Munising blanks Rockets for crown

Class D district volleyball

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Rapid River’s Shelby LaCosse (19) and Aleece Paulin (15) go up for a block of a ball hit by Munising’s Kianne Wendt (5) Thursday during the Class D district final at Rapid River.

RAPID RIVER — The Munising volleyball team put in a strong performance Thursday on its way to the Class D district title by defeating Rapid River 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-20).

“For my coaching career this is my first district title,” said Munising coach Ted Williams. “I’m extremely happy for those girls and they worked really hard. I feel my wife and I did all we could do to make them better volleyball players. They are just tremendous kids and athletes.”

As for Rapid River, coach Kristy Kerstner was proud of her team and how hard it fought to stay with Munising throughout the match.

“They played really well,” said Kerstner. “They came out and they wanted it. They played well and I’m proud of them.”

The first set was close throughout with both teams tied at 17 and it looked like it was any team’s game for the taking. Munising then scored five straight points to take a 22-17 lead and eventually taking the first set 25-20.

“I thought we were playing well even though the score was close,” said Williams. “I can see that we were doing things well and we were passing the ball. It was just a matter of staying focused and continuing to play hard and I figured sooner or later the separation would start to happen.”

The second set would also start close with both teams tied at 10. The Mustangs would then score six straight points to establish a 16-10 lead. Munising would cruise from there to take the second set 25-16.

The Rockets would score the first two points but it was all Mustangs after that as they scored the next 11 points. Munising would increase its lead to 15-4 but Rapid River began to chip away at the lead to cut the deficit to four until Munising eventually put the set away winning 25-20.

“They had a good comeback,” said Kerstner. “All season you can look at our games over and over again. They are the queens of comeback. They never give up.”

Munising will take on Lake Linden-Hubbell Tuesday in a regional semifinal at Westwood.

The summary:

Munising — Graves (1 kill, 1 block), Contreras (26 assists, 6 digs, 2 kills), K. Ackerman (5 digs, 3 aces), M. Ackerman (14 digs, 1 assist), Wendt (21 kills, 7 digs, 2 blocks), Cotey (3 kills), Sturgis (2 digs), Curtis (1 dig), Johnson (3 kills, 1 dig, 1 block), Stampfly (5 digs, 1 kill, 1 block, 1 assist), Werner (6 digs, 5 kills, 4 blocks, 3 aces), Downs (2 digs, 1 block).

Rapid River — Rubick (17 assists, 9 digs, 4 kills, 1 block), Schwartz (9 digs, 6 kills, 1 assist), Paulin (5 kills, 2 digs, 2 aces), Trombley (8 digs, 2 kills, 1 ace), LaCosse (6 kills, 5 digs), Berg (8 digs, 1 kill), Thibault (2 blocks).