Well-rested Eskymos zoom past Redettes

ESCANABA – The Escanaba volleyball team looked rested, focused and hungry Thursday night.

It all added up to a 3-1 win for the Eskymos against visiting Marquette in Great Northern Conference action.

“When we won the first game, it was a confidence booster, and I knew we would take the match,” said Esky coach Theresa Heidt, whose team benefited from a week off. “It’s a huge win. We just have to build on this.”

Esky won 25-13, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22 to improve to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the GNC. Marquette falls to 3-2 and 2-2.

Heidt used the layoff to practice on some basics and it paid off.

“We really worked on our passing (in practice) to utilize our offense,” Heidt said.

Heidt cited Lindsey Taylor (eight kills) for her strong play on offense and Malary Hiney (19 digs) for her strong play on defense.

Seniors Jen Brandt (11 kills, two blocks) and Maddy Willis (five kills, five blocks) also sparked Esky at the net. Dacota Lambert added 12 digs and Sam Henderson helped the offense with 16 assists.

Esky controlled the first set and half of the second set. But Marquette put together a 10-0 run en route to winning the second set.

The last two sets were competitive throughout.

“I thought Escanaba played very well and very disciplined,” Marquette coach Mike Morgan said. “They played good defense and kept a lot of balls in play.

“We’ve struggled with errors on our side of the net this season and that caught up with us again tonight. We need to be focused 100 percent of the time. That’s what we talk about. You can’t take a mental timeout.”

Leading Marquette were Lauren Wilkinson with nine kills, Hannah Bulinski with 16 digs, Chelsea Wiggins with five blocks, Claudia Hale with three aces and Chloe Hale with 33 assists.

“Play hard and have fun – that’s our motto,” Heidt said. “We had fun and everybody played as a team tonight.”

Esky won the JV match 25-22, 25-16, 25-20.

Marquette hosts the Marquette Invitational at 8:30 a.m. and is set to include area teams Negaunee, Ishpeming, Gwinn and Superior Central.