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Surging toward the finish line

Grizzlies gain sweep as postseason nears; NER overtakes N/K

Patrick Slack
Posted 10/5/16

BABBITT - Eyeing momentum as it enters the closing days of the regular season, North Woods’ intensity level was elevated from the start on Thursday, leading to a sweep at Northeast Range.

Coley …

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Surging toward the finish line

Grizzlies gain sweep as postseason nears; NER overtakes N/K

Posted

BABBITT - Eyeing momentum as it enters the closing days of the regular season, North Woods’ intensity level was elevated from the start on Thursday, leading to a sweep at Northeast Range.

Coley Olson and Regan Ratai each had seven kills to lead a balanced North Woods attack.

Tori Johnson added five kills and seven aces and Kayla Tschida recorded four kills and four aces.

“I think the girls took the NER game very seriously,” North Woods head coach Gabby Sundquist said. “Knowing who they’ve won and lost to in the season made them really want to win that game. They took the match from the start and kept the lead for most of the game. That’s where I think they get their confidence, right from the start having a lead and not giving it up.”

The Grizzlies improved their record to 12-6 on the season with the win, putting them among the favorites in the upcoming Section 7A tournament later in the month.

In order to make a strong run, the Grizzlies will need to keep communicating and staying focused, as they did against the Nighthawks.

“I think one thing the girls need to work on is talking on the court when things aren’t going well and they are in a hole and not letting a lead go, because once they let the other team back into the game, I think mentally it’s hard for them to get excited one point at a time,” Sundquist said. “The game of volleyball is so mental and fast-paced it can be anybody’s game within a few points, but the girls worked hard and won in three and I was very proud of them for that.

“Coming up to the end of the season I think that the girls are doing really well as a team and individually. ­All of the girls have improved tremendously and are working really hard.”

The Nighthawks were led by Maree Poppenhagen with 27 assists and 10 digs, Rebecca Nelmark with 18 digs, Lori Huseby with 10 kills and Hannah Reichensperger with eight kills.

Northeast Range came back to earn a come-from-behind win in four sets over visiting Nashwauk/Keewatin on Tuesday.

Poppenhagen distributed 39 assists while Huseby planted 15 kills and Lyric Johnson added eight.

“This was by far the best match that we have played this season,” Northeast Range head coach Jodi Reichensperger said. “By no means was it an easy match. For every hit we made, (they) answered back with incredible digs and hits of their own. There were many very long rallies which, in itself, makes a match exciting.”­

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