PERKINS - It wasn't the senior night the Mid Peninsula Wolverines were looking for, as they were edged 3-1 (25-22, 25-12,16-25, 25-22) against Bark River-Harris on their home floor Monday night in a dual C.U.P/Skyline Conference volleyball match.
The Broncos (6-9) rallied from a first set deficit and took the second game with ease to build a 2-0 lead that was to much for the Wolverines to overcome. BR-H head coach John Jorasz said his team looked sloppy at times but their hitting was the difference in the win.
"When we were able to set up our offense we had some really nice hits and I feel like that was one of our strengths tonight, our hitting," he said. "When we were able to set up an offense our hitting came alive."
Jon Young | Daily Press
Mid Peninsula’s Kelsey Shope (12) goes for the spike as Emily Johnson (2) of Bark River-Harris makes a block attempt Monday at Mid Peninsula.
The Wolverines (0-13) appeared to be in the driver's seat during the first set, leading during the early stages of the game, eventually taking a 14-8 lead. But before the team could get comfortable, the Broncos fired off six straight points, starting with a kill from Kortney Jenshak and paced by a five-point service run from Emily Johnson.
"First set we came out a little sluggish and we just weren't ready to play it seemed like," Jorasz said. "We pulled it off at the end and overall throughout the night I thought we did really well."
Any rust the Broncos showed in the first set was gone by the second as they jumped out to an early lead and never reliquinshed it; en-route to a 25-12 win. Jorasz said his team played with no distractions during the second game.
Bark River-Harris: Emily Johnson, seven aces, one kill, one bloc, 12 assists; Mallory Peterson, two aces, five kills, 10 assists; Olivia Rivard, one ace, four kills; Abbie Anziano, one ace, three kills; Kortney Jenshak, six kills, one assist; Rachel Gregory, four kills, one assist; Sydney Victorson, two kills, two aces; Cassidy Getzloff, one ace, one kill; Savanna Stenberg, three aces; CreeAnn Stenberg, one ace, one assist.
Mid Peninsula: Elle Lancour, 18/18 on serves, four aces, two kills, four digs; Kelsey Shope, 2 aces, six kills, three blocks, five digs; Hunter Branstrom, one aces, two kills, two blocks; Lacie Tryan, two aces, two digs, 2 assists; Jordan Carlson, two aces, two digs; Christina Hanson, one kill; Kaitlyn Klenon, two digs.
"We had a different rotation in for the second set," he said. "They just seemed to work well during that time, they were able to pull it off and not let anything get to them, which a lot of times is what happens; one play will start trickling into another play and it doesn't stop."
That trickle effect appeared to be in play during the third set as Mid Peninsula bounced back with a 25-16 effort to keep their night alive. Wolverines head coach Traci Lyle said her team is capable of playing like that, it's just a matter of consistency.
"They finally meshed together and they were talking and they were setting each other up," Lyle said. "At practice that's what I see all the time and for them to finally get it into a game was nice to see because we play so much better at practice then we do in a game. They can play, they're really good, they just have to keep playing that way."
The Wolverines broke open a 6-6 tie and never lost the lead again during that fourth set. Senior Kelsey Shope was a big part of that run, recording three of her six kills in the final seven points.
"She has been very aggressive at the net all season," Lyle said. "Her and Hunter (Branstrom) back and forth, blocking and hitting, they know what to watch for and they're ready for anything at the net."
Jorasz said the strong net play by the Wolverines took his team by surprise but he was happy with the way they responded in the fourth set to win the match.
"Just to see something like that doesn't take us out for the night, knowing that they're not going to give up is really encouraging because you hate to see the team just stop playing," he said.
The Wolverines honored their six seniors before the game and started the group during the first set. Lyle said the group has been an honor to coach.
"I've had Elle (Lancour) on varsity since her sophomore year, Lacie (Tryan) was up her sophomore year as well but she had a year off for her injury and she worked her butt off this summer to get back in shape to play volleyball and I feel like she was really giving her best effort," she said. "It's been a strong senior group and it's going to be sad to lose them."
In jayvee action Bark River-Harris beat Mid Peninsula 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 15-5).
BR-H plays tonight in a tri-meet against North Central and Carney-Nadeau at Carney. Mid Peninsula plays next Tuesday against Big Bay de Noc at home.