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Looking to keep pace with the Houghton Gremlins, the Calumet Copper Kings continued their winning ways on the volleyball court on Tuesday with a 3-0 victory against the Ishpeming Hematites. They won 25-15, 25-15, 25-18, which helped them improve to 4-1 in WestPAC play.
Despite being very similar in size and athletic ability, the Copper Kings took a 2-0 lead right away in the first set, never looking back until match point in the third set.
“We are really coming together as a team,” said Copper Kings head coach Matt Laho, who is in his second season. “We are working together defensively to make it tough for our opponents to score and we’re gaining more consistency with our attacks.”
A strong attack by the Copper Kings is what characterized the first set. Big hits by Molly Larson kept Ishpeming off guard. She had eight kills on 28 attempts. She was followed by senior Mackenzie Peters who added five in 20 attempts.
“We just couldn’t put anything together tonight,” said Hematites coach Katt Beerling. “We were giving them long runs of six or seven serves. We couldn’t put together a run of three.”
A long run of seven, led by Larson, kicked off the second set for the Copper Kings. They continued their push through the set with strong net play by Audrey Walker and Ellen Sturos.
“I have really been impressed by my girls’ willingness to try different positions and support each other during that change,” said Laho.
Some of those changes were experimented with last night and Laho was impressed with the support they received, especially during some very long volleys that could have gone either way.
“They showed a lot of tenacity on defense tonight as they dived all over the floor to keep the play alive,” he said.
Ava Anderson led Calumet defensively with 21 digs.
Beerling thought the third set was the Hematites best of the night.
“We were working a little better,” she said. “But when you can’t get out of one of those long runs, it wears on you and you could see that in our team tonight. They grew tired and frustrated with each other and stopped talking.”
Madison Pruett and Madisyn Mead led the Hematites with four kills each.
The Copper Kings return to action Thursday when they travel to face L’Anse.