HARRIS - The Bark River-Harris Broncos might have gotten a tougher test than they expected when they hosted Big Bay de Noc on the volleyball court Thursday evening.
BR-H pulled out a clutch rally in the fourth set to stave off the hungry Black Bears to take a 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 25-8, 25-20) victory.
"Big Bay has a good team this year," said Broncos coach John Jorasz. "They came out strong and ready to play."
Keith Shelton | Daily Press
Samantha Sundling of Big Bay de Noc attempts a spike as Broncos’ Aleesa Madalinski defends during the first set Thursday at Bark River-Harris.
The Broncos took a 6-1 lead in the second set after a 6-0 service run from Jamie Deming, including three straight aces. But the Black Bears answered right back with a 7-0 run of their own by Samantha Sundling to go up 8-6 in the set.
After a Broncos timeout, it was tooth and nail as the teams traded points, but BBdN held on, even after the Broncos tied it up at 24-24. The Black Bears took the final two points and the set.
"That was great," said Black Bears coach Gail DeMars. "Bark River-Harris has a good program, so it was great to take one from them."
The Broncos changed things up in the third set and came out strong with a dominant 7-0 run from Savanna Stenberg to start the set. After the Black Bears closed to within 7-2, Sarah Madalinski embarked on a 4-0 service run to give the Broncos a 11-2 lead. Madalinski also closed the set off with a 6-0 service run, in which she had three aces, to give BR-H a 25-8 victory.
"I put my starters back in for the third set and they came out and dominated start to finish," said Jorasz.
The Black Bears started the fourth set strong and nearly answered the call with a 4-0 run from Cassidy Cayemberg. The Black Bears led 9-2 after another 4-0 service run by Sundling. However, the Broncos battled back and with BBdN holding a 19-17 lead late in the set, Deming powered the Broncos with a 7-0 service run to put her team up 24-19. After a missed serve gave the ball back to the Black Bears, the Broncos closed the set and the game.
DeMars was proud of the effort however.
"The girls played awesome tonight. We changed things up a bit and it's working," she said. "We're really trying to change the program from last year. We even had different conditioning and it's a huge change, even in their confidence."
Sundling led the Black Bears attack with four kills and five aces. Cayemberg also had four aces. Lois Ranguette racked up an astounding 32 assists and two blocks for BBdN and Rachel Leckson had 16 assists.
"Lois was phenomenal tonight," said DeMars.
The Broncos had a balanced effort as Megan Derusha and Mariah St. John each had three kills. Sarah Madalinski had five aces and two kills and Deming collected four aces.
On Tuesday, Bark River-Harris hosts Stephenson, while Big Bay De Noc travels to Rapid River for a triangular match.
Big Bay de Noc: Stephanie Hubble (two kills); Lois Ranguette (32 assists, two blocks); Rachel Leckson (16 assists); Cassidy Cayemberg (four aces); Samantha Sundling (four kills, five aces)
Bark River-Harris: Samantha Stenberg (three aces); Kylie VanBrocklin (four assists); Megan Derusha (three kills); Kortney Jenshak (one kill, one assist); Mariah St. John (three kills, one block); Jamie Deming (four aces); Aleesa Madalinski (two aces, one block, five assists); Sarah Madalinski (five aces, two kills)