FIELD TWP- After a forced two-week hiatus, the North Woods volleyball team was eager to take the court Tuesday for a home match against Cook County, and the Grizzlies looked like they might make …
FIELD TWP- After a forced two-week hiatus, the North Woods volleyball team was eager to take the court Tuesday for a home match against Cook County, and the Grizzlies looked like they might make short work of the contest, racing out to a 2-0 lead.
But the Vikings turned the tables in the next two sets and came from behind in the final set to win the match, 3-2.
In the first set, the Grizzlies flipped a 5-9 deficit into a 12-9 lead on the strength of strong serving by Morgan Burnett and tough play at the net. The Vikings pulled back to within one, but a kill by Addy Hartway gave North Woods a 16-14 lead and the serve. The Grizzlies reeled off six consecutive points to build a comfortable 22-14 lead and won the set 25-15.
A hotly contested second set saw the teams trade the lead multiple times in the early going, and the Grizzlies looked to be in control when they built a 19-13 advantage. But with the Vikings’ Paisley Smith serving, Cook County fought back to tie the score at 19-19. The Grizzlies led 23-22 when Abbigail Shuster launched a shot from behind the attack line that the Vikings couldn’t handle, and North Woods claimed a 25-22 win when a Vikings kill shot sailed out of bounds.
It was a confident group of Grizzlies that broke the huddle for the third set, but with the score knotted 5-5 the Vikings went on a 9-2 tear to build a seven-point lead. North Woods chipped away at the deficit and got to within two, 18-20, when Zoe Trip scored on consecutive rallies. But the Grizzlies didn’t have anything left in the tank as Cook County closed out the set 25-18.
The Grizzlies never led in the fourth set as the Vikings found a rhythm, feeding the ball to their hitters, keeping North Woods scrambling defensively. Cook County led by as many as ten points in coasting to a 25-19 win and sending the match to a decisive fifth set.
Burnett had a couple of scorching cross-court kills as the Grizzlies established a 4-1 lead in the final set, and when Hannah Kinsey stuffed a Vikings kill shot return at the net North Woods looked to be in control at 9-5. When Cook County fought back to a 10-10 tie, Trip again came through with consecutive points on a little push shot and a kill to put the Grizzlies up 12-10. Those were the last points the Grizzlies would score, however, as Katie Peck took control at the net for the Vikings in a 5-0 run that gave Cook County a 15-12 win and the match.
It was a tough way to end the night for the Grizzlies, who had hoped to honor the team’s lone senior, Zoe Trip, with a victory on Senior Night in their belated first home match of the season. Earlier scheduled contests against International Falls and Eveleth-Gilbert had to be postponed due to health concerns.
The Grizzlies were scheduled to be on the road Thursday at Northeast Range, and will return home on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to face off against Cherry. North Woods will host Ely on Friday, Nov. 20.