ESCANABA - The Escanaba Eskymos are starting to appear like a team that actually enjoys it when the chips are down.
On Monday, the team found themselves down two matches to none against Manistique, when they rallied back to win three in a row and claim the victory. Tuesday night, they found themselves in the exact same position against Negaunee, and they pulled off the same unlikely comeback, beating Negaunee 3-2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 15-7) in a fiercely contested matchup.
"This seems to be the way we're playing this season," said Escanaba coach Bron Harmon. "We had a long (night) last night, and apparently we wanted to repeat that again tonight."
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Escanaba’s Brittany Bruce serves against Negaunee Tuesday evening at Escanaba.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Escanaba's Alliyah Edwards (16) goes for the kill against the Negaunee Miners defenders Tuesday.
Morgan Verbrigghe attempts a kill versus Negaunee on Tuesday. The Eskymos rallied from two games down to a 3-2 victory.
As they entered the third set, The Eskymos really looked like a different team right out of the gate. They took that set 25-17.
The fourth set ended up being much closer, as the two teams were tied five times thoughout. Even when it looked like Escanaba had the match in hand with a score of 20-14, Negaunee rallied back to tie the score at 23-23.
However, the Eskymos would not be denied, and they put an end to the Miners' rally, taking the set 26-24.
"The first two matches, we played great," said Negaunee head coach Annette Gleason. "We seemed to really mesh well, which helped us to win."
Escanaba came around in that third game, and I've got to give it to them. Their defense in games three, four, and five was phenomenal. Most of all, their libero (Ashley Cook) played wonderful defense, and we needed to stay away from hitting at her, and kind of aim at some other target areas on the court."
Coach Harmon felt the same about Cook's performance.
"Defensively and on serve receive, she was just aces tonight. She was spot on. Holly Ettenhofer (also) ran our team really well tonight."
One very noticeable factor in the game tonight was the fact that even though Escanaba went down two matches to none, it wasn't reflected at all by the team's demeanor.
"This team gets one another," said Harmon. "They're working together, they're celebrating with one another. They want to be on the court, but they're also encouraging those that are out on the court if they're on the bench, and that's going to make us strong this season."
Escanaba's season continues Thursday as they travel to Menominee.
Negaunee - J. Johnson (12 assists); Laurila (seven assists); Lambert (four assists, four digs); Veale (11 digs, seven kills); Blake (six digs); Flannery (six digs);
Escanaba - Ettenhofer (six kills, 20 assists, four aces, three digs); Verbrigghe (five kills, two aces); Cook (four aces, 19 digs); Gafner (six digs); Langsford (eight assists, three digs); Edwards (seven kills, seven digs)