RAPID RIVER - Thursday night saw two very evenly matched teams squaring off against each other. It seemed to be a night of momentum shifts, with Rapid River coming out on top.
Bark River-Harris got off to a bit of a slow start, losing the first set 25-15. The second set was much closer, but the Broncos pulled away after being tied 11-11, and won the set 25-20.
Going into the third set, the momentum was clearly in the hands of the Broncos. They were able to mount a run against the Rockets, and at one point were leading 13-6. Then, the pace seemed to slow, and the score was 21-16 when Rapid River took a time out. And all of a sudden, it appeared to be a different game.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Rapid River’s Hannah Micheau (4) tips the ball toward teammate Kristy Kerstner (12) during their game against Bark River Thursday. The Rockets won 3-1.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Rapid River’s Averi Kanyuh leaps to attempt a kill during their game against Bark River Thursday.
Rapid River began to rally, and before too long the score was tied at 23. Neither team could quite pull away from the other, and the game was tied twice more before Rapid River made it 26-25, and finally drove home the win with a vicious kill by Averi Kanyuh.
"It was a good kill," she said, "but it all starts with the pass though. It was a really nice set in order for me to kill that."
Kanyuh entered the fourth set with the same intensity, firing off three straight aces. The Rockets ran the score up to 5-0, but the Broncos evening wasn't over yet. Just as quickly as the Rockets pulled ahead, both teams found themselves tied at 6. Then the Bronos were up 10-6.
BARK RIVER-HARRIS - Kylie VanBrocklin (1 ace, 1 kill, 1 block, 1 dig); Haley Clement (1 kill, 4 assists, 1 dig); Mariah St. John (1 kill, 3 blocks, 2 assists); Jamie Deming (1 ace); Aleesa Madalinski (2 aces, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 3 digs); Sarah Madalinski (4 aces, 1 kill, 2 blocks, 1 assist).
RAPID RIVER - Rikki Stropich (6 kills); Hanna Kanyuh (5 aces, 6 assists, 18 digs); Savannah Stenlund (2 aces, 13 digs); Kristy Kerstner (12 kills, 8 blocks); Averi Kanyuh (8 aces, 9 kills, 17 assists, 20 digs); Neena Brockway (4 aces, 11 kills).
The majority of this set was as equally matched as it could have been, with four ties throughout the course of the match. However, when after things were all tied up at 17, Rapid River turned on their Rockets again, pulling away for the 25-19 victory in the deciding match.
"This is how they normally should play," said Rapid River coach Lisa Kanyuh. "Our serving was much better, our communication was better, and we didn't make as many mistakes."
Bark River coach John Jorasz was satisfied with his team's performance, and acknowledged that they were paired up against a rather good team.
"I think my girls played really well," he said. "Rapid River had a lot of good hits, and caught us off guard on a few of them. We weren't as strong as what we have been in the back row today, but some of those hits you just can't seem to cover no matter how good you are sometimes."
Bark River's Jayvee team was also closely matched against the Rockets, but they came out on top, beating Rapid River 2-1.
Bark River resumes on Sept. 18 when they host Superior Central, while Rapid River is headed to Marquette for the Articatz Volleyball Tournament this Saturday.