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Esky rolls past Eagles

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Escanaba’s Nicole Kamin (11) spikes the ball against Engadine’s Anna Gouza (3) Monday at Escanaba.

ESCANABA — The Escanaba volleyball team made quick work of the Engadine Eagles with a 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-12, 25-18) here Monday.

After two quick sets, the Eagles briefly went ahead 6-4 in the third. However, Escanaba’s Alexandra Cooper responded with a seven-point service run to make it 12-6. Eventually, Esky led 18-10, but a service run by Engadine’s Sophia Vaughn reduced the Eagles’ deficit to 18-15.

“We had a chance for everyone to play tonight, and that’s what we did,” Esky coach Adam Lambert said. “Some of our starters that normally play didn’t get in at all, and they were great support on the bench. Our team that was out there during the third set hasn’t seen a lot of floor time, so I’m sure there were nerves. But, here again, the fans are really great. The girls held it together.”

The Eagles (2-4) stayed within four, but Escanaba pulled away with the last three points and capped the set with a spike from Maysie Lancour just inside of the line.

“If we could just (play like we did in the third set) all the time, which is what I’m working towards, it would be great,” Eagles’ coach Tia Miller said. “I’m still impressed with how much they’re improving. With how much they’re improving, I don’t really look at the losses necessarily — as you can see from tonight the first set compared to the last.”

The first set was dominated by Escanaba (5-2-1), with a seven-point service run from Bailey Barron, and ultimately, it scored 15 of its 25 points in just three runs.

“We’re really coaching them on coming out strong no matter who the opponent is, do their best, do some things we’re working on in practice and really, just give it their all,” Lambert said.

“Sometimes there’s some real challenging opponents, and sometimes, they’re not too challenging — but it’s still fun to get out here and play.”

Escanaba’s Tess Henderson, who accumulated seven aces, started the second set with a nine-point service run to give Esky a 10-0 lead. Another run shortly after by Cooper put the Eskymos firmly ahead with a 17-2 advantage that would earn them the set.

“Obviously, Escanaba came out as the better team, but I think mentally we have a good foundation for ourselves,” Miller said. “A lot of teams in this position would have fallen apart, but my girls stayed strong.”

Escanaba travels to Kingsford today while Engadine travels to Rudyard Thursday.

“(Kingsford) is always tough,” Lambert said. “They’re a very mature team and a well coached team. It’s a (Great Northern) conference game. We’re going to go in with intensity, and we’re going to see what we’ve got.”

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