HIBBING— The Timberwolves’ playoff run was set to face its toughest test on Wednesday night, as Ely was scheduled to take on top-seeded Carlton in the semi-final round of the Section 7A …
HIBBING— The Timberwolves’ playoff run was set to face its toughest test on Wednesday night, as Ely was scheduled to take on top-seeded Carlton in the semi-final round of the Section 7A volleyball tournament. The game results weren’t available as of the Timberjay’s weekly press time, but results will be posted online at timberjay.com as they become available.
The third-seeded Timberwolves emerged as a contender in this year’s playoffs after defeating Mesabi East and Cherry in the early rounds.
The Wolves upset second-seeded Cherry on the Tigers’ home court last Friday to advance to the semi-finals. The Wolves dropped the opening set 23-25, before dominating the next three sets, 25-21, 25-14, and 25-19.
“Set one was back and forth and we struggled some with our serve receive,” said Ely Head Coach Andrea Thomas. “In set two we were ahead and then found ourselves down 11-18, but the girls battled back and were able to win the second set. This was a real turning point for us.”
Junior Brielle Kallberg had a huge night, with 17 kills, 11 digs, five blocks and two ace serves, while Erika Mattson tallied eight kills, 14 digs, and five aces. Sophomore McKenna Coughlin posted six digs, four kills and two blocks, while junior Jenna Merhar tallied six kills and three blocks, and Rachel Coughlin posted seven digs and three ace serves. Setters McCartney Kaercher and Lida Dodge posted 15 and 14 assists respectively. The Wolves helped their cause recording only three serving errors the entire match.
“We were big at the net and hustled on defense,” said Thomas. “Things really came together and the girls played their hearts out!”
Ely made it to the quarterfinal round after some initial struggles with sixth-seeded Mesabi East. “The girls came out strong in the first set,” said Thomas, which Ely won 25-15. But the Wolves’ early momentum appeared to fizzle in the second set as defensive miscues allowed the Giants to win set two 25-22. But a Wolves rally in set three, sparked by a strong serving run by Rachel Coughlin, put Ely back on top as they cruised to wins in sets three and four, 25-19 and 25-16 respectively.
Kallberg had another strong performance, with 17 kills, eight digs, and three ace serves. Mattson was right behind, with 17 digs and six kills, while Merhar added eight kills and three blocks. McKenna Coughlin posted five kills, while Rachel added four ace serves.
Kaercher and Dodge posted 21 and 19 set assists respectively.