MUNISING - Munising ran its league record to 4-0 with a four-game victory over Rapid River in high school volleyball action on Thursday night.
The Mustangs remained perfect in the Central Upper Peninsula Conference with the 25-12, 25-15, 23-25, 25-12 victory at home.
First-year coach Josh Cole tempered the start with one fact - "Almost everything's been at home so far" - with a date at nearby Superior Central the lone match on the road.
"It's going to be a killer stretch at the end of the season," he said, refering to when Munising has to make return trips in the conference home-and-home schedule.
But the Mustangs will have early wins in their back pockets with a roster of just nine - three seniors, three juniors and three freshmen.
Freshman Frankie Mattson made six kills and had eight service aces, junior Karlee Decet also had six kills while adding 11 digs, and freshman Bailey Downs added four kills and 15 set assists.
"Every ball seemed to go our way the first two sets," Cole said. "But then we showed some of our youth in the third. That's also when Rapid River served really well.
"Overall, though, our defense played extremely well," he said, illustrating it with eight solo blocks as a team.
Munising remains at home for its next match, too, a CUP meeting with North Central at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The Mustangs JV team also won, 25-19, 25-21.
At Menominee, junior Hunter Viitala and senior Tayler Smith led Marquette's offense, but it wasn't enough to avert a 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 loss to the Maroons in a Great Northern Conference match.
Viitala made 10 kills while adding seven digs and an ace, and Smith had seven kills and two blocks. Senior teammate Courtney McGovern added 21 assists.
"We were never able to get the tempo of the match in our favor," MSHS coach Mike Morgan said. "Our intensity was not at a level necessary to be successful."
Marquette plays at The Rock Invitational in Gladstone on Saturday morning.
In the JV match, the Redettes won 25-20, 19-25, 25-12, then added a freshman win, 25-6, 25-12.
At Westwood, the Patriots couldn't overcome a rash of errors against one of the perennial powers in the Mid-Peninsula Conference, losing to the Emeralds, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16.
"It came down to us making too many silly errors, unforced things like hits going out (of bounds)," Westwood coach Janine Chapman said.
With injuries depleting a roster of just 10, she said the Pats struggled to integrate several new faces as communication also broke down.
Seniors led the way for WHS, with Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren recording four service aces and 17 digs, Alexis Nelson three kills and Miranda Roose four assists.
Next up for Westwood is the all-day Rock Invitational in Gladstone at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Chapman expects her team to play at least four two-game matches in pool play, with the possibility of more in the semifinals and finals if the Patriots fare well.
The Patriots came back to win Thursday's JV match, 21-25, 25-13, 25-22.