MARQUETTE - Negaunee High School announced itself as a contender for the volleyball title in the Mid-Peninsula Conference on Thursday, beating two-time defending champion Iron Mountain on its home court in four games.
The Miners won 25-10, 13-25, 25-21, 25-17, to improve to 2-0 in the league. Right after that match, Negaunee fell to North Dickinson, 25-22, 25-15.
"It was nice to come in and get a win at Iron Mountain," NHS coach Annette Gleason said. "You always expect Iron Mountain to be a good defensive and a good hitting team."
Negaunee’s Emilee Lokken (2) blocks a shot by Iron Mountain’s Marti Pirkola in a Mid-Peninsula Conference volleyball match on Thursday in Iron Mountain. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo by Burt Angeli)
Despite the easy first-game win, the Mountaineers' strong hitting led to Negaunee's only blemish of the match.
"Then our girls picked up their speed and started hitting the ball well," Gleason said about the third and fourth games. "Overall, our good serving helped us control the match."
Senior outside hitter Rosalie Anderson led the Miners (2-2 overall) with 10 kills and 17 digs, while senior setter Jayda Johnson recorded 14 assists and two aces. Junior teammates Katelynn Johnson added six kills and Aubrey Nyman six digs.
Gleason said her team might've been a bit fatigued with possibly an emotional letdown against ND, which came into the match fresh.
"North Dickinson has some good servers and we struggled with our serve receive," she said.
Jayda Johnson had six digs and four assists, while junior teammate Hannah Laurila had six digs and three assists.
Anderson added six digs, junior Alexa Olgren two aces, and Katelyn Johnson, senior Katie Lambert and junior Emilee Lokken two kills apiece.
The Miners' next match is at home against Ishpeming at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Negaunee lost both JV matches on Thursday, 25-7, 27-25 to IM and 25-19, 25-19 to ND.
WESTWOOD FALLS TO ISHPEMING
At Ishpeming, the Patriots stayed close for three games before falling victim in the final game of a four-game loss to Norway.
The Knights prevailed 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-13.
"It took us a bit to get our flow going," Westwood coach Janine Chapman said. "We got it going in the third game, and it really helped having (senior Elizabeth Dauphinais-)VanBuren go on a run."
VanBuren notched five service aces in her team's winning game, while senior Alexis Nelson finished the night with 18 digs and eight serve receives, junior Cristine Larson had nine assists and senior Mya Maanika made seven kills.
"We're definitely building, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season," Chapman said as WHS slipped to 0-2 in the M-PC. The Pats also took third at the season-opening, 10-team Munising Invitational on Aug. 24.
Next up for Westwood is a home match against Manistique at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Patriots won the JV match, 25-21, 25-22.