MARQUETTE - Tuesday night's volleyball match at Marquette Senior High School might've been a district tournament preview for November.
But Redettes coach Sarah Peura hopes it's more of a lesson than anything else.
Sault Ste. Marie swept MSHS in three games, 25-13, 25-16, 25-19, in the only scheduled meeting of the Upper Peninsula's two Class A schools. Being in that situation will mean they'll be in the same district, and possibly set up to play each other in a first-round match.
Marquette Senior High School’s Kali Brosco reaches for a dig during the third game against Sault Area High School at MSHS on Tuesday. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
"We just have to start jelling and beginning to trust each other," Peura said. "They're learning, but it's just a matter of coming together and having confidence in each other.
"They weren't able to read that well. It was our mistakes that lost it for us."
The teams seemed to have similar firepower on the front lines, with MSHS seniors Emily Boyle and Taylor Pearson looming just as tall at the net as Soo seniors Megan Jean and Jacquline Holt.
But the Devils played better in setting up those hitters, whether it was getting in more serves, making more digs on hard-hit spikes and producing better sets that gave the hitters quality chances for kills.
It showed statistically, as Holt made 11 kills and Jean 10 for the Soo, while Boyle had just six and Pearson five for Marquette.
Nevertheless, both teams were able to dink and dunk for just as much success as the raw-power spikes, partly because they had to respect each other's power.
"We're a really young team," Soo coach Andre Fortin said. "I've moved some of our returnees from last year's team around into different positions.
"I have four (seniors) that I've had since they were sophomores, one of them since she was a freshman."
The Devils seem to already be battled tested in playing at several Lower Peninsula tournaments against some quality opposition.
"At some of these schools in the bigger cities, the kids are playing and practicing day in and day out all year," Fortin said.
The Redettes are off until Thursday, Sept. 6, when they host Menominee at 7:15 p.m.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.