By John Vrancic
HARRIS - Senior Sarah Madalinski came through in the clutch for the Bark River-Harris Broncos Monday night as they escaped with a 3-2 (25-15, 25-18, 17-25, 27-29, 15-13) volleyball triumph over the Mid Peninsula Wolverines.
Jenny Lancour |?Daily Press
Mid Peninsula’s Elle Lancour gets down to keep the ball in play during their match against Bark River-Harris Monday. The Wolverines fell to the Broncos 3-2.
Madalinski collected six service aces, including the match-winner, in the dual Central U.P./Skyline Conference match.
The victory enabled the Broncos to improve to 10-2 and remain in a first-place tie with Superior Central in the CUP.
BR-H can clinch at least a share of the CUP title with homecourt victories over North Central and Carney-Nadeau tonight. The Broncos are 5-3 in the Skyline.
Bark River-Harris - S. Madalinski (six aces, seven kills, three blocks, seven assists); VanBrocklin (four aces, one kill, three blocks, two assists); Stenberg (three aces); Derusha (two aces, three kills, two blocks, six assists); St. John (two aces, three kills, one block, five assists); Getzloff (two aces, one block); A. Madalinski (one ace, two kills, two blocks, two assists).
Mid Peninsula - Nummilien (eight aces, one kill, three assists, 11 digs); Shope (five aces, three kills, two assists, eight digs); Kayser (three aces, three kills, 12 assists, four digs); VanDamme (two aces, 13 kills, five blocks, 11 digs); Lancour (two aces, two kills, one assist, three digs); Westlund (two aces, one kill, two assists, six digs); Branstrom (two kills, two blocks); Hansen (four digs); Carlson (three digs).
Madalinski's final ace took place just moments after the Broncos got a sideout for a 14-13 lead.
The Broncos gained a 4-0 lead in the finale on a kill by senior Mariah St. John.
Mid Pen responded with an 8-1 run, taking an 8-5 advantage on a block by senior Krysta VanDamme before BR-H eventually gained the upper hand.
"It helped to get ahead early in the fifth set," said BR-H coach John Jorasz. "I think that put a little more pressure on them. Mid Pen has a tough team. They have a lot of potential."
The two teams also went five sets in their previous meeting Sept. 20 at Mid Pen, with the Broncos taking fifth set 15-13 for a 3-2 victory.
Mid Pen, now 7-4 in CUP, is two games behind the leaders. The Wolverines were coming off Thursday's 3-2 loss at Munising.
"That loss really hurt us, although we're not completely out of it (CUP title chase)," coach Traci Lyle said, noting the Wolverines need to win their remaining league matches and get help from other teams. "There's still plenty of reason for our girls to stay motivated. We also have the (Class D) district ahead of us."
Madalinski also collected seven kills, three blocks and seven assists, including a kill which gave BR-H a 27-26 lead in the fourth set.
One of her aces came in the fourth game, which put the Broncos up 22-21.
"Sarah Madalinski is a very good server," said Lyle. "Her serving hurt us tonight."
BR-H appeared to be in control after taking the first two sets.
Senior Kelsie Nummilien, however, hit two service aces while helping the Wolverines (5-6 Skyline) gain a 5-0 advantage in the third.
"I don't think our girls let up," said Jorasz. "I thought we had some good comebacks. Mid Pen had a lot of good hits and tips (for kills)."
After trailing 13-7 in the third, BR-H pulled within 13-10 on an ace by senior Emily Draze. The Wolverines, however, didn't allow the Broncos to get any closer in that set.
"I felt we were kind of flat in the first two sets, then we got our fight back," said Lyle. "We got more aggressive at the net and started communicating more."
VanDamme finished with 13 kills and five blocks and 11 digs. Nummilien hit eight aces and junior Kelsey Shope added five.
BR-H senior Kylie VanBrocklin had four aces and junior Savanna Stenberg had three.
"We had 23 aces tonight, which is something we're very proud of," said Jorasz.
Mid Pen, which dropped the jayvee match in two sets, is idle until Oct. 23 when it visits Rapid River for a triangular which includes Big Bay de Noc.