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Bark River-Harris Broncos volleyball team charges past Westwood Patriots in 3 sets

Westwood’s Madison Marta, center, tips the ball over the net as Bark River-Harris’ Kassidy Roll, left, and Carley Varoni defend in their Monday high school volleyball match played at Bark River. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Justin St. Ours)

HARRIS — The Bark River-Harris volleyball team used strong serving at home to fly past Westwood in three sets on Monday, 25-13, 25-15, 25-10.

After a Bark River (4-1) misplay gave the Patriots the first point of the night, the Broncos rebounded with a seven-point serving run from Carley Varoni to jump ahead.

“We had some really nice runs that allowed me to get everyone into the game,” Broncos coach Jennifer Ives said. “When you have a team of 15 (players), that’s not easy, but the leads that we built and the runs that we had allowed me to get everyone some playing time.”

After a timeout by Westwood (1-3), the teams traded points to make it 10-4 before the Broncos’ Lexi Berg spearheaded a six-point run with her serving to push their advantage to 17-4.

“(Serve receive and passing) is what killed us,” Patriots coach Milton Braga said. “When we don’t get that, you can’t set up your offense, and it’s very hard to have a continuous game. If we improve that, it’ll be a much (more) competitive game.”

It was another Westwood timeout that disrupted BR-H again, and the Patriots were able to put a few runs together — including a tip-over from Livvie Wood and a kill by Emma Kargela — while the Broncos added individual points.

A final Patriots’ timeout came after they reduced their deficit to 21-11, but a string of errors from both teams led to a Westwood ball landing out of bounds to end the game.

“We’ve been working all season on not letting our energy dip and playing up to a level that we know we can play no matter who our opponent is,” Ives said.

In the second set, the Broncos used short runs to accumulate a good lead, culminated by a five-point run from the serve of Allison Richer that made it 19-9.

“We did really well serving again,” Ives said. “Our stats show we had four missed serves, so in three games — having four missed serves — that’s something to be proud of team-wise.”

Westwood fought back with a short run from Leisa Warshawsky — including two aces — to reduce its deficit to 19-13, but a serve into the net turned over possession and the second game.

“I put a lot of new kids out there to get some experience,” Braga said. “Some of them show a lot of future in there. We got unlucky that (our) setter hurt her back, so she couldn’t play the game she likes to play. But, that’s part of the game. You got to keep on playing.

“Our blocking was much better today. I was very pleased at that. That part of the game was much better, but receiving and pass, they forgot that at home.”

The Broncos jumped ahead quickly in the final set, and the Patriots couldn’t find an answer as they weren’t able to string more than two points together throughout the set.

On Thursday, the Broncos host Superior Central, while Westwood visits West Iron County.

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