Gwinn slows Knights
By RON DEUTER
NORWAY – Any momentum leftover from Tuesday’s win over Negaunee quickly faded for the Norway Knights here Thursday night, as Mid-Peninsula Conference leader Gwinn rolled to a 25-18, 25-13, 25-19 win.
“I thought coming off our Negaunee win that it would light a fire under the girls,” Norway coach Kayla DeBakker said. “But it definitely didn’t. We had our heads down every single set. Communication, once again, just broke down.”
The Knights never really mounted any threat against the Modeltowners, aside from the first half of the final set.
Katie Aho (6 kills), Shelby Talsma (6 kills), Chelsea Moton (5 kills) and Bella Wedig (5 kills) led the balanced Modeltowner attack. Moton added three blocks.
“We heard they beat Negaunee, so we came with intensity and wanted this win big time,” Gwinn coach Stephanie Bahrman said.
The Modeltowners served 18 aces in the match. Aho, using a jump serve, totaled nine aces, including a run of five straight to help close out the match in the third set.
“Our serving has started to get more and more aggressive as the season goes on, which I’m excited about,” Bahrman said.
Leah Mattson had five kills and Brandi Strong added four aces for the Knights, but problems with serve receive kept the Norway attack grounded.
“It looked like we had cement blocks on our feet tonight,” DeBakker said. “Gwinn is a tough team, at the top of our conference. I thought that would motivate us, but it didn’t.”
Hannah Anderson added four kills, and Lexi Negro had two aces.
Gwinn jumped out to a 14-5 lead in set one. The Knights closed to within four points at 19-15. But Gwinn closed on a 6-3 run.
Gwinn held a 15-7 lead in set two and was able to keep the Knights from climbing back.
Norway, after a pair of aces by Strong, held an 11-7 lead in the final set. Kills by Anderson and Mattson along with an ace by Anderson had the Knights up 17-13. But Gwinn took over from there, scoring 12 of the final 14 points.
Gwinn also won the JV match. Norway (3-4 MPC) resumes play Oct. 15, at Stephenson.
GWINN -Ellie Olsen _ 2 kills, 2 aces, 5 digs; Ashley Childs – 8 digs, 2 aces; Chelsea Moton – 5 kills, 3 blocks; Nicole Usher – 2 kills; Katie Aho – 6 kills, 9 aces 4 digs; Bella Wedig – 5 kills, 2 digs, 1 ace; Erin Reetz – 1 kill, 1 block, 1 dig; Kaylee Arnsparger – 3 kills, 2 aces, 2 digs; Tori Lauren 1 kill; Shelby Talsma 6 kills, 2 aces.
NORWAY – Brenda Casanova 3 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs; Lexi Negro – 2 aces, 1 block, 3 digs, 11 assists; Hannah Anderson – 4 kills, 1 ace, 2 digs; Leah Mattson – 5 kills, 5 digs, 4 blocks; Paige Sheski – 1 kill; Lindsey DeBernardi – 2 digs; Brandi Strong – 4 aces.