Kamin’s 30 kills power Eskymos past Flivvers
KINGSFORD — Like in most team sports, when one team has a standout player or two, usually the standout plays a significant role in the outcome of the game or match.
Wednesday night was no exception to that analogy. Escanaba defeated Kingsford 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20) in a MHSAA Division 2, District 33 volleyball semifinal match.
Behind GNC first-teamer Nicole Kamin — who finished the night with an astounding 30 kills — the Eskymos advanced to the district championship match Friday night with their victory over the Flivvers. Esky will play Menominee for the district title Friday at 7 p.m. EST. The Maroons swept Gladstone 3-0 in another semifinal match Wednesday night.
“Every time this season that we played Kingsford the match went four sets,” said Esky coach Adam Lambert. “Kingsford’s offense is so strong, especially their all-conference right front hitter (Maggie Strehlow), but Jalin Olson has been so strong for us all year long — she had so many digs for us tonight. The team played well together, and some girls stepped up in place of others who may not have played their best tonight.”
In some ways all four sets mirrored one another, with no significant scoring runs for either team throughout the very competitive match.
“The crowd was great tonight on both sides,” said Lambert. “What a great match.”
Despite her disappointment to see her team’s season end, Kingsford head coach Jaclynn Kreider noted the very same points as her counterpart.
The first set saw strong front row play for both teams, specifically Strehlow and Ali Doolittle for the home team. Escanaba’s front row standouts in that set, and throughout most of the match were Kamin, Bailey Barron and Anna Smith.
Olson, who was the GNC Defensive Player of the Year, ended the night with 27 digs. Not to be over shadowed in a losing effort, Kingsford’s Brooke Kriegl — also a GNC first-teamer — had 32 digs to lead the Flivvers. Strehlow added 19 digs and 15 kills, while Katherine Erickson had 38 assists 15 digs. Tess Henderson led Escanaba with 22 assists, while Doolittle led the Flivvers with 13. The Eskymos’ Angela Wilson added 19 digs.
Lambert noted the jump serving of senior Taylor Ray was strong.
“She’s worked hard to get better at it throughout the season,” said Lambert.
Strehlow and Kate Cook stood out serving for the Flivvers. Olson also served well in a couple different points of the match for Escanaba.
“Escanaba is the strongest and most skilled team we played all season besides Marquette. Their libero (Olson) is basically is a coach on the floor. She’s a great player,” said Kreider. “I’m proud of the fight in my team tonight. The kids and the parents were a great group this season, making it enjoyable. The kids worked hard all season, which also made my job enjoyable and worth the time away from my own family.”