Streaking to victory: Gwinn High School volleyball team remains undefeated with 3-set sweep of Ishpeming

Ishpeming’s Korey Kaukola, front right, spikes the ball over the net with Gwinn’s Brenna Bruce, left, and Hannah Noel jumping for a block in a Mid-Peninsula Conference match on Tuesday evening at Gwinn High School. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

GWINN — In a match of streaks, Gwinn took the most advantage of them to remain undefeated in the high school volleyball season as the Modeltowners swept Ishpeming at home on Tuesday night.

Gwinn won this Mid-Peninsula Conference match, 25-12, 25-9, 25-22 to improve to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in league.

Modeltowners head coach Toni Roberts said communication as well as overcoming adversity was the key.

“We had great team communication, we limited our missed serves and we stayed at our level almost the whole night,” she said. “We were in a different rotation in our third set but the first two sets were very strong. We’re learning to play without one of our outside hitters who had an injury last week, so I couldn’t be more proud of the way the girls have stepped up and overcome the injury.”

Ishpeming head coach Katt Beerling said she wanted her team wanted to put up a fight.

“Gwinn is a tough team, we’ve seen them twice this year so far and I was looking for my team to come in here and fight to make it a good game,” she said. “We definitely fell flat the first two sets, but I’m very proud of how they fought in the third set and came back.”

Beerling added that the results don’t show how hard the team works.

“They’re fighters, I’m very proud of my girls,” she said. “They work very hard at practice and I’m just very anxious for that to translate into the game. When they’re on, they look really good, but when they’re off, we’re struggling right now.”

The Modeltowners dominated the first two sets and the start of Set 3 before the Hematites climbed back in it.

In the opener, the Modeltowners started with a kill by Tierra Taylor. Ishpeming got on the board on an attack error. With the set tied 2-2, Gwinn scored 13 of the next 16 points to jump out to 16-5 lead. A later five-point run included back-to-back service aces from Trisha McGuire before it ended on a Hematite attack error.

The Modeltowners were just as dominant in Set 2, racing out to 4-0 lead with another service ace by McGuire. The Hematites scored three straight, pulling within 4-3, but another Gwinn made it a lopsided 13-3 advantage. After another run by Ishpeming, Gwinn won the final 10 points.

The third set was much closer, though Gwinn jumped out to an 11-2 lead before the Hematites got back into it. At 13-3, Ishpeming scored five in a row, including a service ace, then added a three-point run to pull within 16-12.

And the Hematites made it a one-point game, 20-19, before the Modeltowners responded with the last run of the night, winning three straight points and ending the match on a Hematites’ double hit.

Brenna Bruce led the way for the Modeltowners with four kills, six assists and five aces. Other Gwinn leaders included McGuire with a kill, 11 assists and three aces, while Brooke Mannor had two kills and two aces. Statistics for Ishpeming weren’t available.

Gwinn travels to Gladstone for an M-PC matchup on Thursday, while Ishpeming is off until Monday when it has a league match at Manistique.

Gwinn won the JV match, 25-19, 25-10.

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.