IRON MOUNTAIN - Iron Mountain's practice paid off in a 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-20) volleyball sweep of Escanaba on Tuesday.
"Coming off the Kingsford Invitational, we worked on a couple things in practice," said Mountaineer coach Jeanne Newberry, referring to Saturday's opener.
Iron Mountain, which held a 13-0 lead in the first game, stressed getting lower for serve receive and being in position.
Burt Angeli | Iron Mountain Daily News
Escanaba’s Jade Heliin (18) directs the volleyball toward Iron Mountain’s Gianna Hill (8) Tuesday.
"We've been changing our defense depending on the hitting game or tipping game," said Newberry, whose Mountaineers faced the Eskymos' tipping tactics in the third game. "In doing so we had to change our defense around."
Escanaba also opened the season Saturday in the highly-competitive Sault Invitational. Petoskey pounded Houghton 25-5, 25-9 for a fourth straight Sault title.
"We are a very young team as far as varsity experience," Escanaba Coach Bron Harmon said. "Each time we're taking the court we're getting a little better."
Eskymos' Holly Ettenhofer and Sydney Gafner each chalked up four kills; Ashley Cook tallied five digs and Brittany Bruce had four, and Ettenhofer added six assists.
"Our serving and defense were very strong," said Harmon, whose Eskymos travel to Manistique on Monday. "Our hitters are just early so our timing is off and we're having trouble finishing points.
"But other than that I'm happy with the way they're playing."
Newberry figures, "technically," her Mountaineers have practiced for just seven days.
"It's nice to see the whole team come out strong," she said. "I think I have a good rotation where I can utilize everybody."
Mountaineer floor leader Katelynn Johnson tallied eight assists; Abby Gerhard accounted for five kills, and Sarah Girard and Kari Sanford notched six digs apiece.
Newberry cited her younger players, crediting freshman "libero" Susie Hagan (5 digs) for "settling in every day. She is going to be a good asset for years to come."