NEGAUNEE - Gwinn did its part to turn the Mid-Peninsula Conference into a three-team race as GHS won at Negaunee, 26-24, 25-20, 25-15, in high school volleyball on Thursday.
The Miners and Modeltowners join Manistique with one conference loss as they've split matches against each other - in addition to Thursday's result, Negaunee has defeated Manistique while the Emeralds downed Gwinn.
Gwinn improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the M-PC, while Negaunee is 4-4 and 4-1.
"We came out really strong, then Negaunee had a big run in the middle," Modeltowners coach Stephanie Bahrman said about the opening set. "Our girls were very intense. I couldn't pick out a flaw tonight. We swarmed to the ball a lot and put Negaunee on its heels.
"Even the serves we had go out were because of being aggressive."
Negaunee coach Annette Gleason said the Miners also had some serving struggles.
"We weren't able to hold our composure," she said. "We'd make some small errors, and you can't afford to do that against a good hitting team like Gwinn."
Seniors led the Modeltowners statistically. Katie Aho paced the offense with 10 kills as four Gwinn players had at least a half-dozen. Chelsea Moton added nine kills and a block, while Shelby Talsma made seven kills, four aces and a block.
Kaylee Arnsparger had 30 of her team's 34 assists, while junior Ellie Olsen had a team-high 13 digs.
A pair of seniors also led Negaunee. Rosalie Anderson had team highs of five kills and 13 digs, while Jayda Johnson topped the Miners with eight aces and five assists.
The Modeltowners won the JV match, 25-20, 25-17.
Both teams are scheduled to participate in the Marquette Invitational on Saturday morning.
At Marquette, the Redettes posted a 25-15, 25-18, 25-10 Great Northern Conference home win over the Eskymos.
"Our team defense helped us gain and keep control of the tempo of the match from the start," MSHS coach Mike Morgan said. "This was the most aggressive we have been yet this year. We put pressure on with our serving and only allowed one run of points against us over four."
Hunter Viitala led MSHS with 10 kills and Tayler Smith had nine. Courtney McGovern finished with 22 assists. McGovern and Mariah Grange each made six digs.
"Hunter showed tremendous athletic ability attacking tonight, keeping the Eskymos completely off balance," Morgan said. "Tayler was unbelievable! She was absolutely crushing the ball and had five kills in five attempts in set three."
The MSHS JV won in three sets, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, while the freshmen swept Esky 25-21, 25-21.
Iron Mountain 2
Trailing 14-8 in a decisive fifth set, Manistique stunned Iron Mountain with eight unanswered points and walked out of the Mountaineer gym with a 25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 16-14, M-PC victory.
The Emeralds controlled the first set, rallied from 7-1 and 21-19 deficits in set two, and held a 12-4 lead in set three. But Iron Mountain found a spark and climbed out of the set-three hole to save the match.
IM then prevailed in a tight fourth set.
"In the first two sets we played great," said Manistique coach Amy Nixon. "Then we let it slip away from us in set three. I never thought we'd be going five, but Iron Mountain stepped up its game for sure."
Iron Mountain has 23 aces in the match. Manistique dropped 15 aces. Hailey Hoholik and Sydney Chartier each had four, while Leah Cook and Maggie Morrison hit three a piece.