Consistent high level: Gwinn Modeltowners volleyball team stays perfect by rolling past Negaunee in 3 sets

Gwinn’s Brenna Bruce sets the ball in a Mid-Peninsula Conference match against Negaunee on Thursday evening at the Modeltowners gym. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

“They really work their butts off trying to be the best they can be.” — Toni Roberts, head coach, Gwinn volleyball

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GWINN — It’s been a few years since the Gwinn volleyball team has had a strong level of consistency, and on Thursday night, the Modeltowners showed just how good they can be this season.

Gwinn took control quickly in all three sets and emerged victorious over Negaunee. The win kept the Modeltowners undefeated at 10-0 in dual matches and head coach Toni Roberts was pleased with how far her team has come.

“Tonight was our best team game so far this season,” she said. “This was our strongest outing and everybody had a great night. We have some outstanding athletes and I have some girls with a great work ethic.

“They worked hard in the summer and they come in on weekends. They really work their butts off trying to be the best they can be. This has been our strongest group over the last few years and I’m really excited about my team and what we can do the rest of the season.”

Brenna Bruce was Gwinn’s offensive star as she led the Modeltowners with seven kills, eight aces and 17 assists. Brooke Mannor had six kills for the Gwinn and Heidi Eden had 10 digs on defense.

Negaunee coach Sarah MacDonald couldn’t be reached for comment or her statistics.

Up by five in the first set, Gwinn picked up two aces from Bruce and a kill from Mannor to increase its lead to 19-10. The Modeltowners then closed out the set 25-13.

The Modeltowners dominated the second set, going on a 10-0 run early with the help of two aces from Bruce and went up 12-5 on the Miners. Like the previous frame, Gwinn won handily, 25-16.

Negaunee didn’t go away easily, though. After Gwinn took a 11-5 lead in the third set, the Miners pulled within two on an ace by Marijke Mager. The Modeltowners tried to pull away later in the frame and held an eight-point advantage at 19-11, but Negaunee wouldn’t give up and made things interesting with a run down the stretch.

But Gwinn wouldn’t be denied and capped off the set and the match with an emphatic kill from Sydney St. Clair.

Gwinn competes at the Northern Michigan University Invitational on Saturday, while Negaunee plays at the Escanaba Invitational that same day.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.