Cheboygan nets Elks title

Esky exits in semis

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Escanaba’s Savannah Barron blocks the ball at the net while teammate Kaliea Lawrence (7) watches on Saturday against Engadine during a semifinal match of the Elks Invitational at Escanaba.

ESCANABA — The Cheboygan volleyball team had quite the weekend as it defeated Engadine 2-0 (25-23, 25-14) to win the Elks Invitational hosted by Escanaba Saturday.

“It feels fantastic to come here and win,” said Cheboygan coach Kris Jewell whose team beat Rudyard to reach the finals. “We wanted to come to the tournament because we play in the first round of districts here. We really wanted to see the gym, get a feel for it and see the teams because it’s a new district for us. We’ve had a lot of team goals like winning a tournament and this is our first win so we can check something off the list finally.”

Engadine, which defeated Escanaba to advance to the final, had a good day but just came up short in the end.

“I’m super proud of our team,” said Engadine coach Kathy Miller. “We lost our starting setter the very first set this morning and had to rearrange the girls. I was just super proud that we made it to the finals and they just ran out of steam in the end.”

The Eagles got out to a hot start as they gained an 8-3 lead. They kept the big lead for most of the set and gained a 22-18 advantage. The Chiefs took control from there as they rallied to score seven of the last eight points to take the first set 25-23.

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Escanaba’s Paxton Johnson (right) hits the ball over the net as Engadine’s Megan Bell attempts a block Saturday during a semifinal match at the Elks Invitational at Escanaba.

“We had control of that game but a few little things happened here and there,” said Miller. “They got us on a lot of the tips and that’s where they scored a lot of their points.

“We have to learn how to handle and read the tips. That’s where we started losing some points and it cost us the game.”

The second set was close in the beginning as it was tied at nine. Cheboygan then scored seven of the next eight points to take a 16-10 lead. After going up 17-13 the Chiefs scored eight of the last nine points to take the second set convincingly 25-14.

“We talked before the second game and I told them don’t think too far ahead but just know that you have a goal to win a tournament and it’s right here with one set,” said Jewell. “I asked if they could dig in her for 25 points and they were like ‘yeah’ and they actually meant it. It was nice to see how they turned it around from how we started from the beginning of the day.”

Cheboygan tied with Escanaba and Stephenson in the Black pool with a record of 5-3 but a tiebreaker moved Cheboygan and Esky into the semifinals. Manistique (4-3) and Menominee (1-7) rounded out the teams in the black pool.

Rudyard won the Orange pool with a 7-1 record followed by Engadine (5-3), Gladstone (4-4), Esky jayvee (2-6) and Negaunee (2-6).

Esky travels to Norway Monday while Gladstone heads to Ishpeming Tuesday.


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