Knights win in three
By RON DEUTER
NORWAY – Rebounding from a disappointing showing Tuesday at Stephenson, Norway cruised to a 25-17, 25-15, 25-12 sweep over Westwood Thursday in Mid-Peninsula volleyball.
“We played a lot better tonight,” Knights coach Kayla DeBakker said.
The Knights also lost to Ishpeming in Tuesday’s action at Stephenson.
“My girls knew they needed to step it up,” DeBakker said. “Tournament time is right around the corner, and they stepped it up tonight.”
Leah Mattson’s 12 kills led all hitters. She also had three blocks and an ace, as Westwood could do little to contain her from the middle.
“Leah has been doing a fantastic job,” DeBakker said.
Other top attackers for Norway included Brenda Casanova with five kills and Hannah Anderson with four. The Knights excelled at the serving line, racking up 10 aces. Lexi Negro’s three led the team.
“We were really good serving tonight,” DeBakker said. “I’m shocked. I don’t think we missed many.”
Westwood, still winless in the MPC, proved to be its own worst enemy in the match with hitting errors derailing any chance to hang with the Knights.
“We made some comebacks, but unfortunately things just weren’t going our way with our hits,” Westwood coach Janine Chapman said. “The ones that we did hit would go out, and they just weren’t dropping for us like they usually do. That hurt us.”
Christine Larson had nine digs and four aces for Westwood. Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren led the Patriots with 12 digs.
“We had a lot of heart tonight, but because things didn’t drop our way, we were giving them too many points,” Chapman said. “We were making the mistakes.”
Set one was tight, tied as late as 16-16. A slam by Mattson busted the tie. A Westwood error followed before Anderson dropped an ace and Lindsey DeBernardi added a kill to send the Knights on their way.
A couple of aces from Brandi Strong helped cracked a 12-12 score in set two. Seven unforced errors by the Patriots helped the Knights sail from there.
It was all Mattson from the middle early in set three, as the Knights built a comfortable advantage on their way to the sweep.
The Knights lost the jayvee match. Norway hosts West Iron County Monday.
Miranda Roose – 2 kills, 1 dig; Elayne Larmour 2 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; Christine Larson – 4 aces, 3 assists, 2 kills, 9 digs; Courtney Burke – 9 digs; Mya Maanika – 2 blocks, 2 kills, 4 digs; Samantha Beauchamp – 1 block, 2 digs; Alexis Nelson – 1 ace, 1 kill, 9 digs; Sarah Conery – 1 ace, 2 digs; Helen Boburka – 1 ace, 4 digs; Elizabeth Dauphinais-VanBuren – 12 digs.
Jacey Bal – 12 digs; Brenda Casnova – 1 ace, 5 kills, 3 blocks, 4 digs; Kristi Urbanc – 1 dig; Lexi Negro – 3 aces, 6 digs, 1 kill, 12 assists; Hannah Anderson – 2 aces, 4 kills, 3 digs; Leah Mattson – 1 ace, 3 blocks, 12 kills, 5 digs; Paige Sheski – 2 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; Lindsey DeBernardi – 1 ace, 1 kill, 9 digs, 3 assists; Brandi Strong – 2 aces; Sarah Bietila – 1 dig.