By John Vrancic
HANNAHVILLE - The Big Bay de Noc Black Bears benefitted from some timely service runs Thursday night, gaining a 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-19) volleyball victory over the Hannahville Soaring Eagles.
Two of the longer runs took place in the second set of this non-conference match, enabling the Black Bears to bounce back from a first-set loss.
Senior Stephanie Hubble hit five straight points in Game 2, giving the Black Bears a 10-6 lead. Lois Ranguette added an eight-point run a short time later for a 19-8 advantage.
"We were giving them a lot of freeballs, and I think the girls got a little frustrated in the first set," said Big Bay coach Gail DeMars. "Then, it got to the point where the girls starting focusing on what they were doing. They just started putting more thought into how they were making plays. I think winning over here will be a tremendous boost for us."
Hannahville led 12-5 in the third set. But senior Rachel Leckson then provided the Black Bears with seven consecutive service points, tying the score at 12.
The Soaring Eagles briefly regained the upper hand, taking a 15-12 lead on Sophie Manitowabi's ace before Big Bay surged ahead to stay.
Ranguette finished with 10 aces, including four straight near the end of the third set. She also had a five-point run in the fourth, sending the Black Bears ahead 8-5.
"Her serving killed us," said Hannahville coach Tom Ohman. "We didn't have an answer for her (Ranguette). We played real well in the first set, then we had a breakdown in the second.
"We also have some real good servers. Only, the girls sometimes get frustrated and lose their focus. Then, they start to do things they normally don't do."
Hannahville, behind a four-point run by Hannah Bartol, regained the lead (9-8) before the Black Bears again went ahead to stay.
Ranguette also had three kills and a block, which gave Big Bay a 16-10 advantage in the finale. Leckson added two kills and three blocks.
On Tuesday, Enisha Hill served for 30 points, helping Hannahville sweep a doubleheader from Bay Mills Ojibwe Charter. The Soaring Eagles prevailed 3-1 (25-13, 25-16, 23-25, 25-12) in the opener and 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-20) in the nightcap.
Hannahville is entered in Saturday's Northern Lights League tournament at Sault Ste. Marie. Big Bay hosts Bark River-Harris Monday.