.”
The Lumberjacks won 25-10, 25-16, 25-15 to improve to 10-3 on the season. Taylor Leyrer led Cloquet with eight kills but, as always, it was a team effort. Alex Oakes had 12 set assists, three assists and five kills while Sami Westendorf added 12 more set assists and eight digs. Kassidy Steen had six kills and Katie Zezulka had 15 digs for Cloquet.
“We came out really strong, it was Pack the Gym night there and it was a fun crowd and a tough environment,” Anderson said. “We were down most of the first part of the third set but we stayed composed and got back to our game plan which was to attack. Esko is a good blocking team with Molly Trapp, so we tried to tip over her too much and got away from our plan a bit.”
For Esko, Gianna Jubie had 10 set assists, Judy Wagemaker had five kills and eight blocks, and Mary Pelletier added five digs.
Their coach, Desiree DeLeon, wasn’t happy.
“We struggled, and that’s all I really want to say about it,” she said. “We’ve been in a funk for the last few weeks now. We have the talent but we have to figure it out.”
After winning their first three matches, the Eskomos have lost five of eight and are now 5-5 on the season heading into this weekend’s tournament at Duluth East.
“We’ve been struggling in general,” DeLeon said. “We’re at a tipping point, but when you play Cloquet and they have two setters who have played varsity for four years, it’s going to be tough.”
“Our setters have been really solid,” Anderson said. “We are working to develop them into all around players. They are very smart with the ball and they know how to make adjustments. If we make a set and one of our hitters gets blocked they understand why. That’s not easy. It comes from being smart, coachable and having the experience.”
Meanwhile, DeLeon is on a search for quick answers for her team.
“I’m not sure what that will be yet, but we are going to try to change things up,” she said. “You can only do the same thing for so long while you’re struggling. I don’t know if that means different players, or different players in different positions, but we’ve got to figure it out before the East tournament this weekend.”
Anderson is trying to peak her team for playoffs as well.
“We’re three weeks away from the playoffs already,” she said. “Right now it’s a bit of a grind for the girls with school and homework and you’ve been at it for awhile, so you have to learn to push through things and keep things fun. We are looking forward to improving. We haven’t seen the best of this team yet.”