RAPID RIVER - Rapid River and Superior Central came equipped with their broomsticks Tuesday evening, as it was a night of sweeps all around on the volleyball court.
Hosting a triangular meet with Carney-Nadeau, the Rockets swept the Wolves 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-16). Then, the Cougars faced off against the Wolves, sweeping them 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-9). And finally, Superior Central swept Rapid River 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-16).
In the first game, Carney fought valiantly, but simply couldn't gain the advantage over the Cougars.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Carney-Nadeau’s Shania Tebo leaps to go for the kill attempt during their match against Superior Central Tuesday. The Cougars won 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-9).
"The girls put a great effort forward," said Wolves coach Steve Kedsch. "At times we looked really good, and other times we just seemed to give up runs, and it hurt us."
Carney had to turn around after the first game and go straight into the next game to face Superior Central. In the first set, the Wolves kept the game even until the Cougars went on a run, scoring nine unanswered points to put the set out of reach.
The second set was very similar. With the game all tied 18-18, Superior Central went on another run, only allowing a single point to Carney and taking the set 25-19.
CARNEY - Eichhorn (3 kills, 11 digs, 3 assists); A. Dani (1 kill, 6 aces, 6 digs, 15 assists); Tebo (4 kills, 3 aces); Wery (3 kills, 3 aces, 8 digs); Theoret (14 digs); Parrett (5 kills, 2 aces, 8 digs); Tancredi (2 kills, 2 aces).
SUPERIOR CENTRAL - Lintula (1 ace, 1 kill, 1 assist, 4 digs); Freberg (7 aces, 14 kills, 2 assists, 11 digs); Passanen (5 kills, 1 block, 4 digs); Coleman (5 aces, 7 kills, 9 digs); Richmond (2 aces, 2 kills, 13 assists).
RAPID RIVER - Stropich (8 kills); Stenlund (4 kills, 5 digs); A. Kanyuh (12 assists, 8 digs); Hill (3 assists); Brockway (6 digs); Kerstner (3 blocks).
By the third set, the wind in Carney's sails had all but gone away, and the Cougars closed up the game and ended the Wolves evening with ease, winning 25-9.
"We started off well against Superior Central," Kedsch said. "Nice passes, setting well, hitting the ball. We were attacking them pretty well. But we got stuck in some unfamiliar rotations, and it put us in a couple hard spots there."
With that, the stage was set for two teams that were involved in a four-way tie for first place (with Mid Peninsula and Bark River-Harris) to square off against each other.
Rapid River came out and didn't allow the Cougars to go on a scoring streak like they did against Carney. However, Superior Central's defense didn't allow the Rockets to take control of the set at any point, and once the Cougars took a 9-8 lead, they never gave it up. They took the set 25-17.
In the second set, the Cougars defense remained strong, and their offense broke it open, scoring eight unanswered points to end the set 25-13.
The Rockets stayed with Superior Central in the closeout set, but they just didn't have enough to prevent the sweep, and the Cougars ended the game 25-16 and headed back home with a flawless evening under their belts.
"I was very happy with our defense in both games," said Cougars coach Kris Bray. "They were moving their feet, they were talking, and we were being very aggressive at the net."
She added aggressive play is often the difference as far as winning or losing for their team, and in that regard, the past few events have provided them with some strong wins as they head into districts. She feels as though her girls have been playing as a team as well as they ever have in the past few games.
"Rapid River is very good team, and when they get on streaks, they are very tough to beat," Bray said. "But they (opposing teams) are going to have to play some good defense if they want to win. If my team plays up to their potential, there's not many teams that can beat us."
"I think Superior Central did an awesome job," said Rapid River coach Lisa Kanyuh. "They were scrambling on defense, not letting balls touch the ground, and they played very confident.
She also said that Bray's comment about hoping that the Cougars' win over Bark River carried over into Tuesday's game, turned out to be true. However, Kanyuh said she is also looking forward to the districts, and how they will turn out.
The Rockets resume Thursday when they host Forest Park. Carney will be hosting Menominee Thursday, and the Cougars are off until Oct. 19 when they host Ishpeming.