HARRIS - Closing out games proved to be the achilles heal for the Mid Peninsula Wolverines on Thursday night as they were swept on the volleyball court by Bark River-Harris 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-14).
"The first two sets were pretty much neck and neck, battling it out, neither one of us wanted to give up any points," said BR-H head coach John Jorasz. "We both wanted it, but after that second set it seemed like they got their hopes down and we were able to take full advantage of the third set."
The Wolverines led for most of the first set, and after a Bronco shot sailed out of bounds they took a 21-20 advantage.
Jon Young |?Daily Press
Mid Peninsula’s Kelsey Shope (12) looks to block the Bark River-Harris shot attempt during the second set of Thursday’s game in Bark River-Harris
Jon Young |?Daily Press
Mallory Petersen (5) of Bark River-Harris goes for the block on Mid Peninsula’s Hunter Branstrom (15) during Thursday’s game in Bark River-Harris.
Bark River-Harris tied the game on the next play and junior Emily Johnson rattled off three straight service points to pace the Broncos victory.
"For our team, being ahead is hard," said Mid Peninsula head coach Traci Lyle. We end up playing not to lose instead of finishing up. It definitely brings your spirits down, it kind of takes that zip out of their step."
The second set played out similar to the first, as the teams were tied 20-20 heading into the final stretch. Mid Peninsula scored three straight and four of the last five to take the second game.
Jorasz said losing close games is disheartening and that his team was able to use the Wolverines' losses to their advantage.
"It really gets you down as a team," he said. "When you're in that position it seems like no matter what you do they are going to come back at you, and that might of been what we were able to accomplish tonight by taking those first two."
In the third set, the Broncos came out blazing, taking a 8-3 lead and keeping the pressure on the Wolverines with a solid serving performance. They won the match 25-14.
"They were finally in a groove during the third set, they just went out there and played their hardest and didn't let up," Jorasz said. "Our serving this year is definitely an improvement from last year. It's definitely attributing to our easy plays."
Despite taking the loss, Lyle said her team showed improved teamwork and energy and it's something they can build on.
"We've been struggling the last few games and I thought tonight we came together as a team and played the first two sets really strong, and the third set we kind of fell apart a little bit but they came back fighting."
The Broncos were paced by Mallory Petersen's eight assists, three aces and two kills. Savanna Stenberg added three aces and one kill while Abbie Anziano contributed four aces and three kills. Cassidy Getzloff chipped in three kills and Olivia Rivard added two. Rachel Gregory also recorded two kills.
Bark River-Harris moves to 3-3 in the Central U.P. Conference and 3-5 overall, while Mid Peninsula drops to 0-8 overall.
The Wolverines were led by Hunter Branstrom with four blocks, four kills and two digs. Kelsey Shope recorded eight digs, three blocks and two kills. Lacie Tryan chipped in 12 assists and one dig, while Marissa Westlund added seven assists. Elle Lancour had five digs, one kill and one assist. Kaitlyn Klenow and Jordan Carlson had four and three digs respectively.
Bark River-Harris is back in action on Monday as they host Munising. Mid Peninsula also takes the court on Monday as they square off with North Central.