Broncos sprint by Westwood
HARRIS — The Bark River-Harris volleyball team held down the Westwood Patriots in Bark River Monday with strong serves. The Broncos earned the victory in straight sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-10).
After a Bark River (4-1) misplay gave the Patriots the first point of the first set, it rebounded with a seven-point run from Carley Varoni to jump ahead 8-1.
“We had some really nice runs that allowed me to get everyone into the game,” Broncos coach Jennifer Ives said. “When you have a team of 15, that’s not easy, but the leads that we built and the runs that we had allowed me to get everyone some playing time. I’m really happy with that.”
After a Westwood (1-3) timeout, the team traded points to make it 10-4 before the Broncos’ Lexi Berg spearheaded a six-point run to push their advantage to 17-4.
“(Serve receive and passing) is what killed us,” Patriots coach Milton Braga said. “When we don’t get that, you can’t set up your offense, and it’s very hard to have a continuous game. If we improve that, it’ll be a much competitive game.”
It was another Westwood timeout that disrupted Bark River again, and the Patriots were able to put some small runs together — including a tip-over from Livvie Wood and a kill from Emma Kargela — while the Broncos added individual points.
A final Patriots’ timeout came after they reduced their deficit to 21-11, but a string of errors from both teams led to a Westwood ball landing out of bounds to end the match.
“We’ve been working all season on not letting our energy dip and playing up to a level that we know we can play no matter who our opponent is,” Ives said. “For the most part, we continued to execute, to play up to a level that we’re capable of playing.”
In the second set, the Broncos used short runs to slowly accumulate a lead, and it was a five-point run from Bark River’s Allison Richer that pushed it ahead 19-9.
“We did really well serving again,” Ives said. “Our stats show we had four missed serves, so in three games — having four missed serves — that’s something to be proud of team-wise.”
Westwood fought back with a short run from Leisa Warshawsky — including two aces — to reduce its deficit to 19-13, but a serve into the net turned over possession and the match.
“I put a lot of new kids out there to get some experience,” Braga said. “Some of them show a lot of future in there. We got unlucky that the setter hurt her back, so she couldn’t play the game she likes to play. But, that’s part of the game. You gotta keep on playing.
“Our blocking was much better today. I was very pleased at that. That part of the game was much better, but receiving and pass, they forgot that at home.”
The Broncos jumped ahead quickly in the third set, and the Patriots couldn’t find an answer as they weren’t able to string more than two points together for the set.
“Carley Varoni just leading the team as the setter,” Ives said. “She did really well. She made great choices on the court, and she got some nice kills herself. Kassidy Roll really took charge at the net again. She really played hard there.”
Bark River hosts Superior Central Thursday. Westwood visits West Iron County Thursday.
Aces — Britton 5, Richer 2, Ives 2, Varoni 1, Berg 1; kills — Roll 8, Varoni 5, Ives 3, Peterson 2, Zawacki 1, Fredrick 1, Erickson 1; blocks — Roll 3, Fredrick 1; assists — Varoni 21, Fredrick 3, Roll 1.